Epoch: Connecting Not-for-Profits and Businesses to Make Greater Social Impact

If you’ve ever wanted to volunteer for a non-profit organization, you know it can be challenging to find the right person to reach out to. And if you’ve ever planned a not-for-profit event, you know that finding partners and volunteers to help you make your vision a reality can be hard too. That is the challenge that the Epcoh team hopes to solve by connecting non-profits with industry and individuals looking to give back to their community. The hope is the platform will encourage more volunteerism in the region and around the world.

The platform works by utilizing not-for-profit profiles that list volunteer opportunities for businesses in the region and matching that with profiles from corporations and individuals based on their interests, what they’re passionate about, their availability and what type of work they’d like to. Epoch then curates opportunities that match individuals, and offers a bi-weekly or monthly schedule of available volunteers, fostering more long-term volunteerism relationships.

A tight-knit team

Jade Choy began her journey in 2017 when she graduated from University of Waterloo and was introduced to an opportunity to compete for the $1,000,000 Hult prize. Jade and her team went through the program not really expecting to get into the second round let alone the finals. They ended up being in the semi-final in the UK, which then landed them in a one-year program in Boston where they were able to build out their platform. This past September, the team pitched in New York City for the finals among six other companies. Although the team did not take the grand prize home, they learned a great deal and were able to take those learnings to grow the company into what it is today.

The team consists of Jade and 6 other individuals including her brother, a recent UW design graduate, and five other UW students who are working on the platform part-time. All of the team is like-minded, highly-skilled and very excited about the work they’re doing. When we asked Jade how it is working with her brother, she laughed and said,

“ It’s really great and funnily enough I think we were conditioned to do this. Growing up we were always close, both in age being 13 months apart, and due to our interests and passions. As kids, we always had tennis lessons, swimming, hangouts, excetera together, probably because it was convenient for our parents to put us in the same activities —  but being together so often like that made us very close, making it easy to communicate. It was as if we were in training. So yeah, it’s really good we communicate well and I have a lot of fun working together.

Jade and the founding team, including her brother decided ultimately to come back to Kitchener Waterloo to grow their company.

“Looking at the tech ecosystem here, the openness to innovation, the interest in giving back, the number of not-for-profits also open to innovation, and the need to connect more businesses with them in the region made our decision to come here a no-brainer!”

What’s Next

In October of 2017, Epoch received $30,000 in seed funding from the Accelerator Centre’s AC JumpStart program to help them continue to build and grow the platform. Currently, Epoch works with several not-for-profits in the region, including the Downtown Kitchener Library and the YMCA bringing those organization together with the community to foster a collaborative community culture. “I wanted to make sure that our platform wasn’t a standalone form but rather that it integrated into systems that employees are and not-for-profits are reusing in their day-today lives, making it easy to volunteer and find information about how to volunteer,” Jade says. “Epoch is meant to facilitate meaningful partnerships and we are proud of the work that’s already being done in the beta program.“

Currently, the not-for-profits Epoch is partnered up with, are those who are looking for volunteers that are skill-based and that would need minimal additional training. The platform is not yet working with organizations that serve  vulnerable groups, due to the additional procedures, background checks and training that volunteers will need to work with them. However, those groups are on their roadmap to start beta testing the platform soon. The team will launch the pilot project with two to three not-for-profits right here in Waterloo region.

“The whole purpose of our company is to make giving back time-energy-skills on a volunteer basis easy. We want to facilitate more meaningful connections, because if someone has some extra energy after their work day and they want to volunteer their time, what we’ve seen is that a lot of those individuals will go to not-for-profit website message forms to look for opportunities and it’s actually very difficult to find the information and by the time that they are aligned and ready to do the volunteering, their availability has changed.

We need to change the system so that it empowers more people to do what they want to do when they have the availability and we are determined to make this a tool that can empower social impact in our community, work and beyond.”

To learn more about Epoch, please visit: https://www.epochapp.com/aboutus/

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.


Studio1Labs: Better Healthcare Driven by AI

Studio1 Labs is an intelligent patient monitoring and documentation solution. Rather than attaching wires or devices to the body to monitor vital signs, Studio 1 Labs has developed a bed sheet that automatically monitors and records vital signs electronically. Completing clinical trials on human participants, the company has many supporters and collaborations including funding by NSERC, NRC, Ontario Centres of Excellence, SOSCIP Smart Computing for Innovation, Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN), Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN), FedDev Ontario, Ministry of Research and Innovation, Ministry of International Trade, IBM, Communitech, the Accelerator Center, Innovation York, University of Prince Edward Island, University of Waterloo, York University, and Niagara College that contributed to the creation of a new medical device.

