Archived — Government of Canada Celebrates Entrepreneurship in Greater Toronto Area

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For immediate release
November 14, 2013

Mississauga, Ontario — Mississauga and Toronto graduates of the Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre's VentureStart program were honoured today at a special ceremony at the Mississauga Convention Centre to celebrate their achievements in entrepreneurship and business development. Stella Ambler, Member of Parliament for Mississauga South, on behalf of Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), was on hand to congratulate the graduates and to encourage continued business development in the region.

"I am pleased to recognize the success of the VentureStart program and the achievement of these graduates," said MP Ambler. "Today, we see the tangible results of investing in graduates and developing in them the skills necessary to become innovators and successful entrepreneurs. These investments are helping our communities put into place business opportunities for long-term prosperity and economic diversity—elements that are key to a prosperous southern Ontario."

The RIC Centre received funding up to $7.5 million through FedDev Ontario's Scientist and Engineers in Business initiative and has developed a unique approach to business skills development and entrepreneurship training. VentureStart was launched in April 2012, and has more than 200 entrepreneurs registered for its training program. Successful program participants complete a suite of online training modules designed to give them the business skills needed to complement their technical expertise. In addition, participants are paired with an "entrepreneur-in-residence" at their local regional innovation centre, who offers real-life coaching and business advice. The VentureStart program provides some emerging entrepreneurs with matching seed financing of up to $30,000.

"The FedDev Ontario Scientists and Engineers in Business is a great initiative to support the development of tech innovations," said Pam Banks, Executive Director of the RIC Centre. "VentureStart has been embraced as a valuable program through the Regional Innovation Centre network in southern Ontario. This has been a great program to target entrepreneurs and help them take their ideas to reality and create jobs and economic prosperity along the way. RIC Centre is pleased to be a partner and a champion for this program—congratulations to the graduates who through their success, continue to inspire those still in the program."

The RIC Centre was launched in 2008 as a not-for-profit organization supporting the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. It is now part of a network of 13 regional innovation centres across Ontario, providing commercialization support to help new entrepreneurs and seasoned business people take technical innovations to market, with experienced advisors and Entrepreneurs in Residence who guide clients every step of the way.

Scientists and Engineers in Business, as part of the Southern Ontario Advantage initiatives, improves the success rate of start-up businesses in southern Ontario by developing business skills of young entrepreneurs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and providing targeted support to help them bring innovative ideas and products to market.

To date, $450 million in funding has been committed to over 250 projects under the Southern Ontario Advantage initiatives, resulting in partnerships with more than 5,300 organizations, and over $1.2 billion in additional leveraged investments from almost exclusively non-government sources.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. In Budget 2013, the Government of Canada demonstrated its continued commitment to workers, families and communities in southern Ontario with the renewal of FedDev Ontario. Economic Action Plan 2013 provides $920 million over five years for the Agency, starting on April 1, 2014. As part of the renewal, FedDev Ontario will be allocating $200 million over five years for a new Advanced Manufacturing Fund in Ontario. To learn more, please visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

As outlined by the Prime Minister, the Government of Canada remains focused on what Canadians care most about: their families, the safety of our streets and communities, their pride in being a citizen of this country, and their personal financial security.

Follow us on Twitter @FedDevOntario

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-943-7599

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
416-954-6652
FedDevMedia@FedDevOntario.gc.ca


Backgrounder

VentureStart

The VentureStart program was created by the Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre and helps technology entrepreneurs in southern Ontario by providing access to business skills training and business launch support to enhance their ability to launch and grow a new start-up venture. Since its launch, more than 200 entrepreneurs have participated in the VentureStart program.

Research Innovation Commercialization (RIC) Centre

The RIC Centre, launched in 2008, is a not-for-profit organization supporting the development of innovation and entrepreneurship in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon. It is now part of a network of 13 regional innovation centres across Ontario, providing commercialization support to help new entrepreneurs and seasoned business people take technical innovations to market, with experienced advisors and "Entrepreneurs in Residence" who guide clients every step of the way.

MaRS

Started in 2005, MaRS provides resources—people, programs, physical facilities, funding and networks—to ensure that critical innovation happens. It stimulates, identifies and harnesses great ideas, nurtures their development and guides the transformation of those ideas into reality. MaRS is a part of the network of regional innovation centres in Ontario.

