Thrive Applications Now Open!

 

Applications for Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program – Cohort 4 are now open!
 
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THRIVE is a startup accelerator that offers a hybrid of incubation and acceleration services. Co-locate with the Spark Centre team and other tech startups to achieve a faster market entry with advisory and operational support services.

All applications will be assessed based on team capability, attitude, and commitment, ability to execute, strength of innovation, and potential to generate revenue and raise capital.

Applications close April 11th, 2016. All applicants will be sent an updated Terms and Conditions sheet prior to being notifying if they have been accepted into the program.
 
 

Brilliant Entrepreneurship develops brilliant business ideas

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Sometimes the idea is the easy part. Then comes the challenge: how to make it a viable business venture.

Getting a cool business idea off the ground is one of the biggest hurdles confronting any young entrepreneur. Maybe you’re an inventor, but you don’t have the business savvy or the available time to take your idea to the next level. When you’re new to the business world, the learning curve can be sharp. Sometimes it can be too steep. Where can you turn for advice and guidance?

There’s a powerful entrepreneurial buzz these days at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). The learning environment on campus is dynamic and those with ambitious plans and bright ideas are taking advantage of a supportive new entrepreneurial culture – appropriately called Brilliant.

Brilliant Entrepreneurship provides business development tools and skills such as workshops and bootcamps, incubation space, mentorship, networking and funding opportunities.

During February’s mid-semester Reading Week, UOIT Brilliant Entrepreneurship and Spark Innovation Centre collaborated to deliver an intensive three-day entrepreneurial bootcamp for university students. The challenge: develop a viable business idea for the information technology and media industries.

“Bootcamp participants from different university faculties went through the entire business startup experience – from the exuberance of the initial idea to the challenge of execution,” says David Pamenter, Executive-in-Residence, UOIT Brilliant Entrepreneurship. “After the first day, five teams were formed. We grouped students with different sets of entrepreneurial skills and challenged them to develop one great business idea they would later pitch to a panel of judges.”

Students received catalyst tools and the support and guidance of experienced advisors, from Spark Innovation Centre and UOIT staff and alumni. Top companies were awarded cash prizes from both Brilliant Entrepreneurship and Spark Centre, as well as in-kind services. They also earned placement in the 2016 Brilliant Summer Incubator Program.

2016 Bootcamp Awards

  • First place ($2,000) – Integrity Browser*
    • Ahmad Touseef, Founder (Electrical Engineering, third year)
    • Sagar Desai (Software Engineering, third year)
    • Benson Naman (Human Health Science specialization, second year)
  • Second place ($1,000) – Mager Cleaning Service**
    • Spencer Greenway, Co-Founder (Health Science Comprehensive, fourth year)
    • Reza Karami (Networking and Information Technology Security, fourth year)
    • Max Polubiec, Co-Founder (Entrepreneurship and Innovation, fifth year, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia)
  • *About Integrity Browser
    • Integrity Browser is an artificially intelligent web browser that stops cheating in online courses. It acts like an invigilator: it monitors the student by ‘seeing’ through a webcam and ‘hearing’ via audio to detect any pre-defined academic misconducts, such as reading off external notes, talking to peers to get answers, peeking at cheating aids, etc.
  • **About Mager Cleaning Service
    • Mager Cleaning Service is a digital marketplace mobile application that matches students who want convenient and inexpensive cleaning services with other students seeking on-demand flexible employment.
  • 2016 Brilliant Bootcamp judges
    • Jodi Glover, CEO and Co-Founder, Real Tech Inc.
    • John Hayden, Manager, Enterprise Programs – Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation
    • Steve Rose, Associate Dean, UOIT Faculty of Business and Information Technology

Brilliant Entrepreneurship at UOIT is supported in part by FastStart and Incubate Innovate Network of Canada (I-INC). FastStart is a member of the Ontario Networks of Excellence and is funded in part by the Ontario Centres of Excellence. I-INC is supported in part by the National Research Council Canada.

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FIRST Robotics Competition

Fifty high school robotics teams from across Ontario, Quebec, Alberta and the states of New York and Texas will converge at the joint Durham College / University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) campus from Thursday, March 10 to Saturday, March 12 for a three-day robotics showdown at the FIRST® Robotics Canada (FRC) Greater Toronto East Regional competition.

The event in the Campus Recreation and Wellness Centre (CRWC) is free and open to the public.

More than 1,000 students will demonstrate their engineering skills and knowledge playing FIRST Stronghold™, the new game developed for the 2016 competition, as they contend for a coveted spot at the FRC World Championship.

Schedule:

Thursday, March 10
• Practice rounds

Friday, March 11:
• Opening ceremonies: 8:30 a.m.
• Qualification matches: 9 a.m. to noon; 1 to 5:45 p.m.

Saturday, March 12:
• Final rounds: 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
• Awards ceremony: 4:30 p.m.

Parking: Enter off Simcoe Street North or Conlin Road and proceed to the Founders 3 parking lot. Follow the signs to the CRWC.

Start time: 12:30 p.m.

End time: 6:00 p.m.

Haliburton Highlands Awards Gala

Spark Innovation Centre would like to acknowledge our clients and partners who attended, were nominated and won an award at the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce Business & Community Achievement Awards held on Saturday February 27th!

The Business & Community Achievement Awards are an annual community celebration hosted by the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce. The Awards recognize businesses, organizations and individuals from across the Haliburton Highlands who have contributed to the betterment of its communities.

Below is a list of Spark Innovation Centre clients and partners who were represented at the event.

Award Sponsors
Haliburton County Development Corporation (HCDC)
TechnicalitiesPlus
WAI Products Ltd.

Nominations
Brandi Hewson, WAI Products Ltd. – Entrepreneur of the Year
Terri Matthews-Carl & Christoph Carl, Rhubarb Restaurant & Boshkung Brewing – Entrepreneur of the Year
Into the Blue Bakery – Innovation & Creativity Award
BeBe Bartoons – New Business Award

Winners
Into the Blue Bakery – Innovation & Creativity Award

Spark Innovation Centre would also like to thank Haliburton County Development Corporation (HCDC) and Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce for continuing to support small businesses and entrepreneurs in their community.

For a full list of nominees and winners and more information on the event, CLICK HERE.

Client Update: Liasn

by Jeff Klink, Founder & CEO of Liasn

Liasn Inc. is a tech company providing solutions to the automotive sales market. From it’s beginnings in Toronto in 2015, Liasn is growing due to increased adoption of mobile and web technologies in the automotive sector.

Liasn’s newest product, LiasnTracker, is an innovative way for automotive dealerships to increase customer satisfaction while effectively generating referral traffic and sales by turning satisfied customers into a referral army. Whether it’s following a sold vehicles progress from transport, to credit approvals, to detailing, to licensing or confirming the date of a vehicle release, today’s vehicle buyers want to be kept informed every step of the way from sale to delivery. LiasnTracker, an automotive delivery scheduler, is designed to do just that.

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Over the past several weeks we, at Liasn, have been meeting with dealerships and sharing our latest software. Our innovative technology has been received with great enthusiasm and we are preparing for an exciting month ahead.

Being a part of the Spark Centre has been an awesome experience as we have been able to meet, connect and collaborate with other entrepreneurs and startups. The atmosphere and energy at The Loft helps fuel our creativity. We are thrilled to be part of the Spark Centre community.

For more information, please visit our website at liasn.com or follow us on:
Twitter: @liasn
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/liasn