Spanish instructor launches second-language startup while studying entrepreneurship at University of Waterloo

By Suzanne Bowness
Communications and Public Affairs
University of Waterloo

After many years of teaching Spanish to Waterloo students, Camelia Nunez knows beginners learn best by engaging in meaningful conversations.  She also knows undergrads spend a lot of time chatting on their smartphones.

So she came up with an idea:  Why not use smartphones as a platform for students to receive and respond to messages in their new language?

With a solid concept, Nunez began a Master of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology (MBET) at the Conrad centre at University of Waterloo. Support from MBET mentors and professors helped her launch Milao, a language learning chat tool for smartphones.

“My experience shows that you don’t necessarily have to be an engineer to have a good idea. Great ideas do come from arts and humanities—and when you combine them with science, great things can happen,” says Nunez, who is also a PhD student of Hispanic linguistics.”

Milao, which is Modern Greek for “to communicate,” is an on-demand chat program aligned with university curriculum for beginner language courses. It lets users chat about typical beginner language topics with an avatar – topics like ordering food or asking for directions.

Click here to read the full article.

Accelerator Program Client Milao Language Inc. receives $50,000 in funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence

Milao Language Inc. announced today that they have received $50,000 in funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). This important milestone will help Milao as they continue to work towards commercialization. The funding comes at an opportune time as Milao has begun beta testing with the University of Waterloo’s beginner Spanish students. The Milao team expects a need to implement requested features from excited students and faculty.”

The full news/blog post was published on the University of Waterloo, Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Tchnology Centre website.  Click here for a link to the full article.

Accelerator Program Graduate Clearpath Robotics awarded $100,000 contract by Government of Canada

KITCHENER, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – Nov. 12, 2013) – The Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services, joined by Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga, today announced that the Government of Canada has awarded a contract of over $100,000 to Clearpath Robotics Inc. of Kitchener, Ontario, for its innovation, the Kingfisher M200 Unmanned Surface Vessel (USV). The contract was awarded through the Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP), formerly known as the Canadian Innovation Commercialization Program (CICP).

“The Government of Canada’s top priority is the economy and we understand that helping Canadian businesses expand and succeed directly benefits Canadian workers and families by creating jobs, economic growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Finley. “We are proud to encourage Canada’s entrepreneurial spirit by kick-starting Canadian businesses to get their innovative products and services from the lab to the marketplace.”

Clearpath Robotics Inc.’s innovation, the Kingfisher M200 USV, is a portable robotic vessel, designed to measure and analyze inland waters such as lakes, rivers, ponds and estuaries. The Kingfisher is intended for use by researchers and environmental engineers performing lengthy or difficult surveying of inland waters. It provides a safe and reliable method for collecting high quality data with more accuracy and at lower costs than the existing industry-standard techniques. The Kingfisher has also demonstrated substantial benefits in terms of safety and water accessibility, as it is able to collect data from areas deemed impossible to reach by boat and too dangerous to enter on foot.

Read full article here.

Source: Daily Commercial News Online

Accelerator Program Client iNotForProfit and Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN) Partner to Provide Mobile Apps to Volunteer Centres Across Ontario

WATERLOO, ON, CANADA, Oct 29, 2013 iNotForProfit, an emerging leader in smartphone app creation for the philanthropic sector, announced last night that it would be providing mobile apps to the Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN). This newly formed partnership was unveiled during the 2013 OVCN INNOVATION and ACTION! Conference.

OVCN is the voice of volunteerism in Ontario. Their goal is to take Ontario volunteerism to the next level. Through their network, Volunteer Centres can build upon their capacity, enabling them to increase the quantity and quality of their programs. The OVCN is constantly looking for new ways to elevate Ontario volunteerism, from engaging youth to seniors to inspiring entire communities.

iNotForProfit will help OVCN members develop their mobile marketing and communication strategy through the development of apps designed to reach next generation, skilled professional and boomer volunteers. iNotForProfit apps, free to users, and available for iOS, BlackBerry 10 and Android platforms, will now be offered to all OVCN endorsed Volunteer Centre Members OVCN apps will offer a dedicated section where volunteers can easily access Volunteer Centre information, volunteer opportunities, along other things such as push notification to send reminders and update messages. Push notifications have been shown to double retention rates.

