APPLYBOARD RAISES $17 MILLION TO IMPROVE INT’L STUDENT APPLICATIONS WITH AI

Original Source: BetaKit
By: Amira Zubairi

Waterloo-based ApplyBoard, an AI-enabled marketplace that allows international students to apply to study at higher education institutions around the world, has raised a $17 million Series A CAD.

The funding was led by Artiman Ventures, with follow-on investments from early investors 500 Startups, Candou Ventures, Think+, and others.

Launched in 2015, ApplyBoard aims to change the application process for international students. The company’s platform curates a student’s profile based on their academic background, desired program of study, and financial situation. Using AI, the platform then matches students with a list of correlated schools and programs.

The company says that by pre-vetting applications and advising students in the Visa process results in a 95 percent acceptance rate.

To date, ApplyBoard said it has partnered with 750 high schools, colleges, and universities across North America.

“There is a massively underserved market for international study,” said Martin Basiri, CEO and co-founder of ApplyBoard. “Millions encounter the same problem, such as collecting the required documents and securing a student visa, every year. The company was built from my own experiences and challenges as an international student. We created ApplyBoard to offer our expertise and help other students with their application process.”

ApplyBoard said it plans to use the funding towards growing the company and further developing its platform. The company’s broader goal is to make education accessible to students around the world, regardless of their nationality or location.

“The majority of the seven million international students will struggle to find their ideal colleges, and instead will select where they spend the next four years and potentially the rest of their lives, based upon internet searches and random chance,” said Akhil Saklecha, partner at Artiman Ventures. “ApplyBoard applies technology to a very manual process, creating a highly efficient application solution for students and colleges globally.”

Kik Launches New Ways to Earn and Spend Kin

Popular Chat Platform Becomes the First Consumer App to Use Kin Blockchain

WATERLOO, Ontario, June 27, 2018 (Newswire.com) – Kik Interactive, Inc., creator of the popular chat platform Kik, today announced new experiences powered by the cryptocurrency Kin. Chat themes, a new feature for customizing chat screens, are now available to users. Kik users also have more opportunities to earn Kin, then spend their Kin on premium versions of the new chat themes feature via the Kin Marketplace Beta, a central place for Kin experiences. These are the first experiences running on the Kin Blockchain.

‘Forest Monsters’ premium theme available for Android (PRNewsfoto/Kik Interactive, Inc.)

“Our goal is to make Kin the most used cryptocurrency in the world and getting Kin into the hands of more Kik users is a critical step in achieving this,” said Ted Livingston, founder and CEO of Kik and Kin. “Blockchain is a new and complex technology, but consumers don’t have to understand the technology in order to use it. With these new experiences, we want to demonstrate how simple and seamless cryptocurrency-driven experiences can be.”

A sample of approximately 1,000 Kik users can now earn Kin by completing tasks, including a tutorial, quizzes, and polls. In exchange for their time, users will earn a preset amount of Kin that is based on the complexity level of the task. These users will then have access to premium themes that customize a user’s chat screen.

Kin continues advancing its blockchain technology, which recently achieved 1.2 million transactions per day at a rate of 20 transactions per second. As Kin pushes boundaries in the blockchain space, Kik will use Kin as a pillar of its product strategy, supporting Kin’s mission to drive mainstream adoption of cryptocurrency. Kik plans to scale Kin-powered experiences to all users and will continue working toward introducing a creator marketplace where users will have the ability to create content, like their own chat themes, that can be accessed with Kin.

The Kin Marketplace Beta and Kin are currently available in Kik for Android devices. For more information on Kik, visit https://www.kik.com/. To learn more about Kin, visit https://kinecosystem.org.

About Kin Ecosystem Foundation
The Kin Ecosystem Foundation is a Canadian nonprofit corporation established for the governance of the cryptocurrency Kin and is tasked with growing an open ecosystem of digital services. The foundation will oversee the Kin Ecosystem on matters, including development of the Kin Rewards Engine, membership, security, and the ecosystem’s transition to a fully decentralized model that operates independently of Kik. For more information, please visit https://kinecosystem.org.

