International Soft Landing Program: Touchdown

Spark Centre’s International Soft Landing Program, Touchdown, is focused on providing international companies from the tech and innovative space the opportunity to learn about doing business in Canada. Participants in the program will receive exposure to key areas including Marketing, Sales, Legal, Intellectual Property, Financial and Human Resources. Spark Centre is committed to providing the knowledge, connections and assets necessary for international companies to establish their business in Canada.

 

The one week program will commence on May 29th, 2017 (Deadline to apply: April 1).

 

TouchdownShip  For more information on how to apply, mentorship, and networking opportunities, please click here

TouchdownShip  To download the full program outline, please click here

TouchdownShip  To download an application form, please click here

Client Update: Qloud+ – Find Your Files Faster

by Brandon Robinson – VP Customer Engagement, CrossPlatform Cloud Technologies

Like many people and organizations CrossPlatform Cloud Technologies is fully virtual.  We don’t have a ton of servers in our own office, in our homes, or even on our laptops that run all the services vital to modern tech company.  Ranging from our email, CRM, time tracking, software development tools, and yes, files, our business lives in the cloud.

If you, like us, feel that you spend more time looking for your files then working on them, we understand the frustration.

“Was that file in Dropbox or OneDrive?  Do you have the latest spreadsheet from GoogleDrive?  No?  Oh, I put it in the shared folder for everyone to see it. You don’t have permission to view it now? Really? Ok, I’ll email it to you.”

Sound familiar?  Sadly, we know it does.

That’s why we are very excited to announce our new product, QloudPlus (pronounced Cloud Plus). We want you to find your files faster.

QloudPlus was born from the idea that it should be easiest to find your files and get to work, not spending tons of time hunting down the correct file that you know you have, you just can’t put your fingers on it in a hurry. Well, with QloudPlus you will spend less time looking and more time finding.

QloudPlus allows you to:

  • Connect and find your cloud storage accounts in one place;
  • Manage and organize your files without moving them;
  • Do more in record time with Qloud+ Activities and get on with what you really need to do (which isn’t looking for your files!).

We want to help you take back more time in your day that is spent looking for files to work on, and actually get to working on them.

How it works:

CONNECT YOUR ACCOUNTS

Connect to as many cloud storage accounts as you want. Choose from the most popular services like Dropbox, Google Drive, and Microsoft OneDrive.

FIND YOUR FILES FASTER

Spend less time looking and more time finding with easy search tools. Access your recent files, uploads, shares, favorites, all at a glance.

GET MORE DONE

Get more done in less time thanks to Qloud+ Activities. Take action with suggestions on how to better organize your files, save space, find your files faster, and get more done with just one click.

You know you have the file, you just can’t seem to find it. We’re all in this together.

COMING IN SPRING 2017 – QloudPlus – Find Your Files Faster

Learn more at www.qloudplus.com.

 

About CrossPlatform Cloud Technologies

CrossPlatform Cloud Technologies is focused on harnessing the best of the cloud and make it more accessible, easier to use, and to deliver increased levels of simplicity. Ranging from applications to increase day-to-day productivity to scaling business technology challenges, CrossPlatform is committed to making the cloud work for you. CrossPlatform is a proud member of Cohort 4 in the Thrive Accelerator Program at the Spark Centre, one of Ontario’s leading Regional Innovation Centre’s.

Visit the website at www.crossplatform.ca for more information.

Client Update: IFTech on CBC Dragons’ Den

Michael and Brodie Stanfield, the father and son duo behind Durham Region based startup, IFTech appeared on the recent Family Episode of CBC’s Dragons’ Den on February 15th and walked out with a deal for their ARAIG gaming suit.

IFTech are leading the next generation of immersive gaming. Their first product, ARAIG (As Real As It Gets) is a high-tech, multi-sensory wearable gaming suit. Whether it is for gaming, training, virtual reality, augmented awareness or another market entirely, ARAIG delivers the most cutting-edge technology to its users.

The Stanfield’s explained that the idea for the ARAIG suit came after playing one of their favourite video games. A huge explosion happened in the game, there was so much action on the screen, but the only physical sensation they got was a slight rumble in the controller. It looked exciting, but it didn’t feel exciting. The ARAIG suit makes it feel like you are right there in the game.

It was Dragon Manjit Minhas that saw the potential and offered a $500,000 for a 25% stake in the company, which Michael and Brodie gladly accepted.

“Getting to go and pitch in front of the Dragons’ was a great opportunity and experience,” said Brodie Stanfield “Being able to receive feedback from the Dragons’ alone was a worthwhile and once in a lifetime experience. We could not be more excited about the outcome.”

