AC Grad Bonfire Announced Initial Public Offering with GTY Technology Holdings Inc.

Government spend decisions must optimize to offer better value for communities and economy by digitizing with strategic sourcing and procurement software

(KITCHENER, ONTARIO, February 19, 2019) – Today Bonfire Interactive Ltd. (Bonfire), a leader in strategic sourcing and procurement software, has formally merged with GTY Technology Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: GTYH) (“GTY”)) in a business combination with five other leading software as a service (SaaS) companies specializing in government technology.  Executives at GTY and the six newly merged businesses will share the honour of ringing the Nasdaq closing bell on today (watch it live here) to celebrate the company’s initial public offering.

All parties involved have a shared mission to digitize government and achieve a new standard in citizen engagement and resource management.  Bonfire will continue to run as an independent business unit under the umbrella company.

“While government procurement can sound dry and dull to the uninitiated, we think just the opposite”, said Corry Flatt, CEO and Co-Founder of Bonfire.  “We believe that the application of cloud software to government procurement is one of the most pressing challenges of our time, and has the potential to tangibly change our world for the better.  This is a big mission — the kind that requires deep resources and partners to fully accomplish — which is why we’re delighted to be joining forces with the other companies to form GTY and continue our journey as part of a new publicly-traded company.”

Bonfire announced intent to join GTY (which plans to rebrand in the coming months) in September 2018.  Established in 2012, Bonfire is headquartered in Waterloo Region, has grown to 95+ employees, and has secured over 250 clients.  The Company prides itself on offering a class-leading client experience, averaging customer satisfaction rates of over 95%.

“After an extensive review of government-focused technologies, it became obvious that Bonfire would be a critical element for our vision of a fully digitized public sector,” said Steven Rohleder, GTY Chairman and CEO.  “Bonfire is the leading next-generation solution for public sector sourcing and procurement, allowing professionals to trade administrative tasks with strategic ones, and demonstrate true value to their organization and beyond.”

GTY will be made up of six companies, (CityBaseeCivisQuesticaSherpaOpenCounter, and Bonfire) representing functions of payments, grant management, budgeting, permitting, and procurement.  Together, the companies service more than 1,500 government clients and share a unique opportunity to offer a transformative impact on the public sector.

To explore Bonfire’s strategic sourcing and procurement software, visit www.GoBonfire.com.

About GTY Technology Holdings Inc. (“GTY”)

Founded in November 2016 by Bill Green (former Chairman & CEO, Accenture), Joe Tucci (former CEO & Chairman, EMC), and Harry You (former EVP, EMC; former CFO, Accenture & Oracle), GTY (NASDAQ: GTYHU/GTYH/GTYHW) was formed to identify and invest in compelling and emerging trends in the technology sector.  Today, it combines six leading GovTech firms under a single umbrella: CityBase, eCivis, Questica, Sherpa, OpenCounter, and Bonfire. These companies will operate as independent business units under GTY. They represent the functions of payments and digital services, grant management, budgeting, permitting, and procurement, respectively. Collectively, GTY is transforming how the public sector does business and serves its constituents. For more information visit www.gtytechnology.com.

About Bonfire Interactive Inc.

Bonfire Interactive Inc., a leader in strategic sourcing and procurement software, empowers organizations to make the right purchasing decisions.  With tools to support the entire vendor lifecycle (sourcing, contract management, and vendor performance), Bonfire goes beyond traditional mechanics of standard procurement suites to make complex decision-making easy.  The combination of flexible technology and world-class customer service makes Bonfire the solution of choice for both public and private sector organizations of all sizes around the globe. Bonfire was named a 2018 Gartner Cool Vendor and proudly reports a client retention rate greater than 96 percent. www.GoBonfire.com

 

Contact:

Meghan Hennessey
Manager, Marketing Communications
Bonfire
press@gobonfire.com

Accelerator Centre Announces AC JumpStart Program Cohort 9

Waterloo, Ontario – The Accelerator Centre is pleased to announce Cohort 9 of the AC JumpStart program. These 28 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.

The commencement of cohort 9 follows an announcement of $5.5M in continued funding from FedDev Ontario in late 2018. The continued funding will allow the program to continue into 2021 and will support an additional 126 companies.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support Canada’s innovators, helping them succeed on a global scale. This continued investment in the AC JumpStart program from FedDev Ontario will allow more early-stage technology companies to thrive, which strengthens the innovation ecosystem in southern Ontario and creates highly-skilled jobs for Canadians.”