About Kik
Kik Interactive, Inc., connects the world through chat. The company is the maker of Kik, a chat platform popular where people can chat with friends and connect with chat-based services. Founded in 2009, Kik Interactive, Inc. is headquartered in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and has offices in New YorkTel Aviv, and Toronto. For more information, please visit https://www.kik.com.

 

SOURCE Kik Interactive, Inc.

Related Links

http://kik.com

We’re Hiring! Guest Service Coordinator

The Accelerator Centre requires a dynamic and energetic person who loves to help people to fill an exciting position in a fast-paced entrepreneurial work space. The ideal candidate must have excellent communication skills, be a master of multi-tasking and take on projects and initiatives without much guidance.

Reporting to the Manager, Operations and Administration, the Guest Services Coordinator is the “executive of first impressions” and the face of the AC to all clients, stakeholders and visitors. This position will play a critical role in ensuring that front reception, and our facilities (meeting rooms, common areas and client spaces) are maintained with a world-class approach and attitude.  Other responsibilities include supporting events & one-many programming.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

Guest Services:

  • Manage first impressions – provide reception support, greet guests, direct visitors and respond to client company needs and inquires.
  • Assist clients, staff, and visitors with meeting room requests including, but not limited to; setting up calendar bookings, room availability, correcting booking conflicts, room transfers, A/V set up, food order delivery and set up.
  • Maintain visitor management software and host list.
  • Triage requests and provide direction or assistance for basic enquiries.
  • Assist with internal/social committee activities, supporting community organizations and charitable opportunities.
  • Be the Chief Everything Officer (CEO), find opportunity in every task and support the company and team.

Facility:

  • Process mail, courier and packages for all resident companies and tenants. Notify external parties of their shipments.
  • Route phone calls to corresponding parties including staff and clients.
  • Maintain meeting rooms and common areas and manage all aspects of the networking area.
  • Monitor and stock community supplies in the kitchen, meeting rooms and copier room.
  • Manage vendor relationships with suppliers for janitorial, office supplies, security, IT and service providers to provide continual support for clients.
  • Assist with events – communications, RSVP lists, food & beverage and technical needs as required.
  • Order supplies for staff – office supplies, food & drinks, IT, ect.
  • Troubleshoot photocopier, A/V, and IT issues for staff and clients.

Administrative: 

  • Assist with the administration of internal process and procedures.
  • Assist with the management of client and stakeholder contact information.
  • Manage and reconcile petty cash and complete bi-weekly cheque deposits.
  • Assist with the organization of the electronic filing system.

DESIRED SKILLS & EXPERIENCE

  • Post-secondary education or related experience in administration, reception, operations, or related disciplines
  • Conducts business with a professional, upbeat attitude, leading by example with a positive team attitude in all aspects
  • Strong commitment to providing exceptional customer experiences for clients, visitors and industry partners
  • Clear verbal and written communication skills
  • Assertive, confident and thrives under pressure
  • Excellent organizational, trouble-shooting, and interpersonal skills

Download the full job description. 

HOW TO APPLY

Please submit your resume and cover letter to careers@acceleratorcentre.com by July 6, 2018 at 5pm. We thank all interested candidates for their applications, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

COMMITMENT TO DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
The Accelerator Centre is committed to fostering a diverse community that is dedicated to supporting entrepreneurs from all backgrounds.

A full range of perspectives, lifestyles, and passions are key to creating the inclusive, entrepreneurial environment that is necessary to help our clients build and scale globally competitive companies. Diversity and inclusion at the Accelerator Centre means we are dedicated to the elimination of discrimination, in all its forms, at all levels of our organization and in our programming.

We welcome applications from qualified candidates of all backgrounds regardless of age, physical ability, gender, race, religion, and sexual orientation. We will provide any requested accommodation to candidates with disabilities throughout the recruitment process. If you require assistance, please contact careers@acceleratorcentre.com noting the job title in the subject line of the email.

