AC News Roundup: Spring 2020

From celebrating Canada's newest unicorn company to incredible pandemic pivots and initiatives, it was a spring to be proud of for the AC community! Catch up on all the best news items from late March, April, May, and June 2020 in our AC News Roundup: Spring 2020.

June 22, 2020

Late March 2020:

  • AC grad Top Hat made its most popular textbook titles free to professors and students.
  • AC client Recess Guardians launched active8 YourHome, a free daily video service that brings recess right to you. Subscribe here.
  • AC JumpStart recipient NURO won the Praxis Grand Prize at SYNAPSE, Ontario’s premiere life science competition.
  • AC grad Mozzaz launched a COVID-19 virtual care platform to help hospitals scale up care delivery.
  • Only 5% of public sector procurement used to be done remotely. AC grad Bonfire announced free access to its platform to digitize the procurement workflow to assist in the transition to remote work.

April 2020:

“Plum has grown considerably from where they started in the Accelerator Centre. Beyond the impressive funding, Plum now employs 33 people at their office in north Waterloo. MacGregor points to Plum being an outlier as an enterprise SaaS business. 'It’s rare to be this successful so early with a 30~ person company,' said MacGregor. 'It’s a pretty big accomplishment.'”
  • Draft Canada wrote a feature on AC mentor Kevin Hood.
  • Frontline employees everywhere deserve some love. AC grad Axonify opened nominations to recognize frontline workers by celebrating their story and randomly selecting 5 nominees each week to receive a $50 gift card of their choice.
  • AC grad TextNow worked hard to keep everyone connected during quarantine in a big way—from free phones to free service.  
  • Protein Sequencing Grant Program: AC grad Rapid Novor announced that it will sequence one antibody—a $13,000 value—free of charge for different researchers each month during the COVID-19 period.
  • Great Place to Work Canada ranked Axonify #13 on its Best Places to Work in Canada list.
  • We welcomed back two popular AC advisors: Design Strategy Mentor Steve Fyke and CX Specialist Bob Mathers.
  • We were happy to announce Ontario’s COVID-19 Support & Recovery Cohort of our AC JumpStart program to help innovators bring COVID-19 support services and products to the public at an accelerated rate.
  • Armen Bakirtzian, CEO and Co-Founder of AC grad Intellijoint, made a generous donation to Grand River Hospital Foundation to enable them to purchase iPads to help patients maintain interactions with loved ones.
  • Rapid Novor celebrated 5 years in business.
  • We announced AC JumpStart Cohort 12 recipients.
  • Top Hat released powerful new online teaching tools to help educators navigate remote classrooms.
  • Home to our TD Sustainable Future Lab, The Cora Group’s evolv1 building was awarded Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum CS and its dual certification for Performance and Design under CaGBC’s Zero Carbon Standard.

May 2020:

  • AC JumpStart and Startup Visa Recipient ApplyBoard became Canada’s newest unicorn after raising $100M in Series C funding on a $2B valuation.
  • To support researchers during COVID-19, AC grad Nicoya launched complimentary Surface Plasmon Resonance expertise on data analysis and experimental design.
  • AC grad eleven-x announced its first institutional funding round to expand deployment of its Smart City and campus solutions, led by Crédit Mutuel Equity.
  • AC grad Deep Trekker was featured in The Record for its development and testing of land-based robots capable of spraying disinfectant or using a form of ultraviolet light to eradicate the coronavirus inside workplaces or aboard major forms of transportation such as airplanes or trains.
  • We announced which companies were awarded AC JumpStart funding via Ontario’s COVID-19 Support and Recovery Cohort.
  • Recess Guardians rolled out active8 Your Home box with proceeds enabling Recess Guardians to continue to offer its free programming to schools across Canada.  
  • Draft Canada published a great feature on AC client Emmetros, creators of MemorySparx.
  • Deep Trekker won the Product Innovation Award at the 2020 CANIE Awards.
  • Top Hat acquired Canada’s largest education publisher Nelson Education’s Canadian university textbook division. You can read its feature in the Globe and Mail here.
  • AC client AHead Simulations introduced the new CARL.  
  • The Town of Milton worked with AC grad Miovision to create a case study to improve safety and optimize traffic flow.
  • Missing the Accelerator Centre? We miss you, too! We are so excited to welcome clients and visitors back when the time is right. Until then, thanks to Waterloo EDC, you can now go on a 360-degree virtual tour of the front area of our Headquarters.

June 2020:

  • Happy Pride month!
  • AC grad Clearpath Robotics raised a $40 million CAD Series C round to expand its industrial autonomous mobile robot division, OTTO Motors.
  • AC client Evercloak welcomed former Trojan Technologies executive Dr. Ted Mao as new CTO.
  • AC client Cloud DX joined a $1.4M Digital Technology Supercluster project to keep 25000 weekly Canadian patients healthy, connected and supported during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • AC client EarthSuds was featured in National Geographic and won the Enactus National Challenge. Learn more about the startup in our blog post.
  • Leadership, HR and Culture Mentor Jackie Lauer celebrated her company’s 20th year in business.
  • Mach7 Technologies announced its intent to acquire AC grad Client Outlook, developer of the award-winning eUnity Smartviewer.
  • IP Strategy Specialist Alexis Black was recognized as the only Canadian Trailblazer in the World Intellectual Property Review’s Influential Women in IP 2020 publication.
  • Nicoya received nearly $300K in funding through the Government of Canada National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program to develop a saliva-based portable COVID-19 diagnostic test that would be able to detect the virus in 20 minutes or less.
  • Shopping for your next vehicle? Tired of unclear prices and uncomfortable negotiations? You’re going to want to learn about AC JumpStart recipient Fetch Moto’s recently launched platform, where dealers come to you with their most competitive offers on vehicles containing your must-have features.
  • AC grad eleven-x partnered with Pinchin to deploy innovative new real-time monitoring solutions to help minimize the spread of COVID-19 during building and workspaces re-occupancy.
  • Want to learn more about our COVID-19 Support and Recovery Cohort of our AC JumpStart program? Check out Draft Canada’s latest article.
  • The Greater Kitchener Waterloo Chamber of Commerce and Cambridge Chamber launched a new, free training platform, Chamber Business Ready, powered by Axonify, to help businesses train their employees in best practices related to reopening following pandemic closures.
  • Deep Trekker partnered with Aberdeen-based Spectics Robotics to develop inspection solutions across multiple sectors.
  • Clearpath was named one of three finalists in the Best ROS Robot category of the 2020 ROS Awards.
  • Three months into operating in a business-as-virtual format, our wonderful mentorship team has put in over 1500 hours in one-on-one virtual mentorship sessions with AC clients.

Ready to Apply?

Our team is comprised of world-class mentors and specialists that drive our startups to success. If your passionate about the technology, the startup community we would love to hear from you!