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.

Pout Acquired by Everalbum


AC JumpStart Client joins Silicon Valley startup as they expand into Waterloo Region

The AC is excited to share that AC JumpStart Client Pout has been acquired by San Francisco-based Everalbum. The announcement was made this morning by Everalbum Co-founder Andrew Dudum.

“This acquisition is part of a company wide effort to build the most seamless, mobile first photo experience on iOS and Android,” said Dudum. “Today, we strengthen that ability by adding some of the best design and engineering minds to our team. Pout’s vision for a community of fashion conscious users was to help them explore their unique sense of fashion through photos. ”

Pout was created by engineer Laura Smith and designer Riley Donelson as a way of building and fostering a community of people who are passionate about beauty and fashion, allowing them explore, discover and share their experiences, styles and techniques through photos and videos. The app has already found great success, striking a chord with both users and large brands in the fashion industry.

Pout began in the University of Waterloo’s Velocity program, and subsequently joined the second cohort of Accelerator Centre’s AC JumpStart program to help grow and scale their business to a broader audience.

The acquisition process began when Donelson traveled to San Francisco to begin exploring and learning about funding options for Pout. He arranged lunch with a former University of Waterloo classmate, who invited Dudum to join them as another friendly connection. While his classmate had to cancel, Donelson and Dudum decided to go ahead with the meeting and quickly discovered many commonalities in their companies’ ambitions, passions, and experiences.

Everalbum is unique combination of a productivity-app and a cloud-storage solution, whose aim is re-imagine the experience of the family photo album; capturing, storing, and allowing people to share their memories.

Donelson and Dudum continued to stay in touch, and after a few months, Dudum mentioned Everalbum’s desire to establish a second office in Waterloo Region due to the strength of the ecosystem and the talent pool. Everalbum moved into Kitchener’s Lang Tannery building in November and talks about acquiring Pout quickly ensued.

“We’re proud that this acquisition continues our relationship with the Waterloo tech community, said Donelson. “Pout joins a list of successful startups emanating from University of Waterloo, Velocity, Communitech, and the Accelerator Centre. We’re excited to continue the movement started by our tech peers, like Google, Kik, and Shopify, in establishing a Canadian ecosystem which we are proud to be a part of.”

“We’re really excited to join Everalbum,” says Donelson. “From the beginning it’s been an amazing fit with Andrew and the team, and this will allow us to take Pout to a whole new level.”

Smith and Donelson will join the Everalbum team in Kitchener, working on getting to know the Everalbum team and continuing to grow the Pout community and brand on a global scale.

About AC JumpStart

AC JumpStart is a one-year funding and mentorship program designed to help companies accelerate their business growth. The program offers $30K in funding and $10K worth of mentorship from our team of in-house experts. Apply.

AC JumpStart Client Suncayr Plans Broader Product Line


This post originally appeared on

By Peter Moreira

Suncayr CEO Rachel Pautler sums it up best when it comes to the obvious appeal of her company’s skin protection product, joking that her team initially wondered, “Why has no one done this before?”

The product—a marker that tests the effectiveness of your sunscreen using ink that only becomes visible when your skin is exposed to UV rays— has a literal pain point, allowing users to avoid sunburns and skin damage. Pautler says it is also more precise than competing products like the Netatmo June wristband and Goodlux Sunsprite lapel clasp, which measure the overall amount of UV exposure received, but cannot gauge sunscreen coverage.

Pautler and fellow co-founders Derek Jouppi, Andrew Martinko and Chad Sweeting are nanotechnology engineers who began working on the idea as a senior class project at the University of Waterloo in 2013. Development started in Waterloo’s Velocity Science accelerator program before half the operation moved to the Velocity Foundry, a hardware incubator. It has also received mentorship at Communitech.

In the span of about two years, Suncayr’s innovative technology has already started turning heads internationally. In 2014, the company was the only Canadian team shortlisted for the prestigious James Dyson Award. Most recently, Suncayr was named one of the Kairos Society’s K50 companies, an international network that spotlights companies that have founders under 25 and a revolutionary, market-ready product.

