Microsoft and GainX Turn to Artificial Intelligence in the Cloud to Help Financial Services Companies More Effectively Manage their Innovation Strategy

LONDON — May 24, 2016 — GainX, an emerging leader in innovation strategy management and Microsoft Corp. today announced plans for a strategic partnership to help financial services organizations better manage their innovation and digital transformation strategies.

Built on Microsoft Azure, the GainX innovation strategy management platform leverages powerful artificial intelligence, machine learning and behavioral analytics allowing banks to bring all innovation resources, ideas, research, initiatives, and partnerships into view, accurately measure their innovation capacity against competitors, and establish a repeatable process for innovation. With the knowledge gained from the GainX platform, financial services companies can smoothly and repeatedly move from idea to market impact and quantifiably measure return on innovation investment (ROII).

GainX is currently member of the Microsoft Accelerator London’s Cohort 7. The later stage startup has been working with Microsoft since March 2017 to scale its business and penetrate global market. The two companies are currently engaged with several Fortune 500 financial services industry companies.

Through this partnership, GainX will make Microsoft Azure its preferred cloud platform. Azure provides GainX with a trusted, global cloud and a powerful data platform for intelligent services, including comprehensive machine learning and cognitive capabilities in Microsoft Cortana Intelligence Suite and SQL Server. Microsoft will make GainX its preferred partner for innovation strategy management. GainX and Microsoft will jointly work with leading financial services companies to help them envision and implement the integrated solutions. As a result, the companies’ mutual customers will be able to harness their data for critical innovation and digital transformation insights and predictions, to accelerate innovation strategy, eliminate roadblocks, and loosen the clay layers that impede ROII.

“Financial services leaders are frustrated by the current lack of transparency into the billions invested in innovation,” said Warwick Hill, CEO in Residence and Managing Director of Microsoft Accelerator London. “GainX, enabled by Microsoft Azure, provides financial services companies with Cloud-enabled intelligence allowing them to move to a more empirical model of ROII calculation. We are incredibly excited about the potential this company offers our enterprise financial services customers.”

“The majority of financial services innovators are struggling with visibility, digital strategy execution and employee resistance to change, which impedes agility. They need to see that their innovation spending is yielding real market impact,” said Angelique Mohring, CEO of GainX.  “We are honoured to be able to draw upon Microsoft’s technology, support and resources to bring our transformative technology to financial services companies in the UK and around the globe.”

About GainX

GainX (@GainXGlobal) is helping companies across the globe unleash innovation through improved insights, and a patent protected AI and machine learning SaaS platform designed to drive greater ROI on transformational strategy and innovation spend.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

 

For more information contact:

Kevin Monserrat
Marketing Manager, Microsoft Accelerator
Phone: +447773043147
Email: a-kemons@microsoft.com

 

Angelique Mohring
CEO and Founder, GainX
Phone: 1 877 313 9787
Email: angelique@gainx.com

The Future of Corporate Innovation: with PwC Canada CEO, Bill McFarland and Paul Salvini

What does industry need in order to innovate in a corporate setting? How can the startup community leverage the opportunities within industry and tackle those big problems?

We recently had the pleasure of hosting PwC Canada’s CEO, Bill McFarland, for an informal discussion with Accelerator Centre CEO, Paul Salvini, to address those questions head-on.

We all know that the Toronto-Waterloo Corridor is at the forefront of Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship, but the region’s commitment to corporate innovation is one of the things that sets us apart from other innovation clusters.

“Waterloo has been quite successful with corporate innovation. The University of Waterloo is a significant source of that success,” says Salvini. “Through their co-op placement programs, 5,400 businesses have been connected with the incredible talent within the university.”

And industry is anxious for access to the talent coming out of the University of Waterloo. According to the recent PwC CEO Survey, 80% of CEOs are thinking about how innovation or disruption will impact their businesses. “We should all be thinking about innovation and about creating a diverse economy that is strong—for our children and for our grandchildren,” adds McFarland.

