Sienci Labs Closes Out Their Second Massively Successful Kickstarter Campaign

Closing their second successful Kickstarter campaign at an impressive $436,197 Sienci Labs has demonstrated there is an active and growing market for their unique rapid prototyping tool – the maker community has clearly shown up and said “YES we want this.”

Who are Sienci Labs?

Sienci Labs emerged out of a desire to create low-cost mechanical, rapid prototyping tools for builders, manufacturers and makers with a focus on tools like CNC machines, 3D printers and laser cutters. The team aims to make this technology and their automated tools accessible for both technical and non-technical makers alike, allowing small and large scale projects to be done faster and more efficiently – without breaking the bank or without needing to be an engineer.

Sienci Labs operates out of the Accelerator Centre’s Hardware Innovation Lab at 44 Gaukel Street in Kitchener where specialized programming and facilities completely empowers them to build, create and test their systems.

As an Accelerator Program client and AC Jumpstart graduate, founder Andy Lee remarks on the valuable mentorship and connections they’ve created, are still a big part of their success and support system.

“The Accelerator Centre has been a big part of our company since we first started, from being part of the AC Jumpstart program and now as a AC client and resident at the 44 Gaukel building. The Accelerator Centre has provided us with incredible mentors that deeply care about our venture, connections and resources otherwise difficult to access and afford for small startups like us, as well as early stage funding through AC Jumpstart and FedDev.

Being a resident of 44 Gaukel of course also provides us with a diverse and friendly startup neighborhood that promotes community and collaboration, and provides connections and shared knowledge and resources from other hardware and advanced manufacturing companies. It’s energizing to be part of a small community of successful and ambitious companies in the heart of Kitchener Waterloo and the Innovation Corridor.”

 The First Kickstarter – The Mill One

In August of 2016, Sienci Labs launched their  first kickstarter campaign with the had goal of raising $60,000 to allow them to create and launch their first product, “The Mill One”, a beginner desktop CNC machine. Designed for the maker who wants to dive into the world of CNC and automated manufacturing.

Andy explains why Kickstarter was paramount to their success, “we learned quickly that building machines and putting together kits for our early customers one by one was a very expensive and time consuming process for us, so we went to kickstarter to help us mass manufacture the Sienci Mill One. Kickstarter really allowed us to get early support with a large capital investment that it often takes to mass produce a new product that is costly to build.”

With the support of the Accelerator Centre and the funding from this first successful Kickstarter campaign, the team successfully launched their product and fulfilled their first orders making them one of the only manufacturers of desktop CNC machines in  Canada.

The Second Kickstarter – The LongMill

The second time around, Andy and the team came up with a new product called the LongMill, a larger format of the Mill One. The LongMill is bigger, faster and more powerful allowing builders and makers to use the same automated technology to build much larger scale projects.

The kickstarter campaign aimed to raise another $60,000, however closed after 30 days with an amazing $436,197 from 324 backers!

However, the work is not done once the kickstarter ends. “Raising the funds is step one, now we will move on to R&D, figuring out production, manufacturing, partnerships, fulfillment, shipping and so much more.”

His advice to others looking to leverage kickstarter to scale-up — “have a solid plan for everything that is to come after the kickstarter finishes- that is where the hard work begins, and where many struggle to finish and follow through on their promise to the customers. I am grateful that we were able to experience this entire process start to finish with the first kickstarter on a smaller scale, which allowed us to come into this second kickstarter with our eyes wide opened and with a strong strategy and execution plan.”

Now, the Sienci Labs team are looking forward to finishing launching their new product and getting The LongMill into the hands makers across Canada. Based on the interest, it is safe to say this is just the beginning!

If you or someone you know are interested in connecting with Sienci Labs or their products, please visit:


The Accelerator Centre Partners with SDTC to Support Clean Tech Companies Through Innovative Funding Pilot Program

Brisk Synergies to Receive One of Four Initial Grants

May 8, 2019 – This afternoon in Ottawa The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion announced the first 4 recipients of a new grant program developed by Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) to support Canada’s most promising clean tech companies across Canada.

Unique to the pilot funding program is SDTC’s decision to partner with a shortlist of trusted accelerators, including the Accelerator Centre, to help identify and vet the highest potential companies, removing the red tape and reducing the time it takes to get the funding into the hands of startups.

Among the first 4 grant recipients is AC based clean tech company, Brisk Synergies. The traffic management company is developing a technology to reduce traffic accidents and congestion. Their software platform uses artificial intelligence and algorithms to connect and analyze real-time video data to detect dangerous interactions and flow patterns.

