AC Grad Axonify announces multi-million dollar deal with Bi-Lo Holdings

Axonify announced that Bi-Lo Holdings has adopted its award-winning eLearning platform, in a multi-year, multi-million dollar deal. Bi-Lo needed a solution that was fresh, engaging, personalized and proven to drive knowledge, values and expectations to its more than 70,000 associates. Axonify offered an approach that was fundamentally different than the historical way in which Bi-Lo Holdings had approached knowledge delivery, particularly in the way the Axonify platform creates an accelerated and continuous learning culture on a daily basis, in a fast, fun and effective way.

To read the full press release, click here.

AC Grad Clearpath Robotics sets sights on a robotic workforce

Inside the headquarters of Clearpath Robotics, a robot revolution is underway.

Where a receptionist would have once welcomed your arrival, there’s now a little robot named “Glados” hanging from the ceiling above a vacant table. It scans the waiting room to detect movement and offer its greeting.

On a shelf amongst an assortment of engineering awards, sits “How to Survive a Robot Uprising,” a tongue-in-cheek survival guide for newcomers.

It’s a glimpse of how co-founder and chief executive Matt Rendall envisions the future, as robots change the way people live and work.

“Before the home, our vision is a robot in every company and every job site,” he said. “There are still so many jobs that humans are not well suited to do.”

A recent study from the Boston Consulting Group shows that investment in industrial robots will grow 10 per cent per year in the world’s 25-biggest export nations through 2025 — overshadowing the current growth of two to three per cent.

Companies will be motivated by how cost-effective and efficient robots are compared to the human workforce, the study said. It’s estimated that labour expenses can be reduced by 24 per cent in Canada, and cut even further in regions like South Korea and Japan.

Rendall believes that’s where Clearpath comes in, as the Kitchener, Ont.-based company rolls out a fleet of robots to automate what it calls the “dullest, dirtiest and deadliest” jobs in the world, spanning industries like manufacturing, agriculture and the military.

To read the full article on CTV News, click here.

Feature on AC Grad Miovision in Wired Magazine

Miovision is, in many ways, answering a call from cities worldwide that are seeking ways of unclogging congested roadways without building more of them. Technology like Miovision is developing could help make travel less painful while addressing broader societal problems like pollution and driver fatalities. But while the size of the market is vast, so is the competition from entrenched players and other startups looking to bring novel technologies to market.

That’s one reason Miovision plans to use this cash infusion to expand its technology beyond car counting and turn it into a traffic management system for so-called “smart cities.” Until now, Miovision has helped cities collect data on what’s happening at a given intersection, by installing its video systems at that intersection and analyzing the data afterward.

But simply providing the data, McBride realized, could make Miovision just another commodity product. After all, there are other video detection systems out there, as well as lower tech options, like magnetic loops embedded in the road that record passing traffic. Now, McBride wants to help cities find practical ways to use that data as well.

The company is slowly rolling out new hardware that will connect switchboards at each intersection to the cloud so street lights can communicate with each other and respond to traffic data from the video feed in real time. In other words, where once traffic data was updated every year or so by a college kid at the side of the road, now, it’ll be updated every instant.

To read the full article, click here.

Robotics Business Review names AC Grad Clearpath Robotics to their list of top 50 companies to watch in 2015

Kitchener, ON, Canada – February 16, 2015 – Robotics Business Review (RBR) has unveiled its fourth annual RBR50 list, naming Clearpath Robotics as one of the most noteworthy companies in the global robotics industry for 2015.

RBR50 companies are recognized based on their innovation, groundbreaking application(s), commercial success and potential, and represent many different levels and facets of the robotics ecosystem.

“We’re thrilled to have made the RBR50 list; the entire Clearpath team is very proud of the company we’ve built,” said Ryan Gariepy, Chief Technology Officer at Clearpath Robotics. “We’re incredibly grateful to see that our efforts to accelerate robotics development continue to be acknowledged and that a growing number of organizations are now making robotics a critical part of their long term strategy.”

Read the full announcement here.

AC Client Apartmint Brings Renters and Landlords Together

By Joe Lee
Market Research Analyst
MaRS Discovery District

Are you looking for a place to live in Toronto? Perhaps renting an apartment or a condo?

If you are in this booming rental market, you know three things:
•Prices are outrageous;
•Reasonable units can be snapped up within 24 hours;
•The process of renting is horrific.

As someone who is currently in this market, nothing has stuck out to me more than how badly the rental process is. Encountering fake Craigslist listing? Check. (No “Sandy”, you cannot have my credit card information via email.)

Clicking on an apartment listing in Etobicoke even after you’ve restricted the search to downtown Toronto on Kijiji? Check. (And I love Etobicoke!)