Often innovation is expected, easy to anticipate and plan for, but increasingly disruption has been the accidental result of improving the customer experience. “With the unprecedented level of disruption in today’s world, innovation has become a necessity and businesses are increasingly investing in R&D and innovation centres to proactively evolve​ and create rich environments to facilitate new thinking​. ​Disruptive innovations are not always planned​ and are more likely to flourish in organizations where challenging the status quo is accepted and encouraged​,” says McFarland. “That’s right,” adds Salvini. “For example, Apple didn’t set out to make a great phone. They set out to improve their media player by adding a phone. It was all about adding value to their customers.”

While there is opportunity for innovation in every industry, entrepreneurs often struggle to get access to meaningful problems and corporations struggle to get ahead of the curve when it comes to disruptive technologies.

Some of the most exciting advances—in areas like AI, quantum computing, cybersecurity, and nanotechnology—have the potential to disrupt multiple industries and provide significant opportunity for entrepreneurs.

“There is incredible research and great ideas coming out of universities, but entrepreneurs need access to big problems to make big impact and they need help commercializing those ideas,” says Salvini.

Corporations face several roadblocks to successful innovation, most commonly:

  • Culture: A management team that resists change or is risk-averse
  • Budget: No resources to work on exploring new technologies or opportunities
  • Talent: Corporations often seem less attractive to top talent than startups
  • Structure: Too many layers that slow down or impede progress

That is where the Accelerator Centre (AC) steps in.

Through our programming and strong connections with industry leaders like PwC, the AC is able to help industry innovate. Whether through offering corporations the ability to market test new ideas and form a spin-off company like Miovision’s “Teal” or through connecting corporate leaders with talent that can help them better anticipate—or even get ahead of—change, the AC is able to help corporate organizations foster a culture of innovation and embrace change.

As the AC continues to support entrepreneurs and leaders like PwC to embrace and lead a culture of innovation, we will continue to lead the way in innovating industry.

Is healthypets.io the Next Big Thing in Pet Health Care?

Originally Published by Toronto Dog Spot

Have you ever used TeleHealth Ontario? It’s a great resource that allows nurses to triage you health needs over the phone and give you advice and direction on those pesky things that come up in life that makes you say “Hey, what do I if…?” Three years ago when I became a mom for the first time, my family physician, obstetrician, emergency doctors and nurses and other new moms recommended TeleHealth. When you’re a newbie everything seems like a big question mark, mostly because you never had to think of it before or have never been put in that situation. Clever system, really, as it reduces visits to the emergency department, long waits to see your family doctor, and it gets you answers and direction fairly quickly from the comfort of your own home.

TelePet?

If you’ve ever had a pet, or this may be your first time having a fur baby, (Congratulations!) you may be just as panicked about the unknown – and you’re not alone. I love the old Portuguese saying “No one is born knowing everything.” That phrase has gotten me through some anxiety ridden moments, let me tell you. But, the one thing that can ease the not-knowing is knowing. Figuring it out. Having someone guide you to the answer. It’s going to be okay.

Wouldn’t you know it; I came across a new, wonderful service for pet parents in Ontario. A company called healthypets.io helps pet owners avoid unnecessary, and often costly, trips to the vet when all you need is some good advice. The inception of this company came from the frustration, time, energy and money spent on taking a sick puppy, with a lot of issues, to the vet up to once a week! Soon to discover, however, that not all visits were absolutely necessary and all this pet mom really needed was some good advice. But where can one find legit veterinary council without having to go to the vet? Well, Emma Harris, founder of healthypets, thought there has to be a better way and set out to answer this very question. Just as TeleHealth has qualified nurses answering the phone, she envisioned real, live veterinarians waiting to answer your concerns. Your questions may be as simple as, “My dog ate a sock. What should I do?”, “My dog has a dry nose, should I be worried?”, or (and I kid you not) “My dog rummaged through my purse and destroyed my tampons… I don’t even know what question follows this because I can’t imagine what could happen, but what do I do?” (Shout out to my Berner Titan for this fine example!)