At the K50 Global Summit held this month in Hollywood, Suncayr was selected out of the group as one of the most promising 13 startups, receiving a resource prize from the NASDAQ Entrepreneurial Center which includes a week of retail space in San Francisco for consumer testing.

Pautler says that while getting the Suncayr marker to market is their chief focus, the medical implications of their technology reach far further.

“Our core technology is not really the UV sensing at all,” she said. “It’s more so how we keep it on the skin. Sun screen has a lot of solvents– it dissolves a lot of things– so we developed our technology to keep a very thin film on the top of your skin.”

Future applications of their technology, Pautler says, could include better skin-contact drug delivery for things like nicotine or birth control, and use as an alternative to surgical tape.

“We’re hoping to build out the company to a whole suite of skincare products.”

For now, the Suncayr marker is still in the process of going through Health Canada’s regulation process. Once the company gets the greenlight they will be able to start pre-sales this spring, in anticipation of a full launch in to the Canadian market by July. Pautler says the company’s first round of funding could occur as early as this December.

Learn more about Entrevestor.

What’s Your Problem?

Collaborating to solve killer workplace problems

The Stratford Accelerator Centre, partnering with the University of Waterloo and Velocity, is excited to welcome Professor Larry Smith from UW Economics, to the Stratford campus on Wednesday, October 21 2015.

This must-see Velocity Alpha event: What’s Your Problem? is aimed at helping students and employees find and solve ‘killer’ problems in their workplaces. A UW pioneer in entrepreneurship and innovation, Smith has a keen interest in helping foster and build not only entrepreneurs but also entrepreneurial employees.  “Nobody is dealing with the issue of entrepreneurial employees,” says Smith.  “There’s a lot of activity on helping people start companies, justifiably, of course, and very little on helping people become entrepreneurial employees.”

The event, starting at 7pm, is happening on the University of Waterloo Stratford campus which houses the school’s digital media programs (Global Business and Digital Arts and the Masters of Digital Experience Innovation). Pizza and beverages will be provided!

Register here.

For more information contact Becka Borody (Manager, Operations at Stratford Accelerator Centre) at or (519) 275-3694

Prime Minister Announces Advancing Selections for Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program

Source: Prime Minister News Release

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced the organizations that have been chosen to advance in the selection process for the Canada Accelerator and Incubator Program (CAIP) which is designed to help outstanding small- and medium-sized Canadian enterprises to grow, prosper and create jobs. He made the announcement at Communitech, a hub for the commercialization of innovative technologies in Waterloo, Ontario. The Prime Minister was joined by Ed Holder, Minister of State (Science and Technology), Peter Braid, Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Communities and Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, and Stephen Woodworth, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre.

The following organizations have been chosen to advance in the selection process under the CAIP:

  • BC Technology Industry Association (BCTIA) (Accelerator)
  • Bioenterprise Corporation (Accelerator)
  • Centre d’entreprises et d’innovation de Montréal (CEIM) (Incubator)
  • Centre for Drug Research & Development (CDRD), in collaboration with CDRD Venture Inc. (Accelerator/Incubator)
  • Communitech Corporation, in collaboration with University of Waterloo Velocity, Laurier LaunchPad and the Waterloo Accelerator Centre (Accelerator/Incubator)
  • Corporation Inno-Centre du Québec (Accelerator/Incubator)
  • GrowLab Ventures Inc., in collaboration with Extreme Startups (Accelerator)
  • Invest Ottawa, in collaboration with Wesley Clover, PARTEQ Innovations and InnovationPark at Queen’s University (Accelerator/Incubator)
  • Manitoba Technology Accelerator (MTA) (Incubator)
  • Prince Edward Island BioAlliance Inc. (Incubator)
  • Propel ICT (Accelerator)
  • Ryerson University, in collaboration with Simon Fraser University and University of Ontario Institute of Technology (Accelerator/Incubator)
  • The Next 36 (Accelerator/Incubator) University of Alberta, in collaboration with TEC Edmonton and Innovate Calgary (Accelerator/Incubator)
  • Wavefront Wireless Commercialization Centre Society (Accelerator/Incubator)
    – See more at:

Read the full news release here

Check out a 24 SEVEN exclusive video on Why Accelerators Matter here