Diversity Bootcamp in Toronto

Did you know that having a diverse team can create great value for you and your startup? Want to learn how to build a strong and diverse team for your startup? This unique opportunity is worth minimum 50 000 NOK!

Emax startup gathering, 2016

Emax startup gathering, 2016

Foto: Per Slagbrand

Innovation Norway is calling for ambitious founders and startups for a one week program in Toronto, learning how to build strong teams for scaling and growth from the best startup environments in Canada.

Why you should go and what you will get

Diversity is complex and can pose management challenges. There is a great deal of research on corporate diversity and all sources agree that it makes excellent business sense to have a workforce with different characteristics.

“Where all men think alike, no one thinks very much.” - Walter Lippmann

Human nature dictates that we tend to choose colleagues who are like ourselves. That said, having a homogenous workforce does not maximize potential according to a report by McKinsey (2015), which illustrates the rewards of diversity in businesses.

The report states that ethnically diverse companies are likely to outperform financially with 35 percent. 

During this program you will:

- Learn how to successfully build diverse teams and how to lead them.
- Learn business growth tools from some of the best startup environments in Toronto
- Spend a week with advisors and mentors hand-picked for your startup.
- The program also includes 1:1 with mentors after the program in Toronto.  

Why are we doing this?

Norway's population is not as diverse as countries such as Canada. Of Toronto's 6 million people, more than half were not born in Canada, providing a different perspective on citizenship. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau promotes this as Canada's strength.

One of the world's most active investment fund and accelerator programs, 500 Startups, consciously chose to ensure they have diversity within their investment portfolio. The Fund believes this reduces risk and increases the chance of a profit on invested capital.  Ethnic diversity in the business world provides access to intercultural skills that will be essential for the ability of companies to internationalize in an increasingly global and challenging market. There are many examples of the benefits of corporate diversity, especially in Canada, which shows the direct impact to the bottom line; and it’s always positive.

Intercultural competence can be described as the ability to communicate appropriately with people who have different cultural backgrounds. In a small country like Norway with 5 million citizens, it is absolutely essential that one is able to interact with businesses and customers worldwide. The private sector will therefore require an increasing number of talents in the years ahead with such expertise, multilingual, and who are able to understand diverse business culture in other countries and navigate unknown landscapes.

Let's make sure that Norwegian industry attracts the best talent and expertise to drive Norwegian industry forward.

Partners in Toronto:


  • Innovative company with growth ambitions
  • Interest in using diversity strategically to build your startup
  • Commit for a whole week in Toronto in April
  •  Participate at a Kick-off in Oslo in March (1-2 days)
  • Startup must be younger than 5 years


  • Travel cost to Kick-off in Oslo in March
  • Food cost during the program in Toronto


Arrival in Toronto Sunday April 23. This week will include meetings and workshops with:

…as well as numerous exciting and dynamic startups who are taking advantage of the strength in diversity.

There will also be numerous networking opportunities including a reception with all Canadian diversity partners.

Want more insight?

Watch discussions about diversity with Canadian startup environment during the Norwegian delegation  to Canada in November last year.

Password: Innoversity

Application deadline Tue 24 January 2017


For questions, please contact:

Jeanett Sandmo