As a company, healthypets.io, has a very simple algorithm; their 1-2-3 “Don’t Sweat It”, “Hmmm, lets monitor this”, and “It’s serious” approach. After your triage if you fall in the first two categories, you’ve likely saved yourself a trip to the vet – and the bank. However, if it is serious, they will direct you to the vet, recommend one if you don’t have one, and, if you loved the service you got, you can keep the same vet when you actually need to take your pet in for a visit. This is a great tie-in with the “Got a Pet, Get a Vet” initiative through the SPCA. If this is your first contact with a veterinarian, it’s a great time to get one! You never know how much you need a professional until you realize you don’t have one.

Pricing

K.I.S.S. Muah – keep it simple stupid – another “words to live by” favourite of mine and healthypets does a good job of it in the pricing department. You can pay $35 per 15 minute call or you can subscribe to a yearly package for $19.99/month. Yeah, TeleHealth is free (well, not really we pay taxes for it), but we all need to make a living! Speaking of health care in Ontario, I’m going to mention my plug in for OHIP pet insurance here. It could be an optional tax for pet owners – just think about it Justin!

So, if you are a new parent to a four-legged companion and you have the first time jitters, maybe healthypets is a good place to start. I haven’t used the service myself, but I never used TeleHealth before I became a mom either. Like anything, it’s nice to know it’s there.

Would you use healthypets? Let us know what you think of their idea as a pet parental support service for the health of your furry BFF.

Startup Culture: Why Michael Litt says Vidyard will Always be a Startup

When does a startup stop being a startup? Is it at certain revenue earned, number of employees, after achieving a repeatable, scalable business model? According to Michael Litt, CEO at Vidyard, the answer is, hopefully, never.

There is much debate in the business world about when a startup loses the trendy label and transitions into a “regular company.” However, notable tech giant, Facebook, has been around for more than 10 years and employs over 1,000 people, and Airbnb has raised over $3 billion dollars to date, yet, both are still regularly acknowledged as startups. So that begs the question, what makes a startup a startup?

During our interviews for “Startup’s Guide to the Galaxy” we found one common theme among successful entrepreneurs. For them, the startup label is more than a stage of their business development, more than a metric that can be tracked and identified on a revenue statement – it’s a mindset and a culture, centred around innovation, customer experience, and continued improvement.  

We sat down with Michael to discuss Vidyard’s journey from bootstrapping to success and learn more about how Vidyard fosters a culture of continued innovation to ensure they will always be a startup.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Clinton Ball: So when is a startup no longer a startup?

Michael Litt: Good question. Startup-ism is a frame of mind. The feeling drives innovation, keeps the business fast-moving and fast-reacting. Companies that stop being startups are the ones that cease to the the most innovative and fastest-moving company in their category.

Vidyard will be a startup till the day I leave this company, because innovation and moving-fast are core mandates of mine in terms of how we retain a competitive advantage and stay ahead of the field.

Clinton Ball: That is interesting. Silicon Valley serial-entrepreneur Steve Blank says something along the lines of a startup is no longer a start up until it reaches its repeatable scalable business model, but it sounds like what you’re saying is that it’s more rooted in the culture.

Michael Litt: If you develop pockets of a repeatable, scalable business model, then that model is under threat by macro-economic things like competition or talent issues. If you’re constantly fixing these things, then that’s a big company problem.

I agree with him to a point, but businesses that get to a point when they just have one repeatable process that they manage and work on and focus on will get out innovated by new startups… so you have to keep that sense of urgency with business.

Clinton Ball: So at the level you are at now, how do you stay innovative and how do you make sure that you don’t fall into the trap of just of just being driven by business metrics and board objectives?

Michael Litt: Everyone at Vidyard is responsible for thinking creatively about new and innovative ways we can approach the market. To foster that development, we host company-wide quarterly events called “Pitch Yard” where the whole company breaks down into groups of ten or so that are cross-functionally aligned. They discuss ways Vidyard can improve our product and go to the market with something new, the present them in front of the whole company. The winning team is rewarded with a dinner anywhere they want!

The intent of Pitch Yard is to create new, inspirational ideas for how we can go and impact the market. It helps us constantly look at the field to see what the competition is doing, what companies are doing in the very early stages, and to see if there’s something that we missed in the market that someone else has picked up (and if we should focus on it too).