When founders, Olivia and Edward, initially met in a martial arts club they never imagined that one day they would be working together to create a healthcare company that would change the way health service providers care for their patients. Together they have been able to build solutions using biomedical fabrics and sensors to aid in monitoring vitals, maintaining health and preventing illnesses early.

Interestingly, neither Olivia or Edward have direct medical or technical backgrounds, but they took it upon themselves to learn about the physics, sensors and science behind their product and even made their own sensors to customize their solution further at a very low cost. Through that process, and now with clinical trials completed, they were able to compile a large database and transfer that data into, thus creating an end-to-end solution for health service providers.

With IBM providing the software infrastructure and a vast network, the company was able to build the software and establish a partnership with SOSCIP and scale their computing capabilities with additional support of a grant for a post-doctoral fellow to apply machine learning   with data from their clinical trials.

In 2017, Studio1 Labs was granted a $30,000 investment through the AC JumpStart seed funding grant. Olivia and Edward explain how the AC JumpStart program provided further funding for the company to file a worldwide patent on their sensor system technology, which was a real game changer that opened the door for global markets.

“We got the support to understand what we needed for the Canadian and Chinese market perspectives. We are now commercializing towards a medical device. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support we’ve been so grateful to receive from this community.”

The next big move is to provide the large number of seniors on a waiting list so they could receive remote care, with a clinical grade bed sheet monitor that is easy for anyone to adopt. The company has its first customer pilot in Canada that will commence summer 2018.

To learn more about Studio 1 Labs and their healthcare solutions, please visit Studio1Labs.com

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.

Tabnex Wins $25K at Velocity Fund Finals and Turns Heads with New Recruitment Intelligence Platform

Tabnex is a real-time intelligence platform powered by AI which allows recruitment teams to work smarter and faster. They do this by programmatically integrating insights on candidates who have applied to job opportunities, in seconds, at every stage of the hiring process. Tabnex, which is currently in closed beta, integrates personalized data on candidates into your places of communication like your inbox. The platform is designed to be compatible with any email provider so that recruiters who receive emails and resumes from applicants, can get key information that is normally uncovered during an interview. They enrich information which is automatically organized through an elegant interface in the inbox, thus making their job easier in terms of analyzing data and categorizing types of applicants, jobs, and other data points that can in some cases take hours to organize manually.

The three co-founders, Marwan, Moe, and Muni all attended the University of Waterloo and started developing the software company out of Velocity Garage. What started as a job seeker solution, evolved into a product that instantly interprets, analyzes and collects pools of data that comes along with applying to jobs and selecting top candidates; resumes. The platform currently plugs into the user’s inbox and gathers all data pertaining to a job applicant, then analyzes and categorizes based on a pattern of data. More features that are currently being built will provide further insights, even predictive and personality-based insights, to make analyzing and hiring a seamless process.

The company recently won a $25K prize in the Velocity Fund Finals and received additional suport from support from NVIDIA’s AI Accelerator and raised $50K from Ontario Data Exchange as well as another $50K from IBM Innovation Incubator to put toward software development.

Going into the AC JumpStart has given the team additional funding and support to grow and scale the software. Although the company started less than a few months ago, they have already added a lead developer, data scientist and 2 junior developers to the team. With support from the AC, they have also established 10 beta customers with 2-3 users on preferred pricing, and developed what Muni affectionately describes to as the Customer-Centric Iteration Framework to continue building out the product with their customer in mind.

“Our time with the Accelerator Centre has been invaluable. Although it is an intense development time for the company, when we come up for air, we often reflect on how grateful we are to be in this tech environment, for the funding which has allowed us to hire the right talent and most of all for the mentorship.”

