Waterloo Region – August 28, 2013 – The Waterloo Accelerator Centre (AC), a world-renowned, award-winning facility dedicated to developing and commercializing technology start-ups announced today it has handed out $25,000 in JumpStart funding to seven young companies, following a highly competitive pitch competition held at the AC’s Waterloo facility. Twelve finalists pitched their company’s story for 5-minutes each before a panel of expert judges, including Dave Caputo, CEO of Sandvine, Chris Howlett, Technology Mentor at the Waterloo Accelerator Centre, Steve McCartney, VP Startup Services at Communitech, and Tim Ellis, CEO of the Waterloo Accelerator Centre.
The winning companies now receive $25,000 in matching seed funds and the right to participate in the AC’s extensive mentoring program, which provides start-ups with access to experts in marketing and sales, HR, PR/communications, technology, and finance.
The funding is being provided through the JumpStart program, which received an investment of up to $945,000 by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario’s (FedDev Ontario) Scientists and Engineers in Business initiative.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, congratulations to all the finalists and winners in the Waterloo Accelerator Centre’s JumpStart program,” said the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario. “Our investment in the program is helping the region’s science and technology entrepreneurs develop their business and management skills and launch promising start-up companies. This will help bring innovative ideas to market, creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for our region and all of southern Ontario.”
The seven JumpStart winners are:
- USB Hub – a company designing the world’s best USB Hub
- TrendyMED (www.trendymed.com)- a medical devices company developing a ground-breaking line of intravenous (IV) infusion products
- SciGit (www.scigit.com) – a Waterloo-based company whose collaboration software is used by over a hundred institutions
- Concertninja (www.concertninja.com) – a platform for live music fans to crowd fund events in their city. Think KickStarter, but for concerts
- Kite (www.runkite.com) – a productivity tool that accelerates building web applications
- Milao Language (www.milaolanguage.com) – a Waterloo based educational technology start-up that will radically change the way people learn a new language
SoundBrush (www.getsoundbrush.com) – a tech-based company that promises to revolutionize the way people create and discover music
In addition to its $25,000 seed funding, Milao Language’s CEO Camelia Nunez also took home the $1,250 People’s Choice award from the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN). The Accelerator Centre is a member of the CDMN.
This group of seven companies is the third cohort of JumpStart program beneficiaries. The program was launched in June 2013, benefitting from $945,000 in support from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (www.feddevontario.gc.ca) through its Scientists and Engineers in Business Program. The third cohort will wrap up at the end of March, 2014.
“For early-stage companies seeking to bring their technologies to market, access to funding and mentorship at this formative stage can be a significant hurdle,” said Tim Ellis, CEO of the Waterloo Accelerator Centre and Accelerator Program Inc. “The JumpStart program addresses both of these challenges for start-ups. It provides essential funding, and through our Accelerator Program, offers these companies access to experts who can provide business guidance and mentorship. ”
“The JumpStart program not only provides us with critical funding at a very vital stage in our company’s growth. It also gave us an opportunity to practice our pitch in front of an audience of our peers and industry experts. We were delighted to be selected as one of the seven companies to enter the JumpStart third cohort, and to bring home the People’s Choice prize for our pitch. It is terrific validation we are on the right path. Thanks FedDev and to the Waterloo Accelerator Centre for providing us with this amazing opportunity,” says Camelia Nunez, CEO Milao Language.
About the Waterloo Accelerator Centre
The Accelerator Centre, located within Waterloo’s David Johnston Research and Technology Park, is a world-renowned, award-winning facility dedicated to developing and commercializing technology start-ups. Through its Accelerator Program, early-stage companies benefit from in-depth business coaching and seamless support services, including access to office facilities, coaching and mentoring, education, connections to capital, networking, R&D support and outreach, talent recruitment, technology transfer assistance, and commercialization expertise, enabling technology start-ups to move to market faster, create jobs and stimulate economic activity. For information visit us on the web at www.acceleratorcentre.com
For more information, contact:
Shane Pegg, Director of Strategic Initiatives
519-342-2400 or email@example.com