Today's VentureStart Graduates

Today's VentureStart Graduates
Entrepreneur Company Description Website
From RIC Centre
Prodigy (formerly Smarteacher) Provides free access to over 300 math skills presented in a game setting geared to students in grades one through six and is endorsed by parents, students, and educators alike. https://www.prodigygame.com/Educators/
MPowered A software as a service (SaaS) platform that builds mobile and game-like corporate social responsibility reports. http://www.i-am-mpowered.com/
AvidBiologics Is a private Canadian biotechnology company developing Antibody-Drug Conjugates for the treatment of cancer. http://www.avidbiologics.com/n/Technology.html
Isobarex Offers professional services and advanced products for the analysis of the long-lived radiotracers (radioactive isotopes) by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. http://www.isobarex.ca/index.html
Emcara Designs and manufactures a line of innovative, safe, reliable and cost-effective pressure release devices, necessary in all vehicles powered by alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas and hydrogen, to prevent catastrophic explosions of their fuel tank in the event of a fire. http://emcara.com/
CHAR Technologies Is a company that has developed SulfaCHAR™- a cartridge which removes hydrogen sulfide from raw biogas. http://www.sulfachar.com/
Nmodes Has developed natural language software interfaces that make interactions with computers and web sites more user friendly. http://www.nsemodules.com/
From MaRS
BestEndings (formerly Ability4Life) Is a website offering "end-of-life" planning on multiple levels from medical options and personal choices to family involvement and alternative care. BestEndings.com
Bionym Specializes in biometrics and authentication technology for consumer electronics. http://www.bionym.com/
BreqLabs Specializes in innovative computer modules that augment the performance or add special connectivity to off-the-shelf computers. http://breqlabsinc.com/
Business on a Cloud Is a software product development company that allows business owners to access and run their business anytime and anywhere through a versatile development framework. http://www.businessonacloud.com/
Kinetica Dynamics Specializes in advanced dynamic analysis, vibration mitigation systems for buildings, bridges and industrial installations, as well as advanced seismic design using isolation and damping technologies.  http://kineticadynamics.com/home/
Push Science Offers a Customer Experience Management solution that modernizes the retail experience, delivering customer delight, increased sales opportunities, and powerful brand loyalty. http://pushsci.com/
Sandglaz Is a free, online platform that allows users to manage projects and plan tasks in daily or weekly intervals. http://www.sandglaz.com/
VertoNova Analytical Scientists at VertoNova Analytical have pioneered a radical new mass spectrometry approach that allows for the accurate measurement and high-resolution imaging of analytes within heterogeneous samples.
uFluidix Specializes in the manufacturing of micro-fluidic platforms, components usually made of plastic that house micro-channels for the passage of tiny volumes of liquid (e.g., blood). http://ufluidix.com/
Evolution Health Systems Improves treatment adherence and program compliance by bridging technology and evidence-based care. http://www.evolutionhs.com/
Epilogger Is a living event archive, designed to unite social memories for event organizers and attendees by collecting online information and sharing about the event and presenting it in an easy-to-read format. http://epilogger.com/
Clear Blue Technologies Is a technology company that combines environmentally-friendly green energy with innovative hardware and software to deliver reliable, intelligent, and high performance off-grid options that are easier to install, reduce cost of ownership and can be monitored and controlled over the web. http://www.clearbluetechnologies.com/
1DegreeBio Is the world's first independent marketplace for Life Science products including: reagents, digital tools, equipment and service providers crucial to life science research. http://1degreebio.org/
Market Correlation Is an app developed by TradeRecon that allows investors to quickly and easily measure financial correlations between stocks, ETF's, mutual funds, currencies and commodities. http://www.appbackr.com/app/Market-Correlation
CrowdMark Is a web application geared to educators, with a paper-to-cloud bridge and a marking workflow that streamlines document assessment on a massive scale. https://crowdmark.com/
WeblishPal Is a website designed to connect individuals who want to learn English with qualified and skilled teachers across North America http://www.weblishpal.com/
Greengage Mobile Is a web-based management platform that allows managers to quickly set, manage, and track sustainability goals and also engages employees in sustainability goals in real-time and rewards them for participation. https://greengagemobile.com/
Cityseed Is a mobile app that allows users to explore local destinations through map location and user commentary, with contributors receiving awards for the "seeds" of information that they share. http://www.cityseed.com/
Data Appeal Is a data analytics and visualization company interested in helping organizations increase the use and sharing of information.
Kaypok (formerly SentiMAP) Provides users with an algorithm that makes sense of social media and unstructured data, including an automated analysis process so that less time is spent searching and more time is spent using unbiased, real results. http://kaypok.com/
Whirlscape Is the company behind the creation of Minuum, a tiny, one-dimensional keyboard that frees up screen space while allowing fast, accurate typing on touch-screen devices. http://minuum.com/
HOVR Is a Toronto-based company focused on making the internet-enabled shopping search experience better and faster. http://hovr.it/ 
Mimetics Develops and provides workshops ranging from introductory robotics, to programming and interfacing for students, teachers and families, using leading-edge technologies. http://www.mimetics.ca/
Metric Aid Has developed software and methodology to drastically decrease wait times in hospital emergency departments without the need for additional resources. http://marscommons.marsdd.com/new-business-models-in-digital-health/metricaid/

Scientists and Engineers in Business

Scientists and Engineers in Business, as part of the Southern Ontario Advantage initiatives, improves the success rate of start-up businesses in southern Ontario by developing business skills of young entrepreneurs in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields and providing targeted support to help them bring innovative ideas and products to market.

To date, $450 million in funding has been committed to over 250 projects under the Southern Ontario Advantage initiatives, resulting in partnerships with more than 5,300 organizations, and over $1.2 billion in additional leveraged investments from almost exclusively non-government sources.

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