As the team moves forward, they are excited for the future in building out a suite of products and data APIs that integrates intelligence into AI Chatbots, leading recruitment software to sharing their solution on a greater scale to help businesses and recruitment teams who are competing for talent globally. To learn more about the team and the product, check out their recently launched website: http://tabnex.com/


Minister Chagger Celebrates Global Entrepreneurship Week at Accelerator Centre’s JumpStart SPARK Showcase

News Release

Participating startups demonstrated new technologies and made valuable business connections

November 14, 2017,  Waterloo, Ontario

Canadian entrepreneurs are crucial to Canada’s economic growth, and the Government of Canada is committed to helping innovative start-ups to reach their full potential. This was the message delivered today by the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Member of Parliament for Waterloo, during a keynote address at the Accelerator Centre’s AC JumpStart SPARK Showcase.

Held during Global Entrepreneurship Week, this annual event celebrates dedicated and hard-working entrepreneurs who have received support through the AC JumpStart program, a unique incubation and mentorship program that supports technology start-ups across southern Ontario. The Minister also announced that 22 companies will receive support through the seventh cohort of the AC JumpStart program.

During the event, entrepreneurs demonstrated their innovative technologies to industry leaders and potential investors. Three start-ups were selected to pitch their company to the audience, and 56 Game Studios was chosen as the winner.

The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) invested $8 million, through the Investing in Business Innovation initiative, in support of the AC JumpStart program. The program is delivered by the Accelerator Centre, in partnership with the University of Waterloo, Wilfrid Laurier University and Conestoga College. The Accelerator Centre expects to help a total of 180 high-potential businesses grow, creating approximately 700 new jobs.


“Global Entrepreneurship Week is an excellent opportunity to highlight the amazing work being done by innovative Canadian entrepreneurs. This event is a fabulous demonstration of the impressive talent for which the Waterloo region has become known. Our Government is proud to support programs like the Accelerator Centre’s AC JumpStart program. It provides crucial mentorship and seed funding for early-stage technology companies to succeed and thrive. Today’s showcase demonstrates how, with the right support, bright and promising entrepreneurs can help grow the economy and create good middle class jobs.”

– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Leader of the Government in the House of Commons, Minister of Small Business and Tourism and Member of Parliament for Waterloo

“The AC JumpStart program is an essential source of early-stage funding for start-ups across southern Ontario. The combination of this funding from FedDev Ontario with our mentor model gives early-stage companies a leg up in building their businesses and positively impacts our community. We are pleased to welcome Minister Chagger to the Accelerator Centre to celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week and the success of these companies.”

– Paul Salvini, CEO, Accelerator Centre

Quick Facts

  • Established in 2006, the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo is an award-winning incubator, dedicated to building sustainable and globally competitive technology companies.
  • Each AC JumpStart recipient receives up to $30,000 in seed financing, one-of-a-kind mentorship and coaching from a team of in-house experts, as well as access to market research and connections to investors.
  • Cohort seven of the program is currently underway; applications for the eighth cohort will open in early 2018.
  • In 2013, the Accelerator Centre successfully piloted the AC JumpStart program with the help of a $945,000-investment through FedDev Ontario. The pilot assisted 30 start-up companies, which created 212 new jobs in the Waterloo region.
  • Global Entrepreneurship Week, taking place November 13–18, is the world’s largest celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation. Thousands of events and activities in over 130 countries will inspire people to engage in entrepreneurial activity and help them explore their potential to create start-up companies.

Associated Links


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FedDev Ontario

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The Accelerator Centre Announces Cohort 7 of their AC JumpStart Program

October 17, 2017

Waterloo Ontario – The Accelerator Centre is pleased to announce Cohort 7 of the AC JumpStart program. The program provides each recipient $30,000 in seed funding and $10,000 of mentorship.

Avro Life Science
Babylon VR Inc
BigBridge Technologies Inc.
Brillio Tech Inc.
Cardio Square Inc.
Chameleon Hearing Protection
Elucid Labs Inc.
Glacierclean Technologies Inc.
IQ2Performance Inc.
Marlena Books Inc.
Monarch Collection Inc.
Pression Inc.
ReGrow Helmet Inc.
SiteVue Incorporated
Smart Cocoon
Studio 1 Labs
VivaSpire Inc.
Wherego Inc.
Zabu Inc.

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
Community Manager

Bridesmade: Empowering Women with a New Approach to the Bridesmaid Dress

Mallory Mckewen, like many young women, started noticing a big frustration when it came to wedding seasons and being a bridesmaid: dresses.