“We are excited to receive the SDTC funding,” says Charles Chung, CEO of Brisk Synergies. “The funding will enable us to accelerate the development and full-scale launch of our software platform in automated traffic conflict analytics. Brisk Synergies provides city planners with actionable insights to improve traffic flow and reduce vehicle collisions which leads to a reduction in congestion, car idling and GHG emissions. Cities will also use our technology to improve their sustainable mobility adoption by making roads safer for pedestrians and cyclists.”

“SDTC’s pilot project is an incredible opportunity for clean tech entrepreneurs across the country,” says Accelerator Centre CEO, Paul Salvini. “From our experience running specialized programming for clean tech startups, we’ve seen the difficulty these companies can have in securing funding and are pleased to see the SDTC program provide support to entrepreneurs. It is an honour for the AC to have been selected as an accredited Canadian incubator to participate in this program. It is a testament to the AC’s long-standing reputation for its ability to select the best-of-the-best in innovative companies and support them to grow and scale efficiently.”


“Clean technology is about more than any one sector—when we support clean technology, we support our entire economy, creating good jobs while helping to protect our environment. Through SDTC, our government is helping early-stage entrepreneurs achieve their full potential and ultimately solve some of our biggest environmental challenges.”

— The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

“Our government knows that the environment and the economy go hand in hand and Sustainable Development Technology Canada is demonstrating this by partnering with incubators and accelerators across the country to find 30 of Canada’s most promising cleantech entrepreneurs and investing critical early-stage funding in them. These investments will help these cleantech entrepreneurs transform their ideas into globally competitive cleantech solutions. Congratulations to the first four successful recipients of these investments. I look forward to seeing the impact of your innovations in agriculture, energy, power generation and traffic management.”

— The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business and Export Promotion

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Tabatha Laverty
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FedDev Ontario Supports Innovative Lifesciences Company and AC Grad Nicoya

Over $2.5 million to help nanotechnology company scale up operations and create 29 highly-skilled jobs

May 3, 2019 — Kitchener, Ontario

Today, Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced a contribution of $2.57 million for Nicoya to scale up operations and accelerate growth into new markets.

Nicoya is a nanotechnology company specializing in the development of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) instruments—a laboratory device that measures the interactions between molecules. The company has created the world’s first desktop SPR, which serves as a more accurate, portable, cost-effective method for collecting data for research and development.

FedDev Ontario’s contribution will help Nicoya to develop and market a new version of its product, OpenSPR, to the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors. This project will also allow the company to meet increasing demand, expand into new export markets and create 29 highly-skilled jobs in the Kitchener–Waterloo Region.

This project aligns with the Government of Canada’s Economic Strategy Table on Health and Bio-Sciences to support investment and increase the number of high-growth firms in this sector.


“This FedDev Ontario investment in Nicoya is wonderful news for Waterloo Region. Twenty-nine good-paying, highly-skilled jobs will be added in our community, and our thriving biotechnology and health sciences cluster will be strengthened. Our government is committed to ensuring the competitiveness of our region both at home and abroad.”
– Raj Saini, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre

“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in Nicoya builds on our competitive advantages and will result in the scale up of operations and expansion into new export markets, boosting economic growth and creating good, middle class jobs for Canadians.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

“Today’s news is very exciting for Nicoya. Projects like this one will help to position this company as a global biotech leader and help to transform the lives of millions of people. This investment shows the Government of Canada’s commitment to growing the biotech industry in Canada and support for the Kitchener–Waterloo Region to remain a hub of successful start-up and scale-up companies.”
– Ryan Denomme, Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder, Nicoya

Quick facts

  • Established in 2012 as a spin-off company from the University of Waterloo, Nicoya develops nanotechnology, biochemistry and optical sensor technologies used by medical researchers in both academic and private institutions in more than 25 countries.
  • Surface plasmon resonance (SPR) is a key technique used for research and development, such as helping to understand diseases and the development of new drugs and treatments.
  • Nicoya was nominated as a 2017 Company to Watch at the 2016 Life Science Industry Awards in San Diego, California.
  • FedDev Ontario’s repayable contribution will leverage $5.14 million in private sector and other investment.
  • This year marks 10 years of FedDev Ontario delivering funding and business services to support innovation and growth in southern Ontario. Since inception in 2009, FedDev Ontario has invested almost $2 billion in the region’s economy, with more than 31,000 jobs created and maintained over the past five years.

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FedDev Ontario

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