AC Client Apartmint launches new rental platform connecting landlords and tenants

A new Waterloo startup company linking landlords and tenants plans to give both sides the chance to praise — or trash — each other.

Apartmint, founded by three University of Waterloo graduates, lists rentals across Waterloo Region on its platform at apartmint.ca. Tenants can use a map-based search, connect with the landlord and pay their rent online.

Soon, landlords and tenants will be able to leave online ratings and reviews.

To read the full article, click here.

AC Grad LoyaltyMatch powering innovative attendee expreience for new festival

Working with Rockhouse Partners, the Nashville-based, technology-driven marketing agency, LoyaltyMatch will provide the platform for an innovative attendee experience at the inaugural Frontstretch Fest.

Rockhouse Partners created the Frontstretch Fest as a Southern celebration of horse racing, quality bourbon, craft beer and artisanal food. Attendees will record their celebratory journey using the LoyaltyMatch developed Frontstretch Fest Digital Passports.

To read the full article, click here.

AC CEO Paul Salvini discusses raising capital and securing funding in Watch Magazine

Raising capital to grow a business and realize an entrepreneurial dream is just one of the long list of duties that make up a startup CEO’s curriculum vitae. Perfecting the pitch is only a small part of the battle. Attracting high quality investors, and landing the deal is where the big effort comes in – and it’s not an easy road by any means. In this issue of Watch, we sat down with Dr. Paul Salvini, CEO of the Accelerator Centre, to hear his perspective on the startup funding challenge, and to learn why Accelerator Centre programming and mentorship provide startup clients with that all important investment ‘seal of approval.’

Watch: It’s not easy for a startup to secure funding, especially in the early days. What does the process look like, and do Accelerator Centre clients gain any advantage?

Paul Salvini: There are typically many rounds of funding that a venture will go through from inception through to maturity. Often funding for a business idea starts out with money from family and friends, or savings. Or for those individuals who came from previous employment, perhaps a severance package, depending on the path one takes to becoming an entrepreneur.

And then after that first round of funding from family and friends, a startup will typically go through a seed round provided by folks like angel investors, and then subsequent rounds after that depending on how the business does.

One of the things we do really well here at the Accelerator Centre is provide a structured environment that, just by being accepted into the Accelerator program, provides a startup with level of credibility – a seal of approval if you will – with future investors. It is a competitive process to be accepted to the Accelerator Centre, and it is a competitive process to stay here. So that brings a lot of comfort to those who are funding companies, to have the confidence that the team here thought the idea and the founders were likely to succeed. In addition, we are providing mentoring and guidance on an ongoing basis to these companies, that overtime gives our staff some insight into these companies which is the dream scenario for any venture capitalist.

To read the full interview, click here.

AC Client LiveApp's phone application gives the London Knights video edge

Dale Hunter worships at the altar of the Hockey Video gods. Many of his Knights skaters spend a lot of time staring at their smartphones. Thanks to some London-bred ingenuity and a Waterloo-based mobile marketing firm called LiveApp, the two pursuits have merged.

Shortly after the win in Kitchener Tuesday, every Knights player had the ability to watch his own shifts from that game on his own mobile device — and if they had questions, they could ask one of their coaches instantly.

“If you want to look at a shift, you don’t have to go through the whole game,” over-age defenceman Dakota Mermis said. “They’re right there (in your personal folder) on the London Knights app. It’s not forced down our throats, and if you’re down on yourself, you don’t have to go see all the bad plays you made. You can watch the good ones and bring your spirits up a bit.“It’s in your control.”

The kids have been using this video room on-the-go platform for nearly a month-and-a-half. Former Western Mustangs forward Steve Benedetti, an employee of Anil Mehta’s LiveApp company and assistant coach of the junior B London Nationals, used his Junior Knights minor midget team last season as a trial run for this idea.

To read the full article, click here                                                                                                                                                            .

Check out this video of AC Grad Clearpath Robotics' newest robots

Featured on InnerSpace, the video goes into the Clearpath Robotics facility and showcases some of the amazing robots they have created.

Click here to watch.

AC Grad ChangeIt uses small change to make a big difference

ChangeIt is a Waterloo company that has come up with a new way to give, through purchases made using a credit or debit card. “Fewer people are carrying cash or coin with them. We are now even paying for coffee with a credit or debit card,” he says. “So what happens to all those spare change donations that were a lifeline for a lot of charities?”

That is the problem ChangeIt set out to tackle.

Card customers of participating financial institutions go to the ChangeIt website, register their card, and sign on to having purchases “rounded up” to the next dollar or two dollars. They also fill out which of the 86,000 Canada Revenue Agency registered charities they would like their change to go to. At the end of the month, “rounded up” numbers are added together and donated to the charities of their choice. You see the donation as a single charge that comes off your card once a month.

To learn more, click here.

AC Grad Kik introduces hashtags to bring mini social networks to its messaging service

Messaging app Kik is embracing one of the hallmarks of social networks after it introduced hashtags to its service. An update to the iOS and Android apps today turns hashtags into clickable links to chat groups where Kik believes like minded users can congregate to discuss topics, share photos/information and (potentially) meet new people.

It’s been a busy year for Kik. The Canadian company recently raised $38 million and completed its first acquisition (buying messaging app GIF Relay) — 2014 has seen it push into content and monetization with the launch of an in-app browser to bring the internet to chats, promoted chats to (finally) involve brands, and more safety features.

To read the full article, click here.

The Accelerator Centre joins Canada's Start-up Visa Program

The Accelerator Centre® (AC), an award-winning centre for the cultivation of technology entrepreneurship located in Waterloo, Ontario, today announced it has been selected by the Canadian Association of Business Incubation (CABI) to join Canada’s Start-up Visa Program. The AC becomes one of a select group of certified technology incubators and accelerators across the country who can help foreign entrepreneurs with strong business ideas establish their businesses in Canada.