Clinton Ball: That’s great, so obviously a big part of it is a clear strategy around the people that you hire and how you attract them. What are some key principles that guide culture in your organization?

Michael Litt: Continued transparency is always on my mind within our business. We call this radical transparency because we communicate everything to everyone. If we expect people to be as creative as possible while making the best decisions for the business, we need to get them all the information they need to make the best decision. This is where cross-functional communication, exposure to market challenges that the company may be facing or more is vital. Whether it’s a customer service lead, a marketing rep, a sales professional, or a product developer, transparency inspires people to think creatively because everyone feels empowered to solve the problem. We hire so many problem-solvers, whether they’re makers, builders, or people with creative outlets on the side – they bring this type of thinking into the company. This is why transparency helps us collaboratively share a set of values that inspire creativity and critical thinking.

Want more pro advice from Michael? Check out “Passion vs.Purpose: Building a Startup Brand

Purpose vs. Passion: Building a Startup Brand

Passion: The powerful emotion that drives you to work for your own success.

Purpose: The why behind what you do. The impact you make on your customers, your community, the world.  

After years of working with startup founders, we’ve seen countless innovative products and services and a lot of passionate people along the way. But with so many passionate entrepreneurs, how do we select the best-of-the-best, those most likely to succeed in the AC’s Accelerator Program?

When we evaluate applications into the program, we weight founder attributes like curiosity, a willingness to continually learn, and having a clear purpose as primary criteria for admittance, and for good reason.

Passion alone is not enough. In the recipe for success, passion and purpose are needed in equal measure. If you are in it for the long haul, and you should be, passion and purpose feed into one another. Before you have an established brand, your purpose – the real problem you solve – is the first thing that helps you get customers. Your passion is what sells your customers on your ability to deliver on that purpose.

An excellent example balancing purpose and passion when building a startup is Waterloo tech company, Vidyard. We interviewed CEO, Michael Litt, to learn more about how they leveraged their purpose and passion to build the Vidyard brand.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Clinton Ball: The first question is Purpose vs. passion, what have you learned as it relates to running your business today?

Michael Litt: I would say that…Purpose and passion should be aligned. When we started Vidyard, we identified our purpose as helping businesses put their videos online. Our purpose was plain and simple. We built a long-term vision around what that could become.

My passion was always for our customers. It was the only thing I could be passionate about, because when we built Vidyard, it was just a couple co-founders and I writing code – trying to throw ideas around and see what sticks.

The passion for the product came later once we saw it in our customer’s hands, providing them with value, and changing their careers. This inevitability lead to the development of our stakeholder list, which is what I’m passionate about. That list includes our customers, Vidyardians (our staff), shareholders, and our community. The stakeholders get me out of bed every morning.

Clinton Ball: What about storytelling. What is the purpose of telling a good story and around branding?

Michael Litt: Storytelling is absolutely essential. When you start your business, you have no customers and therefore no customer stories. The only reason someone would buy something from you is because you have purpose and you’re passionate about it. You need to have a story about why you have that purpose, and why you have passion to draw your buyers in.

At scale I don’t think that changes, people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it, and that’s why both purpose and passion are both so important.

Our story was a video content production company. We made videos for businesses that didn’t know how to put them online. We built software to help them do that and then built software helped us analyze it. All of a sudden our customers realized there was huge value here, and that’s kind of when the journey started to scale. Our purpose inevitably drove our passion, and that story is what really aligned us with the first few customers.

Clinton Ball: For startups that are just starting out, what do you think is the best approach to marketing and getting that first customer? How do you sell when you don’t have a brand yet?

Michael Litt: When you’re getting started, you have to put yourself out there in front of people. It’s the only way to sell when you don’t have a brand and no one is visiting your website. When we got started, we built a crawler to scan the DMOZ for every business that had a video on their home page. That list extracted 80,000 companies. I’d spend the first few hours of every day sorting through that list, and prioritizing 100 companies that I would contact the next day. The next day, I’d contact those 100, and prioritize my list of 100 for the next day again. This happened over months.