APrivacy Launches First of Its Kind APrivacy Bot on WhatsApp for the Financial Service Industry

Original Source: Newswire 
Published: June 26, 2018

  APrivacy, a leading provider of digital security solutions for Financial Services, announced today its new solution, APrivacy Bot on WhatsAppTM, which is poised to transform how banks and insurance companies engage with their customers. APrivacy offers a fully programmable chatbot, or connection with an existing chatbot, providing interactions with customers directly over WhatsApp, the world’s most popular messaging service.

Uniquely, APrivacy Bot leverages WhatsApp by providing a personal communication experience for customers within their favourite messaging app without the need to install any other software. Integrated within the APrivacy suite of products, the solution also supports the additional ability for customers to be seamlessly transferred to a secure chat session for more sophisticated transactions, such as placing trades, or full servicing by a human agent. All communications are fully recorded for compliance purposes. APrivacy’s in-depth business intelligence analytics further enhances the tailored customer experience.

“APrivacy’s mission is to help Financial Services companies enhance the digital experiences they offer. Our new Bot on WhatsApp is in line with this approach and extends our offering with a new and convenient way to engage with customers on WhatsApp,” says APrivacy Founder and CEO, Dr. Cédric Jeannot.

The fast-growing trend is to move away from portals and apps with static menus and move towards conversational interfaces where customers can immediately ask questions and provide instructions over messaging. People are now used to texting. In fact, 90% of time spent on a smartphone is spent on email and messaging platforms. Messaging apps are the platforms of the future, and chatbots are the new tools users will use to access all sorts of services.

Dr. Jeannot further commented, “WhatsApp has over 1.5 billion users and so by leveraging this popular channel Financial Services companies can spread the net far and wide with whom they can do business with.”

About APrivacy

APrivacy is an award-winning company which combines military-grade data security with seamless user experience on any platform, any device, anywhere. APrivacy’s technology allows the Financial Services industry to confidently communicate with clients using their favourite channels leading to increased revenues and reduced costs while meeting the strictest regulatory requirements.

Learn more about APrivacy: www.aprivacy.com  

Media inquiries: media@aprivacy.com

Site Safety Solutions creates Rebar: An Easy to Use software Solution for Construction Site Safety Compliance

For Annamaria Bartolomucci, CEO of Site Safety Solutions, health and safety on construction sites is a personal passion.  As a construction business owner, she is responsible for the safety of her employees and for ensuring her business remains compliant with safety regulations. After being personally affected by a work-related tragedy, Annamaria founded Site Safety Solutions and created ‘Rebar’ with a mission to make safety compliance an easier process for construction owners like herself.

The construction industry, like many others in the trades, have a number of responsibilities to ensure a construction site and its workers are safe. However, many contractors are still using antiquated paper methods to keep track of these policies and procedures.

With all the day-to-day responsibilities construction companies face, the health and safety of workers is a top priority. The health and safety compliance paperwork can overwhelm even the most efficient business operation, which is why Annamaria dreamed up an ideal system that would help her and other business owners.

In 2016, Site Safety Solutions started to come to life with the help of The Accelerator Centre Program and seed funding from AC JumpStart. Through the program, Annamaria was able to invest into the development of the software and begin testing it within her own construction company. Now, her company uses the software every day to run a more safe and efficient business.

“As we were building the software, I knew that other construction business owners would benefit and want it too. My ultimate dream is to create change across the industry and we have big plans for that.”

Annamaria and her team are currently beta testing the product with a number of companies, creating custom on-boarding processes, and learning how to further market the product to their target users: Condo Development Companies, Home Builders, Contractors & Sub-contractors. She explains how this is a solution that will change the industry, but there is still work to do yet,

“There is still a lot of work to do in terms of educating those leading in the industry. The idea of changing over the paper-based system is scary because most business owners are already busy as it is running the business and making the change to tech seems like too much of a headache for them. In reality, it is a simple and efficient switch, which we help with, and the fact that it is tapping into existing mobile and digital behaviours, a lot of the team members pick it up with ease because they are already accustomed to being on their smart-phones. It is a new approach to the industry by tapping into present day tech and behaviours.”

Rebar was recently nominated as one of three chosen out of two hundred companies for “Start-up Of The Year” by the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, were recognized in the Grand Valley Construction Journal and presented Rebar at the “What the Tech Event” run by Grand Valley Construction Association.

