TORONTO, August 6, 2015 – Eighteen up and coming Ontario assistive technology companies will compete for $20,000 in business development funding in Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Accessibility Tech Pitch competition, part of The Government of Ontario’s Accessibility Innovation Showcase.
“Through our numerous programs, OCE has proudly supported the development of accessibility devices and technologies for many years,” says OCE President and CEO Dr. Tom Corr. “This competition is a way to further support that development as well as a made-in-Ontario innovation.”
The showcase, which runs from August 8 to 10 at MaRS Discovery District, is the first of its kind and is an official part of the Parapan Am Games. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this high profile event brings together top innovators, investors, local and international dignitaries, government and the public.
“I am pleased that OCE is supporting innovators and entrepreneurs who are focused on developing cutting edge technology that will help improve the lives of persons with disabilities,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation. “This competition will showcase and support the advancement of accessibility technologies, and give innovators the chance to access resources that can take their businesses to the next level.”
The companies will pitch their products to panels made up of experts and investors in two rounds at MaRS Discovery District, 101 College St.
On Sunday, August 9, all 18 companies will pitch from 1:30-5 p.m. with the five best going on to the final round being held Monday, August 10 from 1:30-3:30 p.m.
A full list of participating companies is attached below.
For the semi-final, Tom Emrich, Founder, We Are Wearables, will serve as host.
Judges for this round are: Monica Ackermann, Senior Manager, IT Accessibility, Scotiabank; Narbe Alexandrian, Associate, OMERS Ventures; Jonathan Bega, Associate, Golden Venture Partners; Brenda Hogan, Senior Investment Manager, Ontario Capital Growth Corporation; Malcolm MacTaggart, Executive Director, Spark Angel Network; Michael Sfalcin, Investmend Director, BEST Funds; Don Wilford, Venture Partner, First Stone Venture Partners.
The finals will be hosted by Andrew Haley, a Canadian Paralympic Gold Medal-winning Swimmer.
Judges for the final are: Ian Bandeen, Vice-Chair and founder, NACO; Martin Croteau, Director, Academic Entrepreneurship, OCE; Sam Ifergan, Managing Partner, iGan Partners; Kevin Sterling, President, Keiretsu Forum Toronto; Jutta Treviranus, Director, Inclusive Design Research Centre (OCAD).
About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc. (www.oce-ontario.org)
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, domestic and foreign investors, and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices, innovation, entrepreneurship and research, OCE invests in such areas as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), which helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. Learn more at www.onebusiness.ca
Manager, Media Relations
Ontario Centres of Excellence
416-861-1092 x 1022
AccessNow – Toronto, ON
AccessNow has created a mobile app that uses crowdsourcing to pinpoint accessibility information of public and private spaces on an interactive map.
BreqLabs Inc. – Toronto, ON
BreqLabs Inc. is the creator of the ExoSwitch, a wearable device that allows limited movement individuals to select icons or links on a computer/mobile. Replacing buttons, the ExoSwitch detects slight movements to enable a user to communicate.
CareChair – Kitchener, ON
CareChair is the first standalone system that can function both as a wheelchair and a bed while aiming to reduce the risk of injury associated with moving patients and to increase the independence of the individual.
CrossWing, Inc. – Markham, ON
CrossWing, Inc. is the creator of VirtualMe, a patent-pending, modular, mass-market robotics platform enabling a rich application and peripheral ecosystem.
Eightfold Technologies – Ottawa, ON
Eightfold Technologies is the creator of the SmartChair. The goal of the ‘Smartchair’ project is to outfit power wheelchairs with a palm sized computer and several sensors to allow the chair to perform the loading in and out of vans safely and autonomously. This technology will also allow the disabled person to remotely control his/her power chair with their smartphone. They could bring the chair to where they are when they wish to get into the chair in times like after shower in the morning and also sent the chair out of the way when they get off the chair like when they wish to sit on the couch for a rest.
GestureTek Health – Toronto, ON
GestureTek Health leads the way in gesture-control technology for the disability, hospital, mental health and education sectors. Our touch-free, motion-activated solutions for virtual reality physical therapy, multisensory stimulation and immersive play let patients (regardless of age, ability or condition) have fun in a hygienic environment and experience marked improvement in their physical and cognitive abilities.
iamsick.ca – Toronto, ON
iamsick.ca aims to be the best Canadian same-day healthcare options destination. It is a curated listing of all ERs, Urgent care centres, Walk-in clinics, and Pharmacies in Canada. The listing is accessible via our nearest options mapping service, which has been designed for use on computers and mobile devices.
iDAPT Services – Toronto, ON
iDAPT Services’ pioneering work is having a direct impact. From new treatments to better assistive devices, we are maximizing people’s recovery and improving quality of life. We share these discoveries with others – to help people everywhere. All patients and practitioners deserve the latest that science has to offer.
iMerciv Inc. – Toronto, ON
iMerciv Inc. is the creator of the BuzzClip which detects obstacles within an individual’s immediate surroundings and allows them to safely navigate around those obstacles by ‘buzzing’ at different frequencies depending on the distance to the object.
Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab – Toronto, ON
Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab has created a low-cost after-market navigation assistance system for commercial powered wheelchairs that prevents collisions, and provides feedback to the driver. It can thus be used as a permanent add-on system, or as a short-term training module that allows novice drivers to practice independently.
Komodo OpenLab Inc. – Toronto, ON
Komodo OpenLab Inc. has created Tecla Shield which gives access to iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices to individuals with spinal cord injuries (quadriplegia), multiple sclerosis (MS), ALS, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, brain injury, stroke and anyone else who, due to disease or disability, finds it difficult to use a touch-screen through the use of your external switches or the driving controls of your powered wheelchair.
LegWorks – Toronto, ON
LegWorks has created the AT-Knee, a novel and highly functional artificial knee joint for people with amputations.
MyndTec Inc. – Mississauga, ON
MyndTech Inc. has created MyndMove, a non-invasive neurorehabilitation therapy that uses surface electrical stimulation to treat upper extremity paralysis and improve voluntary arm and hand movements such as reach and grasping.
Neuten Labs Inc. – Toronto, ON
Neutun is novel tracking software for epileptics through smartwatches and wearables. Our technology is device agnostic, non-invasive and utilizes accessible wearables to provide a seizure tracking tool for people living with epilepsy.
Northern World Entertainment Software Inc. – Alliston, ON
Northern World Entertainment Software Inc. is the creator of My Digital Coloring Book, It’s Coloriffic!, an educational game which plans to help teach individuals with Autism relevant computer skills on various platforms. It accomplishes this by giving users a fun filled game experience which also celebrates their achievements and assists in building a social network to inspire their families.
Sight Enhancement Systems – Ottawa, ON
Sight Enhancement Systems designs and manufactures high quality, highly innovative and competitively priced assistive devices for people with low vision for use at home, school and work.
Top Motion and Mobility Inc. – Barrie, ON
Top Motion and Mobility Inc. is creating mobility solutions for children suffering from mobility issues. With the creation of the KidCar, Top Motion and Mobility Inc. aims to help empower and remove the stigma for children dealing with disabilities.
Vigurus Technologies Inc. – Toronto, ON
Vigurus Technologies Inc. is the creator of Sp1ke Ergomorphic Seating Support Surfaces, a new product that can be used to build wheelchair seats that better evenly distribute pressure.