  • The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Science, Innovation and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

The AC JumpStart Cohort 9 recipients are:

Pulse Industrial
BigBrain3D Inc.
CataLight Inc.
Click 2 Refund Inc.
Coachable Media & Technologies Inc.
Cya Inc.
Derisk Corp.
DropLab Inc.
Elocity Technologies Inc
Evercloak Inc
Evika Corporation
Hitch Tech Inc. 
Hodlbot
Insurance Squared Inc.
Intelliculture Inc
Invitalize Inc
Kibble
Linkmentalhealth Inc.
Madiba Technologies Inc.
Membio Inc.
Micromensio Inc.
Nuzzle
Policyme Corp
RepresentLY Media Inc.
Shuttershare Inc.
Striive Software Inc.
Troes Corporation
Visitor Queue Inc.

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, Laurier, the University of Guleph 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.

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.

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

We’re Hiring: Manager, Operations and Administration

JOB DESCRIPTION – Manager, Operations and Administration

Salary Range: $52,000-$65,000

The Accelerator Centre requires an organized administrative and operational professional to fill an exciting position in a fast paced and dynamic entrepreneurial workspace. The ideal candidate must have a critical eye, excellent communication skills, be a master of multi-tasking and take on projects and initiatives without much guidance.

Reporting to the CEO, the Manager, Operations and Administration provides executive support our to CEO, VP and Board of Directors. This role is also responsible for overall management of our facilities, recruitment procedures and all administration within the organization. This position plays a critical role in our Board of Governance procedures.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES 

  • Provides administrative & executive support to the CEO and VP including:
    • Coordination of travel arrangements
    • Calendar maintenance including the triage of appointment requests
    • Preparation of materials/agendas where necessary
  • Supports our Board of Directors and governance procedures including:
    • Maintaining the confidentiality and integrity of our governance procedures
    • Liaise with the Board of Directors & Committee Chairs as required for the management and preparation of meeting schedules, agendas and presentations
    • Manage RSVP/quorum tracking
    • Attend all Board and Committee meetings for minute transcription & dissemination
    • Maintain & update AC governance documents and presentations, by-laws and Board distribution lists and provide ongoing support for the Board and Committee chairs
  • Overall responsibility for the management of all AC facilities including:
    • Managing facility related budgets
    • Establishing vendor relationships including coordinating IT service with external partners
    • Working with the Manager, Programs and Client Experience and Guest and Facilities Coordinator for planning and executing client movements across our facilities and oversight of agreements with community clients
    • Providing backup support for the front desk and after-hours facility emergencies
  • Management of the Guest and Facilities Coordinator and that position’s role in maintaining our 3 facilities as well as the policies and procedures related to those facilities and our reception desk
  • Assisting with the recruitment process for new hires including updating job descriptions, arranging interviews, other administrative functions relating to recruitment.
  • Contact and Records Management including management of all internal and external contact lists (using Active Campaign and other software) and organize and manage how information is stored at the AC (via the internal shared drive and cloud-based storage)
  • Assists the VP with ongoing strategic or external projects and initiatives as required.
  • Be the Chief Everything Officer (CEO), find opportunity in every task and support the company and team

DESIRED SKILLS & EXPERIENCE 

  • Post-secondary education in administration, operations, related discipline or equivalent experience.
  • Demonstrated experience supporting senior leadership teams; including Boards of Directors
  • Conducts business in a professional, detail-oriented manner at all times, 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
  • A self-starter that can work under minimal supervision

HOW TO APPLY

Please submit your resume and cover letter to careers@acceleratorcentre.com by February 18, 2019 at NOON. 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.

The Accelerator Centre and TD Launch Ontario’s Only Incubator Dedicated to Sustainable Technology Development

The Waterloo-based incubation space, known as the TD Sustainable Future Lab, will help cleantech startups commercialize solutions that drive the clean economy.

Waterloo, February 1, 2019 –Today the Accelerator Centre (AC) announces the grand opening of the TD Sustainable Future Lab with support from TD Bank Group (TD).

