Ten innovative Ontario young entrepreneurs are receiving up to $95,000 each over the next two years to advance their companies.
Under a joint initiative between Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF)
announced at OCE’s Discovery trade show and conference last May, entrepreneurs aged 18-39 will have assistance while developing businesses around research originating in Ontario’s colleges and universities. The 10 entrepreneurs were selected after a thorough application and review process.
“This group embodies the drive, enthusiasm and innovative spirit Ontario’s young entrepreneurs show every day,” said OCE President and CEO Dr. Tom Corr. “We’re pleased to be partnering with the CYBF to help the people behind these companies and ideas move to the next level.”
Each winner receives up to $95,000 over two years; a $50,000 OCE grant plus mentorship in the first year and financing from CYBF and the Business Development Bank of Canada for up to $45,000 in the second year.
“We are proud to be working with OCE to provide critical financing, mentoring and business coaching to these 10 entrepreneurially-minded young Canadians,” said Julia Deans, Chief Executive Officer, CYBF. “These individuals have taken the key first steps towards success, to becoming job creators and community leaders, and CYBF is honoured to be part of their success.”
Supporting young entrepreneurs is a key priority for the Government of Ontario through its Youth Jobs Strategy which is investing $295 million over the next two years to support 30,000 young Ontarians from across the province find work, build job skills or start their own businesses — with new funds, programs and online tools.
“The continued prosperity of our province relies on the next generation of entrepreneurs having the resources they need to succeed,” said Dr. Eric Hoskins, Ontario's Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment. “Programs like the OCE-CYBF fellowship and Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy are providing the support our province’s young people need to become job creators.
The 10 winners are: Aaron Libfeld - Physicalytics
Physicalytics, gathers a variety of visitor information on people, environment and product interactions in physical locations and transforms it into insights that can streamline operations and optimize customer experience. Alex Kolodkin - Set Scouter
Set Scouter is the first and only full-service website that connects filmmakers looking for the perfect set with location owners who are looking to rent out their space for production. Set Scouter takes the hassle out of location scouting by facilitating the process end-to-end. Filmmakers can easily book locations for their productions with one mouse click and at a fraction of the cost. Martin Labrecque - BreqLabs Inc.
BreqLabs is commercializing a novel and innovative sensor glove device that can track very accurately and at high speed the movements of the hand. It can help provide the best computer gaming experience, implement hands-free computer access, training tools and simulators or assist people with pain or mobility limitations.
Denis Loboda - Air Xposure
Air Xposure addresses the need for easy and cost-effective aerial cinematography with their customizable gimbal and drone arrangement that allows for quick set-up and configuration to film quality aerial shots. The device may be used in a variety of locations with programmed flight routes that can be controlled by operators from the ground. Air Xposure’s technology can make aerial cinematography affordable to a larger number of filmmakers without sacrificing high visual quality. David D'Angelo - Trivium Industries
Trivium Industries is an eco-friendly company that will be the first Canadian-based manufacturer of compostable bottles for the health and beauty, pharmaceutical and food industries. The bottles are made from a corn-based material and biodegrade at commercial composting facilities in less than 180 days. Brian Stewart - Metricwire Inc.
MetricWire is changing the way the world conducts research by providing a suite of tools for collecting, analyzing, visualizing and sharing data. The company’s primary product offering is a web-based application that allows users to conduct longitudinal, context-aware studies via a smartphone. What SurveyMonkey did to online surveys, MetricWire is doing to smartphone-based research. Richard Liang, University of Waterloo
Liang’s project aims to commercialize an all-in-one optical fibre sensor technology for the simultaneous monitoring of gas/liquid concentration, pressure and temperature in oil and gas wells and pipelines. This innovative system will result in higher production efficiency and higher yield at lower energy cost, and allows for quick repairs and less lost production time. Alroy Almeida - Voltera Inc.
Voltera aims to eliminate the frustration hardware developers experience in the fabrication of prototype circuit boards by developing a device that prints circuit boards in a matter of minutes. This desktop solution will shrink the hardware development cycle from weeks into days. Elizabeth Nenniger - DraftingSpace
DraftingSPACE is an automated floor plan layout generation tool. It has application in the fields of interior design, architecture, home staging, video game design, and cg movie sets. Upon entering the desired furniture for a space and its dimensions, the tool will automatically generate the possible layouts of furniture within the space at a quality comparable to a designer. In a matter of seconds, this automated process allows design professionals to complete work that would normally take them several hours. Adam McKinty - Ruthenika
Ruthenika makes small molecules to help solve some of the world’s big problems. Every day, people use products that have been made by catalysts; from the rubber on the soles of your shoes to the plastic bag you use to carry your groceries home to the fuel you put in your car. Ruthenika provides catalyst technologies aimed to streamline chemical synthesis in turn reducing costs and environmental impact for a variety of industrial processes.