“Noticing the rising prevalence of mobile users, the increasing youth dependence on mobile, and given Ontario’s mandate to provide a provincial network and voice to strengthen the individual and collective ability of Volunteer Centres in Ontario to promote and develop volunteerism, we partnered with OVCN to help make an impact. Together we are offering a new way to help volunteer organizations increase volunteer engagement and make getting involved easier and more accessible,” says Jonathan Grover, CEO of iNotForProfit. “The OVCN is clearly a leader in transforming volunteerism and pioneering a new digital age of philanthropy. For close to a year we have been actively working with two members of OVCN, the Volunteer Action Centre in Kitchener-Waterloo and Volunteer Halton, to lead the way. Both organizations have already had great success in piloting their own apps, created for them by iNotForProfit,” says Grover.

“We saw a need in the community,” says Manon Germain, Network Manager, OVCN. “Our members needed a better approach to engage the growing mobile community, and their constituents. They wanted an easier method to stay connected and up-to-date with opportunities. Our goal is to increase impact and awareness of volunteerism. And with the 7th Change The World – Ontario Youth Volunteer Challenge being extended to 6 weeks to engage high school students in volunteerism, we knew the time was now to make the move to introduce a mobile app to our membership,” says Germain.

About Ontario Volunteer Centre Network (OVCN)

The OVCN is an unincorporated network of 24 Volunteer Centres in Ontario, guided by a volunteer steering committee. The OVCN’s mandate is to provide a provincial network and voice to strengthen the individual and collective ability of Volunteer Centres in Ontario to promote and develop volunteerism.

The purpose of OVCN is to increase support for Ontario’s Volunteer Centres; build Volunteer Centre capacity to deliver quality programs and services, manage and govern their organizations, and generate revenue; influence social policy as it relates to Volunteer Centres and volunteerism; increase public awareness of the value and impact of volunteerism in Ontario. To learn more, please visit www.ovcn.ca.

About iNotForProfit (iN4P)

iNotForProfit is a social enterprise using next-generation technology to create accessible solutions for the philanthropic sector. Social media has changed the way we engage; just as online donations has changed fundraising. Mobile apps are not only a part of this change, but also the future of impact. Our mission is to help them spread their message, connect communities to their cause, and fundraise more effectively.

We believe this is the age of philanthropy, of social good and social change. We’re here to be a catalyst. We’re here to help nonprofit, charities and NGOs connect, fundraise and engage in today’s online world. We’re here to change the world. For more information please visit www.inotforprofit.com.

Social Media Links

Facebook www.facebook.com/iN4P-Inc-iNotForProfit
Twitter @inot4profit
LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com/company/in4p

Accelerator Program Client LeoBold provides the first real estate search site to include school rankings and school boundaries for Canada

Guelph, Ontario – For parents who want to put their kids in the best schools in Canada, but have a frustrating time finding school boundary information, the website www.LeoBold.ca is the first and only website to combine Canadian school rankings and boundaries together on a Google Map.

LeoBold Inc. has been busy digitizing school boundaries and has now released it on their website for the public to view for free. A good school is the number one factor for new parents when buying a home but there is no website that combines real estate listings, school boundaries, and rankings in one place until now.

Previously, parents had to search for model homes by driving around looking for sales center signs. Then they would spend weeks researching and visiting individual schools. Most parents don’t know how to find school ranking or school boundary information on the internet.

Many school boards don’t publicize their school boundaries and when they do it is in a PDF format, which isn’t as convenient as seeing it on a Google Map.

LeoBold.ca has the most up to date and complete database of newly built homes in the GTA. We showcase hundreds of new home builders and new development sites. We are also the first to include high quality photos and floor plans of new construction homes in Canada.

For more information, visit www.LeoBold.ca or contact Ronald Tingchaleun at
Ronald@LeoBold.ca
519.830.9888

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