It is the pinnacle of the wedding, the aesthetic of the bride, groom and their respective wedding parties. However, when it comes to bridesmaid dresses, the challenge is the hassle of inevitable alterations and costs, not to mention the fact that oftentimes the dress is only worn once! Having that same (or similar) dress fit each bridesmaid properly so everyone feels and looks good is important, but it becomes a costly and tumultuous adventure for everyone involved.  Having gone through this frustration herself and with friends expressing the same thoughts, Mallory knew there had to be a way to make this easier and more cost-effective for women everywhere.

That is when the company, BridesMade was created.

A New Approach to Bridesmaid Dresses

Mallory wanted to create a business that gives women the option to rent-a-dress, rather than buy the dress out-right. The biggest issue, especially for twenty-something women who are often involved in several weddings a year, is the cost. A dress typically costs $300- $400 dollars and more after alterations. On top of that, the dress is realistically only worn that one time. Mallory was determined to make the lives of twenty-something women easier and to fulfill her promise to customers, to keep the costs low.

But with all the different sizes and alterations required to make a dress fit just right… it still ended up being quite costly, and with the rental option, it meant future alterations once again. She knew there had to be another way. After a ton of research, tests, trial and error, and feedback, the company decided to make a pivot in the business model to offer a better solution to bridesmaids.

A New Approach: The Affordable and Adjustable Dress

This business model pivot meant taking a new, innovative approach to the current pricey bridesmaid industry. Mallory decided the only way to create a rentable, reusable and cost effective dress for bridesmaids, would mean creating an original line of adjustable dresses.

This change for the business was an uneasy but necessary one to make as Mallory recalls, “I was nervous, being that I don’t have a background in fashion – but from a finance and numbers perspective, I knew this was the answer to solve the current frustrations, so we decided to go all in with both feet.” That change lead to a system and a product line that not only works and helps customers from a cost standpoint, but delights bridal parties in how stress free and easy it is.

The company uses software which records all dress orders, measurements, colours, styles, costs, etc. They in turn use data to show women what dress styles and colours are recommended based on their sizes and requests. Once all the data is collected from the bridesmaids, the product is sent to production and delivered with ample time before the big day. Mallory explains the choice they give their clients,

“We give women the choice to rent or buy the dresses too. It is easy to rent and reuse, because the dresses are adjustable, keeping costs low for everyone involved. Some women opt to buy because with an adjustable dress, it can be used again and again for multiple occasions. Either way, we are happy because we created a system and product that helps women and makes their lives and those special occasions easier to plan for. Without that dress-stress, it leaves more space to genuinely enjoy their time and celebrate the occasion. That makes what we do worth it!”

When making that business model pivot, Mallory had to establish relationships with factories and manufacturers who could construct and make these dresses. During that time, she also brought on a partner to help scale the business, COO, Kaleah Baker of Calgary. A year ago, they had more demand than they could supply and knew that with the new idea for adjustable dresses, they were on to something big, but needed support. That is where the AC Jumpstart program came into the picture.

AC Jumpstart = Game Changer

Mallory recalls how BridesMade joined the program at the most optimal time. With the capital they were able to establish key manufacturer relationships, to create their first line of dresses, which allowed them to backfill orders, work more weddings and test out the product with ideal clients.

“The mentorship was so helpful. When we started this business, we never imagined that we would end up creating lines of dresses. To set up those types of key relationships with fashion experts, manufacturers and production companies who could make the dresses adjustable in the ways our data said was required, was something we learned how to do with the help of valuable mentorship. Before Jumpstart we had officially worked with one wedding party. Over the course of the last summer, we have now successfully serviced 50-60 weddings with 100% satisfaction in our customer feedback. It’s only up from here.”

Both capital and the invaluable mentorship empowered BridesMade to make the key partnerships to create the product and deliver exactly what their clients were asking for.

What is Next for BridesMade?

Moving forward, BridesMade is planning for the launch of a new collection of dresses this December.

Thus far, BridesMade has been working weddings primarily in Southern Ontario. In 2018, BridesMade is expanding to provide dresses to weddings all across Canada. They are continuing to build out their software, new dress lines and scaling up their capacity to service weddings across Canada and beyond. Mallory and her Co-Founder are overjoyed at the journey they have had thus far and are excited to move forward and continue on with the upwards momentum and growth.