Those interested in pre-ordering the ARAIG suit can do so at the following link: https://araig.com/product/araig-pre-order/

Check out the video below for the full televised IFTech pitch to the Dragons’

Prepare For The Den: Pitch Workshop – Feb 24

Getting Your Pitch Ready for the Den

DragonsDenWorkshopBanner

Dragons’ Den auditions are returning to Oshawa on March 1st. Learn from our expert who has helped many startup companies and entrepreneurs successfully appear on Dragons’ Den, Digital Den and other major pitch competitions.

This workshop will be useful for anyone looking for information on how to deliver a better investment pitch. The difference between a great pitch and a poor pitch can change your companies’ future!

We are holding two workshops on February 24th! 12:00pm – 1:30pm and 6:00pm – 7:30pm at Core 21 (21 Simcoe St S, Oshawa)

REGISTER HERE

What You Will Learn:

  • The 8 key components of an investment pitch
  • The difference between pitching to investors and TV producers
  • The importance of content and delivery
  • What questions will the dragons ask
  • How to deal with presentation anxiety
  • How to make it a pitch the dragons will remember

About the Presenter:
Robert J. Weese is an author, speaker, business coach, entrepreneur and advisor at Spark Centre. A former broadcaster turned sales professional Bob has worked with Spark Centre clients to helped them hone their investment pitches. Spark Clients have received funding from major Canadian Pitch Competitions, Angel Investors, launched successful KickStarter campaigns, and appeared on the TV shows Dragons’ Den and Digital Den.

Learn more about the hosts:

Spark Centre

BACD

FastStart Durham College

UOIT Brilliant Entrepreneurship

Client Update: NPS releases iOS and Android app!

Download National ProStaff app TODAY!

Spark Centre client, National ProStaff has officially launched their new app!

Available on both iOS and Android, the National ProStaff industry leading app allows users to connect with thousands of anglers. Users can browse over half a million fishing products in the gear section and use the location pages to discover over 50,000 new places to fish.

Nationaprostaff.com just surpassed over 100,000 users and is currently working with over 1,000 brands.

The NPS team also launched a new referral rewards program within the app, where members can refer friends to earn points that can be used to get free fishing gear!

Download the free app HERE today and help support a Durham Region startup.

app

Client Update: Zambah partners with Mau5trap

Spark Centre client, Zambah is pleased to announce a new partnership with deadmau5 founded record label, mau5trap. The two companies are collaborating on a series of playlists that will bring attention to new and emerging music.

mau5trap will be utilizing Zambah’s streamlined submission process that allows undiscovered or independent artists from anywhere in the world to directly submit music to influential people and brands through their ‘Tastemakers’ feature. For the next few months, mau5trap will use this feature to accept song submissions for multiple playlists they will create on the platform. All songs submitted will be considered for these playlists and artists must visit mau5trap.zambah.com to apply.

“We’re really excited to be working with mau5trap on this initiative to bring more awareness to new and emerging artists that need more shine on their work. We can’t wait to share their finished playlist with music fans all over the world.” – Ken Asafo, co-founder of Zambah

Industry influencers including araabMUZIK, Arius, UZ, Lucky Date, Breathe Carolina​ and many more have participated in this new initiative to feature emerging music on more playlists. Artists looking to submit tracks to mau5trap must have a “Pro” subscription to be eligible to submit. For more information about Zambah’s “Pro” subscription priced at $7/month, please visit: zambah.com/pro

About Zambah: Zambah is a social music discovery and streaming platform. The platform focuses on the discovery and curation of emerging audio content by delivering great tools that help artists gain new listeners and fans. Zambah also offers artists the opportunity to spread their music to a desired audience by allowing them to submit music to influential public figures and brands, aka ‘Tastemakers’. www.zambah.com

Client Feature: WAI Products Ltd

The Spark Centre wishes to recognize the Haliburton County Development Corporation (HCDC) in providing support through the Eastern Ontario Development Program and for advisory services provided to WAI Products Ltd.

by Brandi Hewson, Founder & CEO, WAI Products Ltd.

Over the past 2 years WAI Products Ltd has been very fortunate to work with Spark Centre and a few incredible advisors who’ve helped shape our business into a more stable, structured, profitable and opportunistic company.

Spark in partnership with BDO, specifically helped WAI re-structure our back-end systems and processes enabling WAI to evaluate the gaps and make necessary changes. From inventory control measures, product profitability factors, accounting practices, cash flow forecasting and P&L analysis – the list goes on! The insight and expertise gained from Dennis Croft and Brion Hendry have enabled WAI to make insurmountable gains and stability on all fronts and have set us on the continued path to scale efficiently and profitably to the next level.