When you have no brand, and no customers, the only way to communicate is to sell your vision, your purpose, and your passion by putting yourself out there in front of people. I’ve seen so many companies that build the digital site of their business, but they miss out on the sense of urgency to put themselves in front of the customers. Maybe they don’t have the experience, or they’re introverted so it’s scary – but it’s ultimately why the never moved into the next phase of their business.

Clinton Ball: Lean startup methodology vs. a design centric approach. In your opinion, do you think it’s a mix of both of those things, or do you prefer one over the other?

Michael Litt: Well Steve Jobs and Elon Musk both got their career started doing exactly what I just described. By the time you have the personal brand, by the time you’re Apple, by the time you’re Tesla, it’s a completely different story of design first and they will come. So we’re talking about 2 very different ecosystems. Any company story, like Nike, McDonald’s, Oakley, always has that essential starting point of like just grinding it out and putting stuff in front of people.

Clinton Ball: Speaking about first clients, how did you land them? Was it a product of many meetings, how long did it take to find someone that was willing to take the risk with Vidyard and believed in you and your vision?

Michael Litt: In the early stages of our business, we were making videos for companies, so we had a client list of those who trusted us and had bought from us. We built software to solve their problems. We were easily able to communicate what we were doing because that line of communication was already open. We were able to implement out Vidyard software in their business, and that was essential because it was a service-based sale. We were then able to talk to the customer and develop a feedback loop so that we could iterate our product accordingly.

Clinton Ball: Let’s talk about leveraging that feedback. How powerful do you think it is to leverage testimonials, and a positive customer experience in order to generate new sales?

Michael Litt: When you start your entrepreneurial journey, FOMO (fear of missing out) is a major driver for people. If you’re able to develop a relationship with someone who will be a reference for you, they’ll be able to communicate your passion and purpose about how you’ve changed the way they do business. Others will hear that, lean in, and start buying your product too. If you have someone who becomes that hook and is willing to make that commitment to you, it’s so important to hear their stories and keep the relationship strong so that you can leverage it for future buyers.

Want more pro advice from Michael? Check out part 2 of our interview with Michael “ Why Michael Litt says Vidyard will Always be a Startup.

Emmetros Launches MemorySparx One – Their First in a Suite of Products for People Who Live with Dementia

For Mary Pat Hinton, helping people who live with dementia and their care-partners have a better quality of life is personal.

Seeing her grandmother, Jean, suffer with Alzheimer’s disease in the 80’s, a time it was not well understood and there were few resources available for patients, made a lasting impact and inspired her to change the way those with dementia cope with their conditions.

As a result of her experience, Mary Pat started Emmetros – a company dedicated to creating solutions that help dementia sufferers to live independently and with dignity.

In 2016, Mary Pat joined the AC’s Accelerator Program to help guide her business to success. “Before I joined the AC, I did a lot of research into incubators and the resources available to entrepreneurs like me,” Mary-Pat explains. “I came to the AC because of their focus on long-term success and their stellar mentorship team.”

When she started Emmetros, she knew she wanted to create something bigger than a single app to support people living with dementia, and the mentors at the AC helped her build out her business in a way that will see the company develop a full suite of solutions that will work together to create an all-in-one digital solution – not only for those living with the disease, but for their families and care communities as well.

“The mentors at the AC are like an extension of my team. They are always there for me.” she explains. “They are incredibly experienced, can shift focus easily, and can go as deep into my business as I need them to. No moment spent with them is a wasted one,” she adds.

Last week, Emmetros launched MemorySparx™ One. The first application in the planned suite of solutions to support those with dementia and their families.

MemorySparx One is a digital memory aid that helps individuals living with dementia organize and recall important information like personal photos, health information, and more.

Traditionally, those living with dementia (or their families) were instructed to create paper booklets to help them organize and keep track of important information. “One of the major challenges with paper-based memory aids is keeping them up to date, while making sure that they remain easy to use and meet the changing needs of a person who is experiencing declining cognitive abilities,” Mary Pat explains.  MemorySparx One leverages decades of research on the value of those paper-based memory aids and combines it more than a thousand hours Mary Pat and her team have spent partnering with and getting to know people who live with dementia, their families, and academic researchers to create a mobile digital solution that provides these people with a way to communicate with confidence and greater independence, wherever and whenever they need to.