The new facility, made possible by a $1M investment from TD’s new corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, will be located in the evolvGREEN community hub and will give entrepreneurs access to the AC’s award-winning incubation programming as well as additional supports from facility partners, Sustainable Waterloo Region, the University of Waterloo, and Laurier.

Since launching the specialized program for clean tech entrepreneurs with the support of the Ontario Trillium Foundation in the fall of 2017, the Accelerator Centre has supported 14 companies working in Agri-tech, Advanced Materials, Energy (Solar, Wind, Water, Biofuel), Energy Management/Storage/Access, Green Transportation, Green Manufacturing, and Smart Cities. The collaboration with TD and the new facility will allow the program to expand, supporting 20 additional clean tech companies over the next 3 years.

“The development potential within the clean technology sector represents a significant opportunity for the economy and for Canada to build on its reputation for leadership in ensuring a sustainable community for generations to come,” says Paul Salvini, CEO, Accelerator Centre. “The grand opening of the TD Sustainable Future Lab and our collaboration with TD is a demonstration of our commitment to working with industry to support entrepreneurs as they create the next generation of clean technology solutions. We are excited to see organizations from across the region come together to create this hub and we are looking forward to sharing the impact these startups make as they grow and scale.”

“Clean technologies represent one of the greatest opportunities to accelerate the time it will take to transition to a low-carbon economy, while also helping to grow an emerging and important market for Canada,” says Nicole Vadori, Head of Environment, TD Bank Group. “Through the TD Sustainable Future Lab, TD is excited to help entrepreneurs and startups bring their transformative ideas to life and help create a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow.”

About the Accelerator Centre

The Accelerator Centre is an award-winning startup accelerator dedicated to building and scaling sustainable, globally competitive companies and giving startups the highest probability of long-term success. In 2018, they were ranked the #4 Accelerator Program in the world due, in part, to a reputation for meaningful, one-to-one mentorship and helping entrepreneurs go from the idea stage to high-growth enterprises.

The Accelerator Centre has a strong history of supporting high growth technology companies and has worked with more than 500 startups throughout its 12-year history bringing over 3,000 full time jobs and 560M in investment to the region. Graduates of The Accelerator Program™ include Canadian success stories Kik Interactive, Miovision, Axonify, Alert Labs and SSIMWAVE.

About TD Bank Group

TD and The Ready Commitment

TD has a long-standing commitment to enriching the lives of its customers, colleagues and communities. As part of its corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment, it aspires to link its business, philanthropy and human capital to help build a more inclusive and sustainable tomorrow. As part of this, the bank is targeting CDN $1 billion (US $775 million) in total by 2030 towards community giving in four areas it feels are critical to helping people feel more confident – not just about their finances, but also in their ability to achieve their personal goals in a changing world. These are Financial Security, Vibrant Planet, Connected Communities and Better Health. Through The Ready Commitment TD is also aligned to nine of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. For more information, visit td.com/thereadycommitment.

For further information:

Tabatha Laverty
Manager, Marketing and Communications
Accelerator Centre
tlaverty@acceleratorcentre.com

We’re Hiring! Manager, Programs and Client Experience

The Accelerator Centre is looking for an experienced professional with experience managing people and executing complex programs to join our team as a Program and Client Experience Manager. This role puts you at the forefront of the tech ecosystem, executing programming and working directly with our portfolio of high potential startup companies.

Reporting to the Director, Client Programs and Initiatives, the Manager, Programs and Client Experience plays a critical role in delivering our award-winning programming. The ideal candidate is someone who has experience managing teams, programs, is organized and detailed oriented, and dedicated to ensuring an excellent client experience.