Curiato Builds Biomedical Technology Solution for Wound Care Management

Co-Founder of Curiato, Moazam Khan, is in the business of helping healthcare institutions provide better care to their patients. Curiato’s mission is to help healthcare institutions who are dissatisfied with outdated, complex and manual ways of wound care management with innovative biomedical technology.

Hack-a-thon Inspires the Creation of Curiato

Believe it or not, the focus on wound care management came after an experience attending a “Hack4Health” hack-a-thon in 2015. Moazam and co-founders Zied Etleb and Matthew Sefati were curious to understand the current challenges in the healthcare system and how they might use their skills in biomedical sciences and technology to help.

One healthcare issue in particular opened Moazam’s eyes when he had the opportunity to hear from many healthcare professionals and patients at the hack-a-thon. Something that came up over and over again was the issue of wound care management and bedsores. Bedsores — also called pressure ulcers and decubitus ulcers — are injuries to skin and underlying tissue resulting from prolonged pressure on the skin. Bedsores most often develop on skin that covers bony areas of the body, such as the heels, ankles, hips and tailbone.

Patients with limited mobility end up laying for extended periods of time creating pressure on certain areas of the skin, resulting in bedsores which can be pretty detrimental to one’s overall state of health and costly to the medical institution as a whole.

Curiato made sure to spend their time properly understanding the issue from all angles so they could build a system-based solution which would alleviate healthcare professionals and assist them (rather than creating more work) which would tackle the very real problem that patient’s are experiencing. “Creating a band-aid solution is just not an option for us, this is something that affects a lot of lives and in some cases, when palliative care comes into play, it can make an immense difference in quality of life and comfort. This is something we take seriously and are determined to make a real difference in for health care institutions, care providers and patients.”

The Solution: The Ceylon System

The solution that Moazam, Zied and Matthew began building is called the Ceylon System. The Ceylon System is a combination of a smart biological mat and patient management interface that provides monitoring of biological factors of high acuity patients, aimed towards decreasing nurse fatigue, and simplifying communication between care staff and providers. Bridging the intersection of IoT and artificial intelligence, this intuitive system has a built in monitor that can sense when a patient is at risk of developing a bedsore and when a patient needs to be moved to avoid that from happening. The Curiato founders strongly believe that the interaction and interpretation with the data is more important than the data itself.

1 bedsore can mean more hospital costs, transfer of care, re-admittance to a long-term facility, etc which in the end costs medical institutions money, time and effort. To prevent 1 bedsore could make a big difference not only to the institution, but to the staff and the patient’s.

Once they had a better understanding of why bedsores form and how this problem occurs, through 8 months of research and 2 months of interviewing healthcare professionals, they were ready to begin producing the system.

Since joining the AC Jumpstart Program, the team at Curiato was able to make some big leaps forward. Moazam said the money and mentorship was instrumental in helping with product development costs, connecting with the right talent, networking, testing, forming a corporate structure, securing business relationships and partnerships and now preparing for two pilot programs in Waterloo and Toronto for 2018.

What’s Next?

Right now, the team is focused on growing the team and preparing for the pilot programs for 2018. They are looking for engineers, data scientists and a clinical advisor board. To learn more or talk directly to the team visit: http://curiato.com/


LIIV Builds a Privacy Oriented Social Network for Men in Developing and Socially Conservative Countries

Technology allows us to connect with other people at the touch of a button, all over the world. There are mobile apps today that allow us to easily connect with others, whether we want to strike up conversation, create meaningful friendship or meet a potential love interest. It has become so normative, that we may not even stop to consider that it isn’t as easy as “swiping right” in other parts of the world or more socially conservative communities. Furthermore, the fact that almost 80% of the world’s population still live in developing countries, drove the two founders to help effect change. Kirk and Chad, with cultural roots in Canada and the Caribbean respectfully, understand the challenges that individuals face in developing or more socially conservative countries, especially for those in the LGBTQA+ community.

Inspired by the limitations individuals face due to lack of control and privacy while trying to connect with others online, they decided to create a privacy oriented social network for men that gives users more control of the online chat and dating experience. The app was named LIIV in the hope that users worldwide would be inspired to live on their own terms. For many people, particularly gay men, in these developing or conservative countries being public about one’s sexuality may result in ostracization or even physical harm. LIIV provides a safer, more privacy oriented platform that allows users to express themselves and socialize with greater peace of mind.