Canada’s Start-up Visa Program, established in 2013 by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, is a first of its kind and first in the world program, linking immigrant entrepreneurs with experienced private sector organizations that have expertise working with start-ups.  Under the program, a foreign entrepreneur can facilitate immigration to Canada with support from a designated Canadian organization such as a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator.

The Canadian Association of Business Incubation (CABI) is excited to have the Accelerator Centre become one of the Start-up Visa Program designated organizations. The Accelerator Centre is a world-class facility that has had great success supporting some of Canada’s top talent,” says Gail Gillian-Bain, President of CABI.

“Innovation and entrepreneurship knows no geographic boundaries,” says Paul Salvini, CEO of the Accelerator Centre.  “The Accelerator Centre is celebrated the world over for its world-class incubation program and mentorship, and now, we are on a mission to attract the very best entrepreneurial talent and brightest technology start-ups from around the world to our doorstep. As a certified member of Canada’s Start-up Visa Program, we can help more fledgling companies move from business concept to global leadership.”

Interested parties can learn more about the Accelerator Centre’s Start-up Visa Program here.

About the Accelerator Centre

The Accelerator Centre® (AC) is dedicated to building and commercializing technology start-ups. The AC provides an essential combination of mentorship, educational programming, professional office space, networking, and access to funding, with a goal of building successful companies. Over a two- to three-year period, we help entrepreneurs move from start-up to scale-up, accelerate their time to market, and attract customers, investment and revenue.

Since 2006, the Accelerator Centre has developed and nurtured over 130 early-stage technology start-ups, creating 1100+ new jobs, generating more than $350 million in revenue and funding. Forty-three companies have graduated from the Accelerator Program, and more than 85 percent of these companies have remained in Waterloo Region. For more information visit www.acceleratorcentre.com.

Bonfire Interactive, Eyedro Green Solutions, and Plasticity Labs Graduate from the Accelerator Centre

Waterloo (Ontario), CANADA, Thursday, December 11, 2014 – The Accelerator Centre® (AC), an award-winning centre for the cultivation of technology entrepreneurship located in Waterloo, Ontario, today announced the graduation of three technology startups, Bonfire Interactive, Eyedro Green Solutions and Plasticity Labs from its internationally recognized Accelerator Program.

Trusted with more than $3 billion in public spending decisions, Bonfire Interactive is the easiest, simplest and friendliest way for purchasers to accept and evaluate supplier quotes and proposals as part of an RFx process. The company was founded by Corry Flatt, a serial entrepreneur with a passion for building products and companies from the ground up.

Eyedro Green Solutions is a software and electronics design company making electricity usage easy to understand. Co-founded by Trevor Orton and Nick Gamble, Eyedro provides consumers and businesses with simple solutions for monitoring their electricity use in real-time.

How does happiness drive performance? This question, and their own life-changing experience drove co-founders Jim Moss and Jennifer Moss to create Plasticity Labs, a company dedicated to helping global organizations connect their employees, measure emotional intelligence in real-time, increase engagement and create the happiest, highest performing workplaces. The company recently closed a $2.1 million financing round led by Fibernetics Ventures.
“Today’s graduates are all exceptional companies with significant market traction in their respective industries and we are delighted to celebrate their achievements to date,” says Paul Salvini, CEO of the Accelerator Centre. “Our focus and mission here at the AC is to equip entrepreneurs with the knowledge and skills they need to not just get a business off the ground, but take it to the next level of sustainability. I’m proud to say that our Accelerator Centre graduates are responsible for building tomorrow’s tech sector success stories.”
About the Accelerator Centre

The Accelerator Centre® (AC) is dedicated to building and commercializing technology start-ups. The AC provides an essential combination of mentorship, educational programming, professional office space, networking, and access to funding, with a goal of building successful companies. Over a two- to three-year period, we help entrepreneurs move from start-up to scale-up, accelerate their time to market, and attract customers, investment and revenue.
Since 2006, the Accelerator Centre has developed and nurtured over 130 early-stage technology start-ups, creating 1100+ new jobs, and generating more than $350 million in revenue and funding. Forty-three companies have graduated from the Accelerator Centre, and more than 85 percent of these companies have remained in Waterloo Region.

For more information visit www.acceleratorcentre.com.

AC Grad Clearpath Robotics wants to do for robotics what BlackBerry did for smartphones

With a vision to automate the world’s dullest, dirtiest and deadliest jobs through their unmanned robots, Clearpath Robotics Inc. is making an international name for itself. The company’s co-founders, Matt Rendall, Ryan Gariepy and Bryan Webb, were recently included in ‘40 Under 40: People to Watch in 2015’, a list published by online magazine Business Insider, that placed the young Canadian entrepreneurs alongside Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.

“That recognition is helping create more credibility and buzz around Clearpath Robotics as a major player in our industry,” says CEO Matt Rendall, 30. “Big names aside, what’s really exciting is we’re the only guys on the list in robotics. That says something about the quality of the company we’ve built.”

Founded in 2009 while they were still mechatronics engineering students at The University of Waterloo, Clearpath Robotics is committed to building robots for good – on land, water or in the air. The company’s robotic solutions are used for research and development in over 30 countries in academic, mining, military, agricultural and industrial markets. High profile customers include the Canadian Space Agency, NASA, MIT and Carnegie Mellon University. Although the company has military clients such as Canada’s Department of National Defense as well as the U.S. Army and Navy – their Grizzly robotic utility vehicle (RUV) is designed for heavy industrial and military field robotics – Clearpath was the first robotics company to join the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, calling for an international treaty to ban the use of robots as lethal autonomous weapons.

To read the full article in The Globe and Mail, click here.