KEY RESPONSIBILITIES

  • Responsible for the day-to-day management of our client experience team and client contract process. Management of client experience team includes setting accountabilities for deliverables and providing, guidance and mentorship.
  • Management of the delivery and progress tracking of all AC programming working with our client experience coordinators (CECs), mentors, clients, graduates and academic partners.
    • Working with mentors and managing CECs to ensure program results and targets are met, including but not limited to: intake, coordination around onboarding, structure (meetings/milestones/updates from CECs), budget, and ensuring client reporting is complete. In addition: ensuring that resources (maker spaces, for example) for program delivery are maintained/available for client use.
  • Conduct client intake interviews with our staff and review panel with a focus on fostering diversity and inclusivity in our client base.
  • Manage client engagement across our in-house programs, including assisting in setting client program milestones, having a fulsome view of client progress and communicating required action items with the CEC team and mentor group.
  • Provide feedback and program suggestions to the Director, Client Programs and Initiatives.
  • Ensuring timely collection, aggregation and analysis of client and program metrics via Hockeystick in order to monitor key portfolio outcomes.
  • Completing required government and internal reporting of client and program performance metrics.
  • Overall responsibility for ensuring that communication regarding client and program status is consistent across our team and stakeholder groups including working with the Manager of Operations and Administration and Manager, Marketing and Communications to develop a program/operations communication strategy and contributing to our Board reporting package.
  • Representing the AC alongside other staff members at tech events across the region and abroad:
    • Network with existing and potential start-up clients/partners and be able to articulate and promote the AC’s suite of offerings.
    • Provide pitch judging and event support to an array of partners.
    • Understand the role of sales and the importance of building a quality client pipeline.
    • Be comfortable presenting client programs to tour groups and stakeholders.
  • Assist CECs with day to day facility and IT operations and the Manager, Operations and Administration including:
    • Assisting with the movement of clients with AC facilities ensuring there is adequate furniture, storage, security access cards, parking permits, etc.
    • Address emergency IT issues
    • Assist CEC with after hour emergency alarm calls
  • Share responsibilities with the Manager, Operations and Administration on current and future client space planning for all AC facilities
  • Be the Chief Everything Officer (CEO), find opportunity in every task and support the company and team.

DESIRED SKILLS & EXPERIENCE

  • A university degree in business, technology a related discipline or equivalent experience executing complex programs
  • Demonstrated experience in client-facing roles, managing a team and implementing programming
  • Detail and process oriented
  • Comfortable managing multiple projects and competing priorities
  • Strong leadership and decision-making skills
  • Demonstrated clear and concise written and verbal communication skills
  • “G” drivers license and regular access to a vehicle
  • Experience in sales, sales pipeline management, and CRM systems are assets

HOW TO APPLY

Please submit your resume and cover letter to careers@acceleratorcentre.com by January 4, 2019 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.

Terrene: Making AI and Machine Learning Available to Business Analysts and Data Scientists in the Manufacturing Industry

Terrene is a platform technology which aims to democratize the power of AI and machine learning by allowing nearly anyone to rapidly train and deploy deep learning data neural networks.

What does that mean exactly?

Well, machine learning and AI are powerful mechanisms which can harvest a ton of data and automate it in ways to improve business systems, processes, ect.,  and Terrene is making it available to those that aren’t experts in machine learning and AI, but that can reap many benefits from using it in their business. Terrene is working to empower specifically, business analysts and data scientists, by freeing up their time and providing them with the best possible information to automate and optimize business operations everyday.

The team behind the creation of this comprehensive (but easy to use) platform are three friends who met during their time studying at University of Waterloo. Francois, Kash and Cameron knew right away they wanted to develop something together using their skills in Nano Science and Science Computing. Initially just a passion project, looking at streamlining data analytics for people to use, they never imagined it would become the foundation of a business. Once they distilled the software’s focus on making data analytics and automated machine learning accessible to business analysts inside organizations, they decided to test it out with some potential clients.

First, they targeted charities, but found that with many charities competing for similar funding or minimal budget’s to invest in this service (however much it was needed and appreciated) it wasn’t a viable client focus to sustain a business. They did more research and switched gears, focusing on industrial companies. Companies already collecting large amount of data within their businesses, but with minimal to no systems in place to harness the power of that data and streamline it to improve business, Terrene found their sweet spot in the market.

Terrene’s automated technology collects data, assesses what the data is trying to predict, then with machine learning and automation helps to create efficiencies for the companies, for example, decreasing processing time, and other solutions depending on what their internal goals or current pain points are. The ideal clients are business analysts or data scientists who are already looking at the data, and often times are manually processing that data or using multiple tools to make sense of it. Terrene is a powerful tool to make their job easier by automating that process and giving them the information they need to make informed decisions, and to automate and optimize certain areas of the business.

When the business was first getting started, the team was accepted to the Tech Starters IOT Accelerator program, in New York, where they received 120K and worked around the clock everyday for three months. Cameron, Co-founder and COO recalls the intensity of the program, but also how it was essential for them to gain clarity and guidance on how to build out the product right out of the gate. After finishing up that program, they returned to Kitchener-Waterloo, and signed their first fortune 100 client.