Site Safety Solutions is ramping up for a full launch of Rebar in 2018 and are thrilled to bring a simple, affordable and easy to use software to market, that allows other business owners and their teams an easy way to manage health and safety responsibilities, maintain an electronic audit trail needed for compliance and reduce risk overall.

To connect with Annamaria or to learn more about Rebar, visit: http://www.sitesafetysolutions.ca/

Accelerator Centre Announces AC JumpStart Program Cohort 8

Waterloo, Ontario – The Accelerator Centre is pleased to announce Cohort 8 of the AC JumpStart program. These 24 companies will receive a critical injection of $30,000 in seed funding and $10,000 of professional mentorship under the Accelerator Centre’s world-class mentorship model.

With the inclusion of these 24 companies, the program has now supported 192 early stage start-ups through an $8M investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and has resulted in 100 new products being brought to market, 562 full-time jobs, and over $1.6M in revenue.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support programs, such as AC JumpStart, that serve as an invaluable resource for our innovative, start-up companies. It is this kind of support that helps small- and medium-sized businesses scale up and bring great ideas to market faster, and that leads to the creation of good-paying local jobs. Congratulations to all of the successful companies under this new cohort! ”

The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Member of Parliament for Waterloo

The AC JumpStart Cohort 8 recipients are:

Ark Paradigm
Baysil Inc.
Brink Bionics Inc.
Consolidated Learning Inc.
Curio Inc.
Glove Systems Inc.
Guard-Ex Corp.
IVD Workforce Corp
Livescape Inc
Maple Precision
Mirage VR Inc.
Mirsee Robotics Inc.
Mmsense Technologies Inc
Novalte Inc.
Ocuflow
Phyxter Corp.
Polygone Technologies Inc.
Quote Kong Ltd.
SannTek Labs Inc.
Shiftride Inc.
Soundscape.io
Technology Trace Inc.
Terrene. co
Visionary Semiconductor
Xenium Information Technology Corporation

AC JumpStart is delivered by the Accelerator Centre in partnership with Conestoga College, Laurier and the University of Waterloo.

Visit our website for a list of past AC JumpStart grant recipients

About AC JumpStart

AC JumpStart is funded by FedDev Ontario and delivered in partnership with Conestoga College, Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo.

The AC JumpStart program began in January 2015, with three cohorts of companies participating in the program in 2015, and two cohorts annually in subsequent years. Each cohort receives funding and mentorship over a 12-month period. Over the four year term, the program will support 180 companies. 

About the Accelerator Centre

Our world-renowned, four phase accelerator program was developed based on our proven methods and best practices from accelerators and incubators around the world. The program, combined with our proven mentorship model, gives you the resources and guidance you need to grow all areas of your business, get your product to market faster, increase sales, and scale.

For more information visit www.acceleratorcentre.com.

About FedDev Ontario

FedDev Ontario delivers programs and services to help create, retain and grow businesses, cultivate partnerships and build strong communities. The Agency’s programming is designed to support a strong southern Ontario economy and position the region to compete globally.

For more information visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca.

###

For more information contact:
Tabatha Laverty
tlaverty@acceleratorcentre.com

Geotab Acquires FleetCarma, Positioning Geotab as Dominant Player for Electric Vehicle Fleet Management

Original Source: Business Wire
Published: June 12, 2018

TORONTO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Geotab, a global leader in IoT and connected transportation, today announced the acquisition of clean-tech solution provider, FleetCarma. Specializing in Electric Vehicle (EV) telematics, FleetCarma is a forerunner in the electric vehicle industry, providing technology that has been critical to the adoption and operation of EVs for over 10 years.

The acquisition of FleetCarma accelerates Geotab’s long-standing commitment to investing in the people and technology required to be the global leader in telematics for EVs. With the adoption of electric vehicles increasing over the past several years, resulting in more than 3 million EVs on the road today, Geotab is positioned to be the global, dominant telematics player for electric vehicle fleet management.