What makes LIIV different

Many mainstream apps simply allow users to connect with each other without much focus on privacy and user control. Furthermore, they allow for integration with publicly shared information like Facebook, Instagram, or even the ability to share screenshot captures or messages from a chat conversation. LIIV’s unique suite of safety and privacy features include screenshot blocking, location faking, disappearing messages, unsend messages, app cloaking and more. Privacy is of the utmost importance and the founders Kirk and Chad have gone through great lengths to ensure that users feel comfortable and in control when using the app.

More than just an app for social good, the founders have identified proven monetization strategies for their business, already in use in the industry at large. These include premium subscriptions, advertising, e-commerce, licensing of key features to noncompeting firms via API packages, as well as the white labeling of the app for different use cases / industries that experience similar privacy and security concerns (law and medicine among them).

Building of the App

Kirk and Chad knew that they wanted to build the app in Canada for a few reasons. They wanted to become a part of the tech ecosystem in Kitchener-Waterloo, wanted to leverage the resources, talent and community here and they wanted to build the best app possible with developers of various cultural backgrounds and perspectives. Recently, and with the assistance of the Accelerator Centre, Kirk received permanent residence through the Canadian Government’s Startup Visa Program, so the team could continue to grow in Canada. They mostly bootstrapped the building of the app, and were able to secure funding with the AC Jumpstart program and hire local developers to help them build a secure, private and intuitive app experience for their users.

How AC Jumpstart Helped

LIIV went from conception to a developed app within the span of 10 months. Chad remarks, “AC Jumpstart allowed us the funds to secure talent and resources to build our app and quickly. We worked very hard with our team to make this happen and now we are proud to see LIIV in the app store, with users from areas such as: the Caribbean, Middle East, Asia and Canada. The vast majority of our users thus far have downloaded the app organically and we are receiving positive feedback. We are excited and motivated to take that feedback and continue development of an app that is truly helping the LGBTQA+ community.”


The LIIV team is very passionate about their cause to create technology that allows men to connect with other men safely and securely, regardless of beliefs, geographic location, values, community, etc. “No one should ever feel shamed or sheltered from making meaningful connection with others- we want to enable and empower men in developing and socially conservative areas”.

LIIV has also teamed up with a local Non-Profit called, Rainbow Railroad to giveback and collaborate on this project. The goal is to spread awareness, increase visibility and use the tech platform for good, and the Rainbow Railroad partnership has given mutual, invaluable collaboration in that respect. LIIV hopes to connect with other non-profits and passionate communities as they grow to spread the word and giveback.

“AC Jumpstart truly gave us the ability to build the interface of the app with which our users connect on. Looking at development, design and operating costs to build a robust app with the security/ privacy functionalities required, makes it a lengthy engagement without proper resources, team members and skill sets to build it. AC Jumpstart expedited everything with both monetary value, valuable networks of developers/coders for hire, the mentors who helped us and much more. We now have a team of four, our app is in the app store, we are getting great reviews and feedback and new users everyday.”

What is Next?

The LIIV team is now looking to secure seed funding to continue working with Canadian talent to develop new features, to build the highly sought after IOS version of the app and to expand their presence into Central, South and East Asia for interested users. Meanwhile they are appreciative of the progress made so far, they understand that the journey has only just begun, and are buoyed by the opportunity to positively impact the lives of tens of millions of men worldwide.

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.

Penta Medical Changes the Healthcare Game with Wearable Technology, Helios

Alexa Roeper is the driving force behind an innovative medical science product called Penta Medical. She has a background in biomedical science, is an avid horseback rider, and an athlete. It was a personal injury after horseback riding that inspired her to look into alternative healing methods, which ultimately led to the creation of her company.

Alexa experienced an injury years ago that was predicted to take her months to recover. Being an active and motivated (or self proclaimed, impatient) athlete ready to jump back in, she began thinking of all the other people that must experience this frustration with limited options available to expedite the healing process. That is when Alexa began exploring ideas to help not only herself heal faster, but others as well. The result was a serious fascination with the science of infrared therapies and how to innovate and build on that existing service to offer a more convenient, fast and mobile way to help those with muscular and or skeletal injuries heal faster.



Wearable Medical Technology! How Does It Work?

As a business owner, athlete and young professional, Alexa understands how busy life can be, to the point where it can interfere with getting proper healthcare, especially after experiencing sport related injuries. Many athletes, both amateur and professional, can experience lingering effects from previous injuries, so Penta developed a wearable product called Helios.