Six months later, the team was accepted to the AC Jumpstart program, which allowed them to expand the team and gain access to invaluable mentorship which has helped them navigate further development of the product, building ou the team and acquiring more clients.

Forecasting into 2019, the team is preparing to raise a seed round of funding and are excited to jump back into sales mode, to grow the team more and to service more happy customers. They are proud to have achieved everything so far and are sticking to their ethos of “surviving on revenue, and growing on funding”.

If you are interested in learning more or discussing the product with the team, reach them at the following: https://terrene.co/contact-us/

 

Accelerator Centre Announces Graduation of Expeflow and Rapid Novor from The Accelerator Program

Waterloo (Ontario), CANADA, December 6, 2018 – The Accelerator Centre (AC) is pleased to announce its newest graduates of The Accelerator Program™. The graduation of Expeflow and Rapid Novor marks the 6oth and 61st successful graduation from the AC’s world-renowned program.

“Our mission at the AC is to help technology startups build globally successful, high impact companies,” say CEO, Paul Salvini. “And the evidence shows that we do that exceptionally well. From being ranked among the top accelerators in the world earlier this year to our recognition as the top incubator in Canada by the Digital Finance Institute, the world is taking notice of the work we do here and of the success of the companies that participate in our programming.

The graduation of Expeflow and Rapid Novor is tangible evidence of the talent and potential that is here in Waterloo and a clear demonstration of the kind of passion and dedication required to grow and scale a successful startup. We are incredibly proud to count these two companies as graduates and look forward to continuing to support them through our post graduate program as they scale and see global success.”

Expeflow

For insurers who are looking to better compete, provide effective and efficient insurance and stop leakage related to claims management inefficiencies, EXPEFLOW is a Cloud-based, secure, centrally administered claims management platform for medical and healthcare claims that streamlines processes, increases team collaboration, elevates compliance and provides business intelligence and analytics not previously available.

Rapid Novor

Rapid Novor Inc is the world’s leader in antibody protein sequencing technology. Specializing in the field of mass spectrometry-based proteomics, the team has developed the technology to directly sequence the antibody proteins without needs to access the cell line.

As a University of Waterloo spin-off, the company is building its technology portfolios based on the twenty years of scientific research and inventions from Dr. Bin Ma, co-founder and chief scientist. The company’s REmAb™ antibody protein sequencing service has allowed the accurate sequencing of any given antibody proteins routinely. The company’s WILD™ service is the first commercially available service that can accurately distinguish the isomeric Isoleucine and Leucine using mass spectrometry.

 

For further information, please contact:

Tabatha Laverty
Marketing and Community Manager
Accelerator Centre
tlaverty@acceleartorcentre.com

The Accelerator Centre Announces Continuation of the AC JumpStart Program into 2021 with $5.5M in Funding from FedDev Ontario

Waterloo (Ontario), CANADA, November 30, 2018 – The Accelerator Centre (AC) is pleased to announce the continuation of the AC JumpStart Program through a $5.5-million contribution from FedDev Ontario.

The AC JumpStart program, which is operated in partnership with FedDev Ontario, the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College, was launched in January 2015 with the objective of providing funding grants to startups across southwestern Ontario. The program provides $30,000 in seed capital and professional, one-to-one mentorship in sales, marketing, human resources, technology, and product development, as well as access to market research and connections to additional investors.

The program fills a critical role in the local startup ecosystem, providing the early-stage capital that is required in order to get innovative ideas off the ground. Now in its fourth year, the program has supported 194 startup companies utilizing almost 8,000 professional mentorship hours. Together, these companies have brought hundreds of new products to markets and created more than 500 full-time jobs in the region.

The renewed funding from FedDev Ontario will allow the Accelerator Centre to support an additional 126 companies through four cohorts, seeing it run to the end of 2021.

Applications for Cohort 9 of the program are open until January 7, 2019, with the recipients starting the program in February 2019.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support Canada’s innovators, helping them succeed on a global scale. This continued investment in the AC JumpStart program from FedDev Ontario will allow more early-stage technology companies to thrive, which strengthens the innovation ecosystem in southern Ontario and creates highly-skilled jobs for Canadians.”

