Southern Ontario's Startup Scene Is Heating Up: SPARK 2019

It has long been said that a single spark can start a great fire. Igniting innovation, passion and community, AC JumpStart’s showcase event, SPARK, made us feel the heat of southern Ontario’s startup scene.

December 2, 2019

It has long been said that a single spark can start a great fire.

Igniting innovation, passion and community, AC JumpStart’s showcase event, SPARK, made us feel the heat of southern Ontario’s startup scene.

18 companies from cohorts 9 and 10 of AC JumpStart showcased their businesses to investors, members of the media, academic partners, and local tech startup ecosystem players at AC's Headquarters on Friday, November 29, 2019.

SPARK 2019

Guests had the opportunity to interact with and learn about the inventive startups shaping the future of southern Ontario’s economic landscape and to vote for their favourite companies:

Click 2 Refund: An online, easy and hassle-free end to end automated service that helps air passengers get compensated risk-free.

Closed Caption Creator: A broadcast technology company. We specialize in closed captioning and subtitle solutions for any industry striving to meet and exceed accessibility requirements. We work with educators, editors and broadcasters to find solutions to complex closed captioning workflows. Our flagship product - Closed Caption Creator - is one of the most popular online captioning solutions available today.

Coachable: Helping youth sports clubs elevate their programs. Our coaching app drives athlete development, coach impact, and transparency for the whole club unlike anything else.

Cya Live: Bringing TV and radio station technologies to your pocket. Cya Live facilitates synchronized viewing of digital content with friends and fans while interacting through text, video and touch. It helps promote and monetize content through controlled virtual delivery and interactive engagement.

Derisk: Offering an AI-powered SaaS security solution for small and medium businesses which intelligently assesses their cyber-risks and manages a customized security program on their behalf, so they can focus on their core business.

Enabling Adaptations: An online platform that puts access to therapists and resources directly in the hands of parents, caregivers and educators to empower them to help their children.  This includes one on one consultations with specialists such as an Occupational Therapist, access to products such as the Skootle Box and connections to other parents through a private Facebook groups.

HiRide: A carpooling application for students and young professionals.

IntelliCulture: An affordable, easy to use, data logger for farms to plug into their equipment (i.e. tractors, combines) to receive: (i) real-time fleet awareness,(ii) analytics, (iii) long term forecasting, and (iv) diagnostic tools. Enabling farms to better manage their fleet, identify operational inefficiencies, and make more informed management decisions.

invitalize: Practical solutions for cost-effective public health challenges. Our basic research scientifically optimized fundamental processes of photobiology (photobiomodulation or PBM) based on optics and quantum physics. This led to unique product design enabling cost effective phototherapy holding the key to enhance the natural regeneration of tissues.

LinkMentalHealth: Reducing absenteeism and disability claim costs by proactively getting employees the therapy support they need and helping them navigate their mental health resources so they can actually pay for it. All in minutes.

Pulse Industrial: Creating smart, lower-powered monitors for industrial equipment, to improve safety and reduce CO2 emissions. Our first product is a non-invasive monitor to detect failures in steam traps. Steamtraps are a common piece of equipment in steam systems, and they fail frequently. These failures cause heavy steam leaks, and when undetected, this leads to tons of unnecessary fuel burning.  

SolverGen: A SaaS platform that leverages the power of machine learning in genomics big data analysis to expedite oncology findings in both research and clinical settings, from discovery to translation phase.

Stacktronic: Accelerating the transition of industrial vehicles from diesel power to battery electric. Our solution: a modular battery that assembles like LEGO bricks to build battery packs of any shape, size, and capacity.

Stan A.I.: The first A.I. assistant for condo property managers that automates 80% of a manager’s day by intelligently responding to all resident inquiries for a manager. And, STAN works all by text message!

SusWork Inc.: A cleantech company focused on developing and commercializing in-house waste treatment profitable solutions, converting Greenhouse Gas emissions, municipal solid waste, industrial and agricultural waste into a clean fuel with an attractive market price and a reduced carbon footprint.

ToeFX: A medical device company that has developed an innovative technology for treatment of toenail fungal infection. This infection impacts 20% of the global population and treatments for fungal infection combined are valued at $35 billion USD.

TROES Corp.: An advanced Battery Energy Storage Systems (BESS's) manufacturer. TROES specializes in developing, designing, manufacturing and delivering smart, high-performance, cloud-based energy storage systems that integrate TROES’ proprietary Battery Modules, Battery Management Systems (BMS), Enclosures and Power Conversion System (PCS).

TRUSTiiN: Helping fast-growing companies deliver faster with higher quality with our Testing as a Service (TaaS) Platform using the power of AI and the crowd. Our crowd testing is secure, fast and cost-effective and allows companies to evaluate their product under real-world conditions with real users, real devices, real scenarios in real-time.

Needless to say, it was a hard decision. A really hard decision.

Three companies came out on top and were able to pitch their companies to the audience for a shot at the Rogers Innovation Prize of $5,000: Pulse Industrial, Stan A.I. and SusWork Inc.

The judging panel—which comprised of representatives from AC JumpStart partner institutions (Conestoga College, Wilfrid Laurier University, University of Guelph, and University of Waterloo), SPARK event sponsors (Gowling WLG and PwC), the Rogers Innovation Prize sponsor (Rogers), and the Accelerator Centre’s Director, Client Programs and Initiatives—ranked the three companies on their pitch, overall concept and perceived strength of future success.

The judge’s rankings were totalled. AC JumpStart’s Coordinator, Programs and Client Experience took to the stage to announce the winner.

“And the winner of the Rogers Innovation Prize who will be going home with $5,000 is…” she opened the sealed envelope.

“Stan A.I.!”

Stan A.I. co-founders Bogdan Raic (left) and Max Gajdel (centre right) being presented the Rogers Innovation Prize by AC CEO, Dr. Paul Salvini (centre left) and Rogers 5G Innovation Lab Director, Walid Ibrahim.

Stan A.I. is in cohort 10 of AC JumpStart, a FedDev Ontario funded program that gives recipients $30,000 in seed capital with 12 months of one-to-one mentorship from AC’s team of in-house experts.

Since its launch in 2014, the Accelerator Centre has supported 218 companies based in southern Ontario with the critical seed capital and mentorship entrepreneurs need to build and grow successful businesses, bringing 58 new products to commercialization and creating 652 jobs.

“Our unique ability to leverage the skills and expertise of our academic partners allows us to bring an added layer of excellence, diligence and access to cutting-edge resources to our programming and we are grateful for their support and contributions,” said Accelerator CEO Dr. Paul Salvini. “The future of innovation across southern Ontario is bright and we are proud to be cementing its future of economic prosperity.”

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