“Geotab’s long-standing commitment to sustainability and innovation is further amplified by the acquisition of FleetCarma,” said Neil Cawse, CEO, Geotab. “We are excited to expand our presence in the EV space and offer our current and future customers a reliable telematics solution to help meet their changing business and fleet needs.”

The highly talented, EV-focused team at FleetCarma, which is based in “Silicon Valley North” within Waterloo, Ontario, specializes in providing telematics for hybrid and electric vehicles. With customers in North America and Europe, FleetCarma also empowers utility companies to understand and manage the impact that EV charging has on the electric grid.

“Combining FleetCarma’s unique EV telematics capabilities with Geotab’s proven open-platform solution is exactly what our customers want and the industry needs,” stated Matt Stevens, CEO of FleetCarma. “Together, as we continue to drive electric vehicle adoption, we will provide a complete solution that will not only benefit customers, but society as well.”

“With this acquisition, Geotab is now strongly positioned to help accelerate the uptake and EV infrastructure planning amongst both fleets and communities around the world,” added Cawse.

About FleetCarma

FleetCarma, is an award-winning clean-tech information and technology company that has been providing solutions to manage and accelerate the transition to electric vehicles (EVs), since 2007. A robust cloud platform and specialized hardware are at the core of the company’s global product offering. FleetCarma manages hundreds of active client engagements around the globe which include electric utilities, municipal and federal governments, military and commercial fleets and transportation research labs. FleetCarma’s technology solutions are critical to managing the transition to an electric transportation infrastructure. In short, FleetCarma drives electric vehicle adoption.

About Geotab

Geotab is advancing security, connecting commercial vehicles to the internet and providing web-based analytics to help customers better manage their fleets. Geotab’s open platform and Marketplace, offering hundreds of third-party solution options, allows both small and large businesses to automate operations by integrating vehicle data with their other data assets. As an IoT hub, the in-vehicle device provides additional functionality through IOX Add-Ons. Processing billions of data points a day, Geotab leverages data analytics and machine learning to help customers improve productivity, optimize fleets through the reduction of fuel consumption, enhance driver safety, and achieve strong compliance to regulatory changes. Geotab’s products are represented and sold worldwide through Authorized Geotab Resellers. To learn more, please visit www.geotab.com and follow us @GEOTAB and on LinkedIn.

Magnusmode: Making the World More Accessible for Those with Special Needs

Magnusmode® was founded out of a necessity and a passion. Nadia Hamilton, the company Founder, is the sibling of a young man with autism.  Growing up, she noticed how he struggled to do daily activities, like brushing teeth, on his own, yet he thrived when he was able to follow step-by-step instructions that Nadia herself created. She realized that when given the right tools, he was able to manage and complete tasks with greater independence, confidence, comfort, and ease. It was those early experiences with her brother that ultimately inspired the creation of Magnusmode and its flagship product, a mobile app called MagnusCards™.

MagnusCards is mobile app that community venues, corporations, and organizations (like the Royal Ontario Museum, Colgate-Palmolive, Toronto Pearson Airport, A&W and many more) use to provide step-by-step guidance for those with special needs, much like Nadia did for her brother. The mobile app has a central character, Magnus, who partners with other brand mascots (like CIBC’s Percy Penguin) to deliver life skills guidance in their area of expertise. For example, Magnus teams up with CIBC’s Percy Penguin to teach money management skills!  For people with special needs, the world can be a loud, scary and overwhelming place and Magnus and his friends help them to focus and manage activities with decreased stress and greater independence.

“People with autism and other cognitive challenges need and want access to museums, airports, public transit, and grocery stores. They have a right to these spaces like everyone else, yet they face invisible barriers to inclusion and independence. MagnusCards provides a digital roadmap and a friendly guide to daily life at home and in the community.” 

 

Since its launch in 2015, MagnusCards has been downloaded by with users in 77 countries and has over 30 corporate clients across North America.

The magic of MagnusCards is that it helps companies to increase accessibility, while connecting, engaging, and enabling customers with cognitive special needs. Today, in just 4-6 weeks, Magnusmode can deliver custom, branded, digital Card Decks that enable companies to join this Accessibility Movement.