MemorySparx One allows users to:

  • Add and update content using intuitive templates designed with the unique needs of people with dementia in mind
  • Store personal details, captioned photos, audio recordings, and personal health information in one easy-to-access tool
  • Access information that’s important whenever and wherever it’s needed – at a doctor’s office, a social engagement, or a professional event
  • Keep track of personal health history, medications, and changes to mood or behavior so you can speak for yourself at appointments with care professionals

Emmetros’ next focus is on developing their complementary suite of products and on continuing to build out their incredible team and work culture. ‘We are fortunate to have a team of very talented and experienced people. Every one of them is incredibly passionate about our vision,” Mary Pat explains proudly. “When I started this, I never expected that people would be asking me how they could join our team, but they are and that’s pretty amazing. Every single day I wake up grateful.  There’s nothing better than that.”

MemorySparx One is available for iPad and is on the iTunes store now. For more information, visit memorysparx.com.

Media Contact:

Tabatha Laverty
Community Manager
tlaverty@acceleratorcentre.com

Freeze Frame: AC JumpStart Funding Fuels Vidhub’s Market Expansion

According to eMarketer, there were more than 77 million millennial digital video viewerso in 2015, representing 92% of all US millennial Internet users. Video is the preferred communication platform for this demographic, used for everything from entertainment, to personal communication. It is also increasingly being used for online learning, as more educators turn to video as a simple and intuitive way to better engage learners.

Shub Sengupta and Adam Zmenak are co-founders of Vidhub, a simple to use video review and collaboration tool. The two met back in 2013 at a 24 hour startup event hosted by Communitech, and felt that instant chemistry that happens when two entrepreneurs are destined to work together.  “I think we placed second or third in that competition. But more importantly, we knew we worked really well together as a team,” says Shub.

Shub, a video producer by trade, was quickly able put a new business idea on the table for the team to tackle — a platform that would allow clients to provide better, more accurate feedback to video production teams. He explains, “the video production process is not particularly collaborative. Producers typically need to set up and share footage using a video sharing platform such as YouTube or Vimeo. Then clients provide feedback via email, identifying the changes they want – for instance, I’d like to edit this section out, around five minutes into the video. But the process of collaboration is slow and it is usually really inaccurate. To give good feedback, you need to zero in on a precise second, and frame. So often, there’s a lot of back and forth between the producer and the client to get clarification. This slows down the editing time, affects both the video company and the client and often drives up costs and pushes out deadlines.”

Shub describes his brainchild, Vidhub as ‘SoundCloud comment meets Google Docs for video.’ Simply put, it lets people discuss videos online just as you would in person. Video is uploaded to Vidhub directly or from any video platform (Vimeo, YouTube, Dropbox are all supported). Everyone on the team is automatically notified, and is invited to comment. When a person begins typing a comment, the video is paused so the information can be tagged to a frame and specific time. Everyone can see all comments and can collaborate. Comments can also be exported to a PDF, subtitle or text file. A visual heat map running underneath the video allows people to view footage uninterrupted, but exposes where comments are located in each frame.

Initially, the Vidhub team focused its attention on the video production world – a market they knew well and understood. After building a solid footing, with customers using the product around the world, they are now expanding into the higher education market. “Video is now heavily used by faculty for online and blended learning, and we began getting inquiries from professors, who wanted to encourage student participation and improve learner engagement,” says Shub.

A focus on the education sector also demands more commitment from the two co-founders, who until recently have run their startup in parallel with freelance work. “We’re beginning now to gear up for buying cycles in schools leading into the fall of 2017. The education market is more hands on, and takes more focus and effort. It is a market that makes very big decisions, but not often. So we felt it was time for us to go full time on this venture.”