  • The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Science, Innovation and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario

“The AC JumpStart Program is an essential source of capital for startup companies in this community. We are pleased to continue to partner with FedDev Ontario and our local academic institutions to provide both the funding and the mentorship that make the program so impactful. We are incredibly proud of the success and impact that the first 8 cohorts of AC JumpStart have made in the community and we are looking forward to supporting an addition 126 startups over the next two years.

  • Dr. Paul Salvini, CEO, Accelerator Centre

Quotes from AC JumpStart Recipients

“What we do requires a specialized skill around deep analysis of data. AC JumpStart enabled us to bring in key personnel offering unique value to our customers. It really helped accelerate our focus. One of the biggest benefits coming out of the AC is the mentor guidance it provides. Mentors give you that real feedback that most people don’t have the heart to tell you. They understand business. That sincere perspective is what makes the AC different from other incubator spaces out there.” – Charles Chung, CEO, Brisk Synergies

“The AC JumpStart program has helped our business tremendously. The funding helped us assemble our first order of inventory and fuel marketing and awareness efforts. However, the coaching from the AC’s incredible mentors has provided us with the most benefit. The Accelerator Centre community is warm, supportive, and full of entrepreneurial spirit and it is fair to say that we wouldn’t be where we are today without the program and the mentors’ amazing support.” – Emily Rudow, CEO, Oneiric

“AC JumpStart is a great program and it was super valuable to have access to mentors. The program gave us the time to prototype and build a business model that works. Because of the AC JumpStart funding, we were able to really research and understand the market and hire our first employees to build out our product and sales. I can confidently say we wouldn’t be here at all without AC JumpStart. – Jeremy Hedges, CEO, InkSmith

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

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) delivers funding and services to help create, retain and grow businesses, cultivate partnerships and build strong communities. The Agency is helping to support a strong southern Ontario economy and position the region to compete globally.

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

For further information, please contact:

Tabatha Laverty
Manager, Marketing and Communications
tlaverty@acceleartorcentre.com

Novalte – Smart Solutions Aim to Improve the Quality of Life for Those with Accessibility Needs

Michael Cullen, Cofounder of Novalte, a monitored Smart Home Accessibility Technology company is no stranger to working with those who face everyday accessibility issues.

Born and raised in Ireland with 5 years professional experience working as a control engineer and then +10 years experience in healthcare as an accessibility consultant, Michael had not only the passion to make a positive change in the industry, but had the expertise to solve a big problem.

While Michael was working in Ireland as a Control’s engineer, he worked in Guatemala building two Hydro power stations there, it was there that he learned the positive effect technology can have in changing people’s lives. It was here that passion to drive change in the world with technology was ignited.

When he came to Canada in 2008, with the economy suffering and fewer job opportunities Michael was faced with possibility of needing to return to Ireland to find work. With a strong conviction that there was a bright future for him here in Canada, he decided to stay and took a job he didn’t love to make ends meet.

While sitting down having a coffee in Yonge and Dundas sq, he saw a gentleman struggling to walk with drop-foot, a condition that can affect someone after having a stroke. He had just purchased the first iphone at the time and knew that there was enough technology in that little device to help that lad walk and questioned “So, why aren’t we doing it?”

Michael made the career change to work as a rehab engineer at a kids rehab hospital in Toronto, “Bloorview Kids Rehab” and then a couple of year later changed to work at an adult rehab hospital. He was working part-time as an accessibility consultant and made the leap of faith to do it full-time and that is when Novalte was born and since has help over 350 people to live independently over his tenure in this field

One of the common challenges with applying tech solutions to accessibility problems is that each individual requires a custom solution.

“Seems like a ridiculous business model, having to customize a solution for each client… but I knew how technology could automate the process and allow us to provide solutions to hundreds and eventually thousands of people.”

Instead of trying to create a one-size-fits-all solution, Michael decided to build a system that is fully reconfigurable and modular that can be tailored to each individual’s custom mobility challenges via software remotely.

The technology works to create an “accessible smart home” for those with mobility concerns so they can live more independently in their daily life. Leveraging existing smart devices as well as Novalte’s own hardware, they have a single solution that combines these disjointed pieces together and make sure it works with their 24 hrs remote support.