It all started in 2011, when Nadia  entered and won ‘Project Wildfire’ a business pitch competition run through the Centre for Social Innovation. With that initial funding, she outsourced the development of the app to developers in China, and partnered with several Ontario-based autism organizations to test and refine the app. Magnusmode went from a neat idea to a business when companies began paying to create branded content on the MagnusCards platform.

The team continues to improve upon their existing app and have plans for new products in the future that build on relationships with CIBC, Colgate, and others. Presently, the team is located at the Accelerator Center in Waterloo Ontario, where they have three full-time employees, approximately 15 contractors, a development team in Costa Rica and they are currently hiring in several areas. The company has several private investors, including funding from the Golden Triangle Angel Network.

And the growth continues, Magnusmode continues to double revenue year over year, and has a goal of tripling revenue by the end of their fiscal year in October. Nadia shares,

” Our main focus right now is making our customers and users happy, exploring the building of new products for them, making sure we have all the right players on our team and continuing to build a product that is changing people’s lives for the better.”

Magnusmode and their client, Colgate-Palmolive, are co-recipients of the 2018 Change Maker Award from QSAC (Quality Services for the Autism Community). Nadia was also the recent recipient of the 2018 Harry Jerome Young Entrepreneur Award from the BBPA, Black Business and Professional Association. It was a special milestone for her and the company as she was able to attend the award ceremony with her brother, and two of Magnusmode’s clients as guests, respectively from CIBC & Colgate.

“The mentorship at the Accelerator Centre has been so helpful in several areas including sales, product development, human resources, and marketing.  I feel they are part of a broader team, working together to build a foundation that will enable us to scale operations across North America and worldwide”

Magnusmode looks forward to the continued growth and success of the company and mobile app that’s sole purpose is to educate, empower and connect individuals, companies and customers in their daily lives. “There is still a lot of work to be done, and we’ve never been more passionate or excited to do that work. It’s wonderfully fulfilling (and challenging) to be able to build a business that solves a problem, I’m so thankful to my team, Magnusmode investors, and our customers for enabling this vision.”

To connect with Nadia, join the accessibility movement with your company, or learn more about Magnusmode, please visit: https://www.magnusmode.com/ 

Accelerator Centre Announces Clean Tech Scholarship Award Recipients

June 5, 2018

In celebration of World Environment Day, the Accelerator Centre (AC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Clean Tech Scholarship Award.

This award, provided in partnership with Sustainable Waterloo Region and the Ontario Trillium Fund, allows local entrepreneurs that are innovating in the sustainable technologies, smart buildings, and renewable energy industries to join the Accelerator Centre’s world-renowned programming and rapidly accelerate their growth.

The program is part of the evolvGREEN initiative, a collaborative project between the Accelerator Centre, Sustainable Waterloo Region, the City of Waterloo, the Region of Waterloo, University of Waterloo, Laurier, and the Accelerator Centre. The project, which will be located in the Cora group’s evolv1 building, Canada’s first net positive, zero carbon office building, provides a space to bring together entrepreneurs, industry leaders, academia and corporate partners to build a community of people that are passionate about the environment, a clean economy and the well-being of themselves and those around them.

“evolvGREEN will house a community of local startups, government officials, academic institutions, and industry partners that are committed to supporting a sustainable economy and workplace wellness – the perfect home for entrepreneurs looking to make waves in the clean tech space. We are pleased to be able to offer program scholarships to these exceptional companies to help them build and grow their companies in this exciting new facility.”  – Dr. Paul Salvini, CEO, Accelerator Centre

“Sustainable Waterloo Region is thrilled to be partnered with the AC on the clean tech accelerator program and we are excited to be working together to foster an increase in clean technology in a one of a kind sustainable building, the Cora Group’s evolv1. This project is a big step to proving what is possible in sustainable businesses, building and creating a clean economy.” – Tova Davidson, Executive Director, Sustainable Waterloo Region

Award Recipients

For more information contact:
Tabatha Laverty
Community Manager
tlaverty@acceleratorcentre.com

 

 