Helios delivers infrared therapy, a widely adopted method used at physiotherapy clinics, to the areas of injury or pain. The current prototype, operates much like an adjustable armband, that can be worn directly on the injured area, which then helps accelerate patients’ recovery. Helios is a way to effortlessly treat injuries and pain management from the comfort of your home (or anywhere you find yourself in a day). It is light, mobile and therefore patients can go about their day, and while doing so, “speed healing”, on their terms and within their schedule. Alexa shares, “Our goal with this technology is to make healthcare easily accessible and mobile, like many of our lives in this digital, fast paced world.”

How Did They Do It?

Alexa and co-founder Daniel Choi have been working hard and over the last year have accomplished a great deal. Penta, which got it’s start in the Velocity Science Program has also been a part of the Fierce Founders program, has pitched and secured 250K in investments, and is a part of the Accelerator Centre’s AC Jumpstart program.

Penta’s AC Jumpstart Experience

We asked Alexa what she and her team got out of the AC Jumpstart experience and this is what she had to share,

“AC Jumpstart has been instrumental in our company’s growth. Through funding and resources we were able to build the prototype of our wearable tech, Helios with a digital app which allows for health and injury-healing tracking. I love the transparency with which the AC communicates with each of their AC Jumpstart clients. We are all a big family and know exactly what to expect of the experience.

Additionally, the mentorship has been so helpful. Each mentor truly cares about you and your company’s growth. I love how each of them have gone above and beyond to help us on our journey. We were able to secure funding, set up speaking engagements and get some valuable press including a story in the Globe and Mail, all thanks to their help and guidance. I love this program, can’t say enough about that, haha!”

Penta is currently teaming up with various sports teams and a couple clinics in the Kitchener-Waterloo region to test out the new wearable product/app Helios, track the progress and experiences multiple patients have with various injuries to continue improving and building wearable products that help to heal those on the go!

Penta’s mission is to change the future of healthcare, one wearable at a time!

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.

Chillwall Launches Events Discovery Platform Worldwide to Reconnect the Digitally Isolated

Michael Campanelli, co-founder and visionary behind Chillwall, the “world’s event network” was inspired to create a platform that encourages people, specifically, millennials to reconnect in real space, effortlessly.

Millennials are the most connected generation, however, research reveals that they are paradoxically the most isolated. All those connections, friends and likes online are great, but we are still experiencing disconnect and are not as fulfilled without meaningful, face-to-face socialization and connection. Michael believes that technology can be used to bring us back to each other, and Chillwall was created to do just that,

“Technology, as powerful and wonderful as it is, has also isolated many people. We want to see the power of technology used to bring people back together. So we built a tool that will aid in an effortless connection in the real world. We view ourselves as the social butler, helping users discover local events near them they never new to search for in two clicks or less, anywhere in the world.”

How does Chillwall work?

Chillwall is a personal Machine Learning Discovery network that enables individuals to search for local events based on interests, type and location. The platform is powered by an advanced learning recommendation algorithm which learns what a user’s specific preferences are over time and starts to recommend events for them wherever they are searching from in the world. All activity and searches are private to each user unless, for example, they decide to invite a friend to go to an event or share what event they plan to attend. Users can share those interests with friends, calendar it and find their way to the event using GPS — all in two clicks.

Michael explains, “today’s online society craves simplicity and our mentality is less is more, so we have made the user interface and experience simple and easy to use, in two clicks or less.”
It is perfect for young working professionals who want to meet people, those who just moved to a new city, travelers, and the list goes on!

Michael and the Chillwall team received the AC JumpStart grant this year, and with the help of funding and mentorship, Chillwall was able to advance from a beta program with 2000+ cities to choose from, to a full, global launch which happened just last week (July 2017).

Michael explained how the funding, mentorship, validation and growth that came out of the AC Jumpstart Program allowed the team to build out the platform. The team is thrilled to see young people get a lot of value out of it, and the feedback inspires them to keep making it better and better.

“We want to bring people back together, and make it easy for anyone, anywhere, to connect and know there are always interesting, meaningful things for them to do, with old and new friends.”

After the launch last week, Michael and the team are excited to move forward with expanding the platform with new features, guest bloggers and much more! The platform is currently available on web and IOS. https://chillwall.com/

ACJumpStart 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.