“Picture the hub looks something like a cable box, it is installed in the customers home by one of our dealers. They also install the other parts of the puzzle to enable someone with mobility issues to live independently based on their needs. This is usually a combination of Novalte’s other peripherals and off the shelf consumer smart devices.

“The system can be either accessed by the user’s voice or by an accessible switch for individuals that are non-verbal. Once everything has been setup for the customer the system is connected to Novalte’s server which enables them to troubleshoot and change the system remotely. The Emitto system has the ability to do minor troubleshooting automatically. The system is designed to work with or without the internet, but once the Emitto detects that it doesn’t have connection to the internet it will automatically turn off the modem for a period of time and then turn it back on.”

Michael stated that the remote troubleshooting is their market differentiator. He said that while smart devices make the lives of abled bodied individuals easier, it enables a person with mobility challenges to live independently. So, when these devices that they rely on to get through everyday stop working it can really impede daily life for them. The Emitto takes all of this into account.

Novalte received a $100k from March of Dimes Canada to do a pilot study using their technology. The idea of the pilot study was to show that by using technology to improve quality of life for individuals with mobility challenges, organizations that provide attendant services can operate more efficiently.

It was joining the AC Jumpstart program that Michael says had a direct correlation to the company growth that occurred and continues to happen. “The ability to ask questions about what to do next in a strategic manner from experts that could guide us, instead of stumbling through it all ourselves had a significant impact on our business, and we are so grateful for it.”

Looking forward

In addition to growing the team in 2019, Michael looks forward to more pilot studies in Halifax, Winnipeg and Vancouver as well as building in additional functionalities to enable Novalte clients to live more independently.

“We are also building the ability to control more security functions in the home. Often people with accessibility issues will leave the doors open all day long because care workers come and go… but that leaves them vulnerable. So having the ability to lock and unlock the doors and to only let certain people in and out will significantly improve security, and we are really looking forward to introducing this feature”

If you have any questions or inquiries about the platform or want to get in touch with Novalte, reach them at http://www.novalte.ca/contact

AC JumpStart is made possible by and investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and is delivered in partnership with Conestoga College, Laurier, and the University of Waterloo.

Accelerator Centre wins 2018 Canadian FinTech & AI Accelerator of the Year Award

Waterloo, ON – November 27, 2018 – The Accelerator Centre has been named Accelerator of the Year by the Digital Finance Institute at the 2018 Canadian FinTech & AI Awards.

The award recognizes the accelerator or incubator that has demonstrated success in helping FinTech or AI startups to launch their businesses and develop technology, or work with others in the sector to develop the most impactful innovative products or services. The award also highlights the importance of incubators and accelerators in fostering ecosystem support or other forms of support that advance innovation.

“We are incredibly proud to accept the Accelerator of the Year Award at this year’s Canadian FinTech & AI Awards,“ says Accelerator Centre CEO, Paul Salvini. “Each year, we work with an average of 100 new startups and approximately half of those companies are currently working with AI technologies or are innovating in FinTech; it is an exciting space that is going to continue to grow and change the world around us.”

In addition to working with AI and Fintech startups in Kitchener-Waterloo, the Accelerator Centre is expanding its impact by partnering with other innovation hubs across Canada, including the University of Guelph and Invest Ottawa, to create new programming options for entrepreneurs in those regions that leverage the AC’s award-winning program model.

“Our goal in licensing The Accelerator Program™ is to share best practices and our program model with innovation hubs across Canada so that our programming can create and support even more innovative companies in AI and FinTech and other emerging sectors across Canada,” says Salvini. “Our goal is to drive innovation and economic growth across the country.”

In 12 years of operation, the AC has worked with over 500 startup companies that have raised over $560M of investment and created over 3,000 full time jobs in the region. Their portfolio of graduate companies, including Kik, Miovision, Axonify, SSIMWAVE, FindBob Inc, Magnet Forensics, Clearpath Robotics, and eleven-x are the best-of-the-best in the local innovation ecosystem and represent over $3B in corporate value.

“We are grateful for this recognition of our programming and of the success of our client companies,” says Salvini. “We are looking forward to continuing to support and connect entrepreneurs to the product development, mentorship, and funding opportunities they need to be successful and contributing to making Canada a world leader in AI and FinTech innovation.

For further information, please contact:

Tabatha Laverty
Manager, Marketing and Communications
tlaverty@acceleratorcentre.com

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