Phyxter: AI for Independent Contractors in the Skilled Trades Industry

Jake Gibson grew up with a skilled trades family. His father owned a business in the skilled trades and his brother followed suit. After Jake graduated from University, he too entered into the skilled trades working as a Journeyman before moving to the sales side of the industry. That’s when he began noticing the inefficiencies that business owners, contractors, and freelancers experience on a daily basis. Although there were numerous business management tools available to business owners, Jake noticed a general avoidance of them among independent contractors. He wondered if there was a way to build a new platform that would better serve the specific needs of skilled trades business owners. Jake knew that business owners, like his father and brother, wore too many hats on a daily basis. Without the help of an easy-to-use, intuitive, business management tool, the work days and hours would keep piling up. He started thinking of a solution, which ultimately led to the creation of Phyxter.

Phyxter is a mobile platform that uses artificial intelligence and behavioral science to maximize profit by providing independent contractors with a virtual business partner. The platform is built specifically for independent contractors who desire both profitability and a healthy work-life balance. Simply put, Phyxter helps business owners work less, work smarter, and make more money.

Jake was still living in Utah as a successful sales manager when an advisor suggested that he apply to an incubator/ accelerator to assist in building Phyxter, noting that there were plenty of great options in Ontario. After careful consideration of various programs, Jake was most interested in the Accelerator Center because of their program structure. He applied immediately and was accepted, which meant leaving his career and moving back home to Canada. A big decision, for sure, but he knew it was the right one. Jake was thrilled about his new venture, he had the support of his friends and family, and he now had the Accelerator Centre program to help guide the way.

“The phased approach to business development, a curriculum with step-by-step guidance, milestones to work toward and mentor feedback is exactly the way I like to do things. I love learning and I love that the AC had their program set up for people who want to continually learn and grow. So, I applied and after I was accepted I quit my job in Utah and moved back to Ontario to take my shot at the entrepreneurial dream.”

After Jake moved to Toronto and found a co-founder and CTO in long-time friend Ben Fagan, Phyxter officially incorporated in May of 2017. Phyxter has evolved since its inception into a platform that merges artificial intelligence with behavioral science in order to mimic an experienced business partner. It allows independent contractors in the skilled trades service industry to automate their workflows, help them with their daily business decisions to get positive results, and increases their productivity so they can go home earlier or find additional profitable work, whichever they desire. More than a collection of features, Phyxter will be the smartest way for independent contractors to be more productive at work, to provide the highest quality service, and to have more time and money to do the things they love.

Jake describes the experience of building the company so far as incredible.

“We are having an absolute blast! The learning curve is huge – the community is so supportive, and the ecosystem in Ontario is perfect for learning and growing”
 

The leadership team started by completing thorough rounds of market research to fully understand the problem they aim to solve, then they moved into product development and are currently performing user testing. They anticipate launching near the end of 2018. The current team consists of Jake, Ben, a team of three developers, and a handful of knowledgeable and experienced advisors.

In 2018, the team is looking forward to beta-testing the MVP product and getting additional feedback from business owners. They’re also looking forward to launching the product, fundraising, and continuing to develop strategic partnerships. They have already solidified a number of aligned partnerships with companies that provide value-add benefits for platform users which reach beyond their tech.

Jake reflects on his inspiration and the core of the company’s values,

“My father was an entrepreneur, and my brother is one now…so if we can build a product that not only helps him to be more successful but also one that he’ll actually use then we’ll have succeeded. There are a lot of things we have to build to get this done and build them in a way that’s truly inviting. It’s important for all of us to always remember that we’re building this for independent contractors, so before every decision we make we need to ask ourselves three questions; do our customers need this, will they use it, and most importantly would our mothers be proud of us for making this decision. In the end we want to give something to entrepreneurs that will help them succeed, whether their definition is that they want to make more money or that they want to spend more quality time with their family, whatever it is Phyxter believes that technology should empower them to do it.”

Being a business owner or independent contractor can be an exciting but stressful job, and Phyxter’s mission is to remove the stress and maximize the excitement by giving business management tools an overhaul in the best possible way.

To learn more or discuss a partnership with Phyxter, please visit: https://www.phyxter.ai/

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