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.

SPARK – AC JumpStart Showcase

SPARK brings startups who have received the AC JumpStart grant come together with industry and community members to showcase their work and celebrate the strength of the ecosystem.

The Accelerator Centre Will Welcome Minister Bardish Chagger to the AC to Celebrate Local Startups and Announce Cohort 7 of the AC JumpStart Program

Media Release

November 7, 2017

To Celebrate Global Entrepreneurship Week, the Accelerator Centre will welcome 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, for our annual AC JumpStart signature event, SPARK, on November 14, 2017.

AC JumpStart is an innovative seed funding and mentorship program, funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), aimed at helping technology startups establish and grow their business in southern Ontario. The annual SPARK event highlights some of the brightest entrepreneurial prospects in the Waterloo Region and gives the community early access to these up-and-coming startups.

Companies who have received the AC JumpStart grant within the last year will present their technology in a fair style showcase and will compete for “investment dollars” from the audience. The three startups with the most “investment” will get three minutes to present their startup to the audience. The top startup will take home a cash prize provided by our AC JumpStart sponsor, Gowling WLG.

“We are excited to showcase some of Waterloo’s top up and coming technology companies. Through our partnership with FedDev Ontario, we are helping accelerate businesses through providing essential early stage financing, in addition to the Accelerator Centre’s renowned mentoring program. As a result, Waterloo startups are building better products faster, getting sales traction, and developing a solid foundation to aid them through growth to scale because of this program.” – Clinton Ball, Director of Client Program and Initiatives

SPARK is open to the public and members of the community and local media are welcome.

Please visit our website for more detail or to register to attend.

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.

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.

A Startup’s Journey: One-on-One with Ruth Casselman from Alert Labs

As you come up the stairs of 44 Gaukel Street to the Accelerator Centre’s Advanced Manufacturing and Hardware Innovation Lab and head down the main hall to the back of the building, you’ll find the office of Alert Labs. Now utilizing two suites for office space and another room for testing, they are one of the fastest growing companies in the Accelerator Program and are on track to becoming one of the next big tech companies in the Waterloo Region.

The Product

Alert Labs builds cellular based sensors that help protect homeowners and businesses from water damage by sending them alerts about leaks, floods, and abnormal water use. They also track use by the minute to help customers conserve water and save money. Their Flowie water sensor straps on to existing water meters and analyzes water use, highlights costs and compares consumption versus averages. It also sends alerts via email, text or an app about running left running, temperature, humidity and power outages. Their Floodie companion sensor can installed anywhere in a home where water could cause damage. It sends instant flood alerts when it comes in to contact with water.

They are selling their devices to a variety of different groups, including homeowners, landlords, property managers, restoration companies, insurance companies and municipalities. Alert Labs has partnered with the City of Guelph to offer residents an instant rebate on a Flowie water sensor kit, as part of the city’s water efficiency strategy. They recently announced that Intact Ventures, a division of Intact Financial Corporation, is a strategic investor in the company.


How they got started

In early 2015, founders Ruth Casselman, George, Tsintzouras, and Kevin Wright found themselves ready to begin their own venture. “The timing just came along…it was the right time for us to go out on our own,” Ruth recalls. The trio came to the table with more than 30 years of experience working in high technology. Ruth had just recently left BlackBerry, and Kevin and George had come from Christie Digital.

They considered a number of ideas, but they kept coming back to home utilities monitoring. All three founders are property managers and water usage was something that they all struggled with. On one occasion, a renter called George while he was travelling in China to tell him that a leak had turned into a full-blown flood. They looked for tools they could use to try and prevent this but what was available was complicated to install and was simply too expensive to warrant doing at their properties. That’s when they decided to create their own solution and Alert Labs was born.

Once they decided it was time to move out of their home office, they found the Accelerator Program. For Alert Labs, there were a number of reasons to join the program, but at the core of their decision was the mentorship. “We are very lucky to live in a community where there’s a lot of support for [starting a tech company],” Ruth says.

“Access to experienced business professionals who could guide us and advise us can take weeks and weeks out of a process.”

In additional to the mentorship and resources available through the Accelerator Program, Alert Labs also received the AC JumpStart grant that provided them with $30,000 in seed capital and an additional $10,000 in mentorship. “The $30,000 we received felt like all the money in the world… it allowed us to do what we needed to do.”

Alert Labs began working out of the ACs Reactor facility, but it quickly became clear that there were challenges with building their hardware company in the space. “The Reactor space is a very lovely finished office space with carpets and desks that they don’t like burn holes in from soldering irons… the AC folks realized that maybe that space wasn’t ideal for us or for hardware companies.” As the plans for Alert Labs’ devices started becoming real physical products, they needed a space where they would be able to do the “messy” work required.

This situation was confirmation for the Accelerator Centre there was a need for a space and specialized resources for hardware and IoT companies. Working in partnership with the City of Kitchener and ArtsBuild Ontario, the AC opened the Advanced Manufacturing and Hardware Innovation Lab with Alert Labs at its first tenant.

“The space at Gaukel was absolutely what we needed. We love being in downtown Kitchener, there is a great tech vibe down here. Specifically, this space has the mix between Arts and Tech, which is something that when you’re really immersed in the technology world, you sometimes forget that there’s other folks with different focuses and having that mix right here in our building is a very vibrant and motivating environment.”

The Future

Now, after more than a year of working out of the space, Alert Labs has hit some major milestones. They have grown to a team of 18 with plans to grow to 25 before the end of the year. They have brought two products to market with more coming in the next six months. “We try to recognize all of the milestones, even if they’re small because as a startup, a lot of things are very hard. The first time we sent out a large shipment as a team, that was a big deal and we had champagne that day.”

Alert Labs launched its first devices in February and now has Flowie and Floodie sensors deployed across Canada and the US and they are on track to become one of the AC’s grads and will join the likes of Miovision, Ecopia, KiK, and Clearpath Robotics on the Grad wall at ACHQ.

“When we started as a tiny little company of three people two and a half years ago, we looked at that wall in the Accelerator Centre and we looked at all the logos up there and thought ‘someday we could be on that wall’ and it really seemed like an imaginary thing. Having the recognition by an organization like the Accelerator Centre that’s saying you’ve done a good job is like the gold star.”

For more information on Alert Labs, check out their website at alertlabs.com or message them at hello@alertlabs.com. If you’re interested in learning more about the Accelerator Centre’s Advanced Manufacturing and Hardware Innovation Lab or want information on the joining AC contact info@acceleratorcentre.com

Media Release: The Accelerator Centre Announces Cohort 6 of their AC JumpStart Program

June 15, 2017

Waterloo Ontario – The Accelerator Centre is pleased to announce Cohort 6 of the AC JumpStart program. The program provides each recipient $30,000 in seed funding and $10,000 of mentorship.

56 Studios

Brothers DePaul

Eagle Vision Systems Inc.

EMAGIN Clean Technologies Inc.

Finservices Inc

Healthy Pets

Jobbee Technologies Corp

Load Army


Oko Social

Quali Robotics


Serenity Bioworks Inc.

Site Safety Solutions Inc. REBAR Safety

Teal Software

The Hockey Pro

Traffic Is Currency

Vena Medical

Visa Run Inc. (Trade Name: Sherpa)


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MemorySparx One allows users to:

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

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

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

Media Contact:

Tabatha Laverty
Community Manager