The move to full time has also allowed Shub and Adam to take more full advantage of the programming and mentorship offered through the Accelerator Centre to allow them take the business to the next level. The company also landed $30,000 in AC JumpStart funding, made possible through FedDev Ontario, which provided the critical fuel for growth. “It was the JumpStart funding that enabled us to finally go full time on our venture,” says Shub. “We had enough revenue to validate but not quite enough to pay the bills. JumpStart made up the difference.”

eleven-x Joins CENGN As Newest Partner

May 05, 2017 11:30 ET

WATERLOO, ON–(Marketwired – May 05, 2017)

eleven-x™, Canada’s first and only Low Power Wide Area Network employing LoRa® Technology, is pleased to announce that it has joined Canada’s CENGN (Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networking) as the consortium’s newest Partner.

The partnership between the two companies will utilize CENGN’s lab infrastructure and SDN/ NFV engineering expertise, along with eleven-X’s long-range wide area network technology to provide small to medium enterprises (SMEs) with the opportunity to test and validate their Internet of Things (IoT) innovations in a real environment.

Providing a carrier-grade network that is purpose-built for applications focused on IoT, eleven-x utilizes LoRaWAN™protocol to offer low cost connectivity and data communications for Enterprise IoT, Industrial IoT and Smart City initiatives.

Featuring low power consumption, extended battery life of up to 20 years and long-range capabilities, the eleven-x network facilitates real return on investment. With a wide variety of uses such as Asset Tracking, Lighting Control (streets and buildings), Water Flow Monitoring and Metering, Health Monitoring, Environmental Monitoring and Soil Moisture and Nutrient Monitoring, the ability for all types of organizations across Canada to become more efficient while reducing costs is possible now.

CENGN’s goal is to strengthen Canada’s leadership in global ICT and next generation networking. By partnering with eleven-x, CENGN will be able to leverage eleven-x’s technology to enable SMEs to test their products and services in the CENGN environment, and accelerate their time to market. This will catalyze the growth of SMEs, and the ICT sector as a whole.

“We’re extremely excited to join the CENGN team and truly look forward to engaging with them and other member organizations to fully realize the promise of IoT with our next-generation network for the Canadian marketplace.” said Dan Mathers, Chairman and Co-Founder of eleven-x.

“CENGN is constantly looking for ways to facilitate Canadian SMEs’ ability to demonstrate their innovations,” says CENGN President and CEO, Ritch Dusome. “With the help of partners like eleven-x and the addition of their LoRaWAN Technology, CENGN will be able to provide better support to SMEs hoping to push their products to market on a global scale.”

“It’s because of these types of partnerships with CENGN that Canada can now aggressively move forward, taking advantage of the benefits of IoT. Private and Public sector organizations can immediately reduce costs and discover new revenue opportunities.” Said Ryan Hickey, CEO and Co-Founder of eleven-x.

“We’re all looking forward to the influx of projects that will be an outcome of eleven-x’s partnership and contributions to the CENGN Smart Infrastructure,” says Richard Waterhouse, VP marketing and Business Development. “It will be interesting to see which companies will be first to take advantage of the addition of this technology and how their success will shape our world today and in the future.”

About CENGN – Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks

Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN), an NCE (Networks of Centres of Excellence) funded CECR (Centres of Excellence for Commercialization and Research), is a consortium of industry, academic and research leaders dedicated to accelerating the commercialization of next generation communications solutions. CENGN’s internationally recognized testing centre employs interoperability between multiple software and hardware products, providing a unique environment to commercialize advanced products, applications and services. Our fully operational data centre is running a production OpenStack environment with multiple connections to a real-world WAN including a dark fibre connection that enables connectivity speeds of more than 100Gbps. CENGN services include; Proof of Concept (PoC) validation and hosting, interoperability/performance/ certification testing, technical training (SDN, NFV, IPv6, ODL, OpenStack, Innovation for Hire and Commercialization Acceleration.

CENGN members include: Cisco, EXFO, GENBAND, Fujitsu, Invest Ottawa, Juniper, Nokia, Rogers, TELUS, VIAVI, Wind River, and Zayo Canada.

About eleven-x

eleven-x is a network operator enabling the Internet of Things. Our purpose-built low power wide area network is the first of its kind in Canada, providing connectivity for a wide variety of sensors and applications. Our network enables customers in the private and public sectors to efficiently and cost effectively manage assets, create connected cities, and realize environmental sustainability. For more information go to www.eleven-x.com.

