CDMN Soft-Landing Program Success Story: Cyborg Trading
By CDMN on Sep 25, 2012 / Categories: CDMN News, Featured, Soft Landing
Closing a $2 million equity round with Canadian investors in New York City and increasing their staff by 100 per cent helped cement Cyborg Trading as a financial tech company global businesses are watching, and the Canadian Digital Media Network’s (CDMN) Soft-Landing Program was glad to help the company take a bite out of the big apple.
Cyborg Trading, a Communitech Hub-based company and member of the Accelerator Program, that develops trade automation tools for financial traders and offers an automated trading platform , was already committed to going to New York City to meet investors and clients, and to attend SIFMA, the biggest equity tradeshow in their field.
They were only sending the CEO and CFO, but also wanted to send their business developer, CTO and algorithm engineer, to gain important market intelligence, said Ben Bittrolff, Cyborg’s CFO.
So, Bittrolff applied for funding through the new CDMN Soft-Landing Program, which approved $4000 to cover travel costs. The Soft-Landing Program also brokered a three-month contract with an incubator hoteling space in Manhattan for the Cyborg team. The money allowed Cyborg to take more people across the border, and got them there faster than the team had expected.
The trip, workspace at the NYU-Poly Varick Street Incubator (Varick) and attendance at the SIFMA tradeshow allowed the team to bring back valuable market intelligence. Team members were fired up after seeing other companies’ platforms and pitches. The trip also led to Cyborg closing a $2 million equity round with Canadian Investors, and two long-term deals valued at $72,000 and $120,000 per year.
While Cyborg Trading has opened a New York sales department at Varick, their home base remains in Canada. The trip and second office has given Canadian investors a sense of Cyborg’s growth plan as they expand in the home base of the financial world.
New York is a sink-or-swim city, said Bittrolff, and the fast-paced city can take its toll on companies. The Cyborg team feels that the Soft-Landing Program’s vetting process ensures that companies are ready to fly once they leave the incubator nest.
Support from CDMN and Communitech also helps “open doors,” Bittrolff said, adding that “the Soft-Landing Program is a valuable tool” that “helps you get close to markets. You can’t do it remote. You need to meet in person. [To be taken seriously] you can’t just visit for a day. You need to spend time in the city.”
With offices in Waterloo Region and London, Ontario, Canada is still home for the Cyborg team which has grown from twelve to twenty five people over the last year, and is expected to grow to thirty six people in the coming year. Even though New York may be the place where dreams come true, Bittrolff noticed that, “quite a few of the incubator start-ups wished they had the programs that we have access to in Communitech and CDMN.”
In other words, sometimes you need a bit of maple syrup to sweeten that bite out of the Big Apple.
To learn more about the Soft-Landing Program and how to qualify, contact Lisa Cashmore, Soft-Landing Program Manager for CDMN, at 519-804-2980 Ext. 1075, or at email@example.com. For more information about Communitech’s startup programs, including the HYPERDRIVE incubator program, contact Steve Currie, VP Venture Services at Steve@communitech.ca.