Being interrogated by the landlord while you’re viewing her rental unit? Check. (Yes, I have a job. Thank you. Yes, I really do.)

A Waterloo Accelerator Centre startup called Apartmint believes that it has found a better way – by bringing the entire rental process online for renters and landlords together. Founded by Margaret Cichosz, Davy Chiu and Ignacio Mongrell (full disclosure: they all graduated from University of Waterloo’s Master of Business, Entrepreneurship, and Technology program like myself), Apartmint has recently expanded its services in Toronto this month.

Read the full blog here.

AC Grad Miovision on Fighting urban gridlock

Traffic. Everyone would like less of it, and there are dozens of apps and services dedicated to helping city planners with everything from rerouting transit services to adjusting tolls during rush hours.

And don’t expect that momentum to fade anytime soon. Market research firm Gartner estimates spending on technology for intelligent transportation management at $151 billion by 2018.

Two startups in particular, Miovision Technologies and Urban Engines, are stepping on the accelerator with plans to put more of this information into the hands of city planners and commuters through broadly available cloud services.The former just scored another $24 million in venture financing to speed development, while the latter is publishing its mapping software so that cities and third-party developers can take advantage of its routing algorithms.

Read the full post here.

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AC Grads Cross Chasm and Miovision Land $1.8 Million in Clean Technology Funding

AC graduates Miovision and Cross Chasm have landed $1.8 million in clean technology funding.

The announcement of the funding made today onsite at Cross Chasm by the Honourable Diane Finley, Minister of Public Works and Government Services on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources. The funding was provided through Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) SD Tech Fund™ in support of two transportation projects that will further the Government of Canada’s goal of creating and protecting jobs and opportunities.

Through SDTC, Miovision is receiving $1.8 million for the development of a traffic system that is capable of observing and analyzing real-time traffic conditions to optimize traffic flow and reduce idling, a technology that could potentially reduce travel time by more than 20 percent.

Cross Chasm is also benefiting from a $430,000 funding round directed to the development of a smart-charging system that will better predict and accommodate the energy needs of the growing plug-in electrical vehicles market.

Miovision, founded in 2005 was the first graduate of the Accelerator Centre’s world-class incubation program. The company also announced today a $30M funding round to expand its business operations and product lines. Cross Chasm, founded in 2007 by University of Waterloo engineering grads Matt Stevens and Chris Mendes, graduated from the Accelerator Centre in 2012. In 2013, the company’s mobile app, MyCarma, won the popular choice grand prize in Apps for Vehicle Challenge, sponsored by the US Department of Energy.

You can read the full announcement details here.

AC Grad Miovision raises $30 Million to accelerate smart cities vision

Miovision Technologies, a fast-growing Kitchener company that develops technology for monitoring and controlling traffic signals, has secured $30 million in financing.

“We are pretty happy with the outcome,” chief executive officer Kurtis McBride said in an interview. “We have our sights set on being one of Canada’s iconic technology companies in the not-so-distant future.”

The “Series B” financing round, announced Wednesday, was led by MacKinnon, Bennett & Co., with participation from Investeco Capital, Renewal Funds, PlazaCorp Ventures and Comerica. It is among the biggest rounds of financing for a technology company in Waterloo Region, and is significant because most of the funds were raised in Canada.

Miovision was founded in 2005 by McBride and fellow University of Waterloo systems design engineering graduates Kevin Madill and Tony Brijpaul. It was the first startup to graduate from the Accelerator Centre incubator in Waterloo. The company’s sales have been growing between 60 and 80 per cent a year for the past six years. It will be hiring more staff to meet the increased demand expected with the pending launch of the new smart intersection technology.

To read the full article, click here.

AC Grad NetSuite TribeHR launches new service

NetSuite’s 2013 acquisition of Waterloo, Ont.-based TribeHR provided an established human capital management (HCM) solution to add to NetSuite’s existing platform.

It is no surprise that NetSuite has further developed its HCM product offering with its recent launch of NetSuite Premier Payroll Service, fully integrated with TribeHR.

Consistent with NetSuite’s business approach of “One System For Your Entire Company”, the Premier Payroll Service supports NetSuite’s integrated business solutions across all operating systems. CRM, Accounting, Sales, HCM, all talk to one another, making reporting seamless, and decision making data rich, more reliable, and more effortless.

Using the reporting capacities within TribeHR, payroll administrative issues have been automated within Premier Payroll Service. TribeHR seamlessly populates the system, avoiding duplication of effort, saving administrative costs and time, and ensuring accuracy and reliability.

To learn more, click here.