The Accelerator Centre Announces the Next Cohort of Startups in their Accelerator Program

May 9, 2017

We are pleased to announce the companies that will comprise the 3rd cohort of our redesigned Accelerator Program.

These 8 companies will enter Phase One of our world renowned incubation program. Startups in the program are selected through a competitive application process and represent the best-of-the-best in technology and entrepreneurship in the region and around the world.

The companies joining the 3rd cohort are:

Company Name Description Founders
Cassle Inc. Real Estate Technology Sunny Khangura
eDropBy Solution Inc. Package Transportation Platform Jeff (Tai) Zhao
Equi-App Equestrian Learning Platform Alex Reinfels
Foober Student Meal Delivery Service Brad McGill
Monarch Clothing Medical Garment System Pat Quinn
Overture Donor Forum Ltd Not-for-Profit Donor Engagement Platform Herb and Joanne Shoveller
Unnamed Internet Security Company Derek Wong and Kathryn Vandenberg
Unnamed  Service Provider Referral Platform for Homeowners Jake Gibson
Unnamed Ecommerce Mohammad Ghanbari

“We are pleased to announce the third cohort of startups into our Accelerator Program. We see great promise in this group and are happy to be supporting such a wide variety of technologies and industries. We are excited to see them build and scale successful, global businesses.”  – Paul Salvini, CEO, Accelerator Centre.

Phase One is the first of four phases within our recently restructured two-year incubation program. The program offers customized, milestone-based programming alongside our proven mentorship model. At the end of the Phase Four, our clients graduate with confidence, knowing all areas of their business are ready for long-term success.

For more information on our clients, our programming, or to learn how to apply for the next cohort visit www.acceleratorcentre.com.

Media Contact:

Tabatha Laverty
Community Manager
tlaverty@acceleratorcentre.com

The Startup’s Guide to the Galaxy: No BS Advice from Successful Entrepreneurs and Tech Leaders

Entrepreneurship is cool, it’s sexy, and if you live in an innovation district like Waterloo or Silicon Valley, it’s part of pop culture.

It seems everyone is a founder of something nowadays. Unicorns are no longer just for children and the lure of the “Be your own boss!” message is stronger than ever. But, just like the most pop culture phenomena, startup culture doesn’t show you the whole story.

The truth is starting a company, particularly a tech company, is harder than it seems. For every one winner there are nine losers. Entrepreneurship is a career choice that requires specific skill, instinct, resilience, and a passion for delivering value.

But, if you can pull it off, building a successful company is highly rewarding.

Through my experiences designing programming at a world-renowned startup incubator, I see the entrepreneur’s journey – successes and failures – every day. My goal is to give startup founders and intrapreneurs the truth about building out innovative products and services, and to provide them with answers to questions about entrepreneurship that are hard to ask and, sometimes, hard to get honest answers to. “The Startup’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a digital coffee date with dozens of high profile startup founders, intrapreneurs, and mentors, like Mike Litt from Vidyard, Loren Padelford from Shopify, and Jana Levene from Google.

The posts in this series are samples of the interviews from a publication currently in development. Over the next several months, we will share these leaders’ no BS stories of entrepreneurship and get their take on what it is really like to start a technology company. We hope that the series will inspire you to be smart, plan for your successes, learn from your failures, and be a successful, kick-ass entrepreneur.

About the Authors

Clinton Ball is the Director of Client Programs and Initiatives at the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo, Ontario.  As the co-founder of a small software company, Clinton can relate to those building out a technology company and is passionate about helping other entrepreneurs build and scale their companies. When he’s not designing or delivering Accelerator Centre Programming you can find Clinton reading up on the latest marketing, technology and entrepreneurship resources, exploring a new trail or coffee spot, or trying to get better at his swing on the golf course.

 

 

Tabatha Laverty is the Community Manager at the Accelerator Centre. As a passionate storyteller and digital marketer, she has worked with entrepreneurs, not-for-profits, and public service agencies for 5 years – helping them develop content, share their stories, and build their brands. When she isn’t writing or meeting new entrepreneurs, you can find her spending time with her husband and 2 young children.

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