U of T signs agreement with IIT Bombay during Canada's trade mission to India

Siddharth Gautam is in the business of forging connections between people – so it’s fitting that he landed a spot on Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trade mission to India.

The trip has led to $1 billion in investment deals that Trudeau announced this week, and for Gautam, it’s been an opportunity for his U of T startup Weedoo, a platform that connects entrepreneurs with experts, to get a boost in the world’s second most populous country.

“U of T – and Canada in general – has emerged as a leader in developing cutting-edge technologies,” says Gautam, who graduated last year from U of T. “And India has the population to use those technologies, so even getting a small section of the market converts into huge business for startups.

“That’s why we are aiming to launch Weedoo in India almost at the same time as Canada.”

Helping U of T entrepreneurs find new markets in India by developing their networks there is among one of many priorities behind an educational partnership signed Tuesday between the University of Toronto and the Indian Institute of Techonology Bombay (IITB). The partnership is among the 66 initiatives unveiled during the trade mission to India, and it hopes to create a bridge between students and researchers in both countries.

Gautam says he’s hoping Weedoo, co-founded with fellow alumnus Wayne Zhang, will ultimately play a key role in building a link between India and the Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab (DCSIL) – the U of T accelerator that helped launch the startup – via a series of “mentorship nights” in different cities.

“The plan is that Weedoo will not only be the tool used to register users for the event, but it will also run the mentor’s nights by matching mentors and mentees,” Gautam says. 

Read the full story at U of T News