Sunil Sharma is the Managing Director of Techstars Toronto (Techstars is the world’s biggest startup investor). At Techstars, Sunil has made 100 direct investments in tech startups based in Canada as well as in 16 countries across the world. Under Sunil’s 6-year tenure, Techstars has become the most active direct investor in all of Canada with 236 portfolio companies including many category leaders in several different verticals including SaaS, fintech, hardware, space tech and more. These 236 companies have created thousands of new Canadian and international jobs and triggered tens of millions of dollars in follow-on capital.
Sunil is also the Director of the Founder Institute Canada (Founder Institute is the world’s biggest startup pre-accelerator). At Founder Institute, Sunil helped to launch more than 320 new startups in Canada since he brought the Silicon Valley-based organization to Canada nearly a decade ago.
Sunil is also Co-Host of the Collision Conference in Toronto and Co-Host of the Web Summit series of conferences including Lisbon, Rio de Janeiro, Qatar and Hong Kong (known as RISE). Web Summit is the world’s biggest tech conference company attracting more than 200,000 entrepreneurs, executives, investors and media from literally every country in the world (known as the “Olympics of Tech”).
Prior to Techstars, Sunil was a Managing Partner with Extreme Venture Partners, a Canadian early-stage venture capital fund where he led more than 20 investments and deployed more than $5M in capital. Sunil was also co-founder and Managing Director of Extreme Startups where he ran 3 successful cohorts and made 15 investments as part of one of Canada’s earliest tech accelerator funds (backed by 5 prominent Canadian VC funds).
Sunil possesses a rare background that spans across the worlds of entrepreneurship, investment and international diplomacy. Sunil was a career member of Canada’s Foreign Service where he last served as the Consulate Head in Southern California. Previously Sunil represented Canada at the United Nations (World Intellectual Property Organization) and served at the Canadian Space Agency, the Canadian Intellectual Property Office and more.
Sunil was born in Canada to immigrant parents from India. Sunil has lived extensively across Canada including many years in Edmonton, Halifax, Moncton, Kamloops, Victoria, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Toronto.
Sunil has completed undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Victoria and the University of Toronto. Sunil is a proud parent to two teenage children.
When Investor Met Founder
There are few relationships more important in business than the one between Investor and Founder. How do you know when you’ve found the right fit? How does one complement the other? Join Katelin, Grant, and Sunil as they discuss investor founder relations. Get a first hand look of a relationship done right as they spotlight their work on global reforestation through their company, Mast.