Dennis brought a wealth of knowledge, expertise, commitment and foresight. Dennis had a personal yet very structured professional approach; learning about what makes WAI who we are, our challenges, our strengths, our opportunities and taking from that deciding and implementing the best practices to ensure we continue to climb and make our mark resulting in exactly what we set out to be. Dennis’s strength on the financial side of our business taught me and WAI how to be financially more proactive and aware, implementing a monthly and weekly cash flow analysis allowing us to be more proactive and forward thinking enabling me with the help of BDO to make the best financial decisions possible.

In my young 6 years of business I’ve learned to listen, evaluate and even challenge the advice offered to ensure I’m making the most informed, strategic decisions to better my company. Much of the ability to do so has come from the guidance received from Spark Centre and the incredible support offered. I consider myself and WAI Products beyond fortunate to have the opportunity to utilize the vast array of services and the mindful continued support received from Spark. Each day offers a new challenge and a new opportunity, having the ability to analyze each, make a decision, implement and move; these are key factors learned and supported that will always contribute to our success long after the service ends.

As the owner and president of WAI, I am so grateful for the continued support and so grateful for the opportunity to be challenged and build a contributing company with intelligent advice and partnership of Spark Centre.

“Whenever you see a successful business, someone once made a courageous decision.” – Peter Drucker

Spark Innovation Centre Announces New President & CEO

Durham Region, ON (November 29, 2016) – Spark Innovation Centre is pleased to announce the appointment of Sherry Colbourne as the organization’s new President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), effective January 3, 2017.

Sherry is a Canadian entrepreneur who has recently returned to Ontario from a four-year entrepreneurial sabbatical in the Middle East. During her time there she co-founded Startup Oman, which has become the hub of Oman’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, focused specifically on high-impact entrepreneurs.

Prior to founding Startup Oman, Sherry was co-founder and CEO of Ladybug Teknologies, a social technology company that developed innovative breath-screening solutions. Sherry’s energy and love of technology was seeded early in her 25-year career in the Canadian high tech sector where she worked for some of Canada’s leading technology innovators including Leigh Instruments, Com Dev, Diemaco, DspFactory and Certicom.

“We are very pleased to be welcoming Sherry to the Spark Centre team,” said Kathy Weiss, Chair of Spark Innovation Centre Board of Directors. “We know her experience and passion for entrepreneurship and innovation as well as managing community networks and relationships at all levels will be of tremendous value to Spark Centre.”

“I am delighted to be joining Spark Centre and to become part of the continued progress it is making throughout Durham Region in fostering entrepreneurial innovation,” said Sherry Colbourne.

About Spark Innovation Centre: Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre is one of eighteen not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) that form part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). The centre works to improve competitiveness and visibility of Durham Region and Northumberland County as a world-class innovation cluster. For more information on Spark Centre, please visit www.sparkcentre.org

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Media Contact:
Amanda Reynolds
Communications Specialist, Spark Innovation Centre
areynolds@sparkcentre.org
905-432-3999 x 122

Raising Funding Panel – January 12

We are very excited to welcome a panel of representatives from four different organizations to highlight some of the funding available to entrepreneurs in Ontario!

This workshop is a great opportunity for you to learn about the various funding available and how to apply. It is also a networking opportunity for you to connect with the representatives from these organizations.

January 12th, 4:00pm – 6:30pm
Spark Centre – 21 Simcoe St S, Oshawa
REGISTER HERE

Dash MD & Hexyoo Scientific Announced as Winners of Ignite 2016!

Spark Innovation Centre is pleased to announce Dash MD as the Young Entrepreneur winner and Hexyoo Scientific as the General Entrepreneur winner of the 2016 Ignite Competition. Both companies have taken the top prize of $25,000 each.

Dash MD are the creators of a mobile app that helps patients track, manage, and find the care they need once they’ve left the hospital. Their goal is to provide patients with the tools and resources they need to successfully traverse their road to recovery.

Hexyoo Scientific are the creators of a proprietary gel based pressure ulcer pad for use in a hospital setting. The gel pad, placed over a mattress has embedded sensors to help healthcare providers with the treatment and prevention of pressure ulcers.

“We’re so grateful for this opportunity that has been given to us by Durham Region generally and by Spark Centre specifically,” said Zack Fisch, CEO of Dash MD. “These funds and the support that comes with them will be put towards helping patients across Ontario, and beyond.”

“The team is honoured and excited to receive this award”, said Bob Macmillan, President of Hexyoo Scientific Inc. “Hexyoo’s vision and venture has been validated by the recognition of the Ignite 2016 process and the support received by Sparks Centre staff. We are committed to this venture, the product, and look forward to the next chapter in our journey.”         

Along with the $25,000 prize, these two companies will be given free office space in Spark Centre’s head office The Loft, located in Oshawa, and will also join Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program which offers significant advisory and business support services to achieve a faster market entry.