Upcoming Events: BDO Finance Sessions


Join us for three sessions to help you navigate the financial aspects of your start-up business, presented by experts from BDO.

Corporate Finance – Financial Modeling and Raising Capital

An overview of how to prepare for investors and the raising of capital. Understanding the use
financial models to identify key drivers in your business and what investors are looking for.

Presented by: Richard Gervais, Vice President M&A & Capital Advisory
November 26th – 1:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Spark Centre (1st Floor) – 21 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa


SR&ED & Government Incentives

An overview of government incentives including the SR&ED program. What you need to know re: how they work, what qualifies and the process from the initial application to the cash/credits being received.

Presented by: Richard Burdeniuk, Senior Manager, Advisory Services,Technology, Media & Life Sciences
December 3rd – 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Spark Centre: The Loft (2nd Floor) – 21 Simcoe Street South, Oshawa


IFTech and Sound Options Announced as the $25,000 Winners of Ignite


Spark Innovation Centre is pleased to announce IFTech as the Young Entrepreneur winner and Sound Options as the General Entrepreneur winner of the 2015 Ignite competition. Both companies have taken the top prize of $25,000 each.

Inventing Future Technology Inc. (“IFTech”) co-founded by son and father duo Brodie Stanfield and Michael Stanfield are innovators in wearable technology, leading the next generation of immersive gaming. Their first product is ARAIG (As Real As It Gets), a high-tech, multi-sensory gaming suit. The ARAIG gaming suit provides a new unique immersive experience through multi-sensory feedback. Whether it is for gaming, training, virtual reality, augmented awareness or another market entirely, ARAIG can deliver the most cutting edge technology to its users.

Sound Options, founded by Dr. Michael Chrostowski, designs accessible and affordable treatments for chronic ringing in the ears known as tinnitus. The company works with hearing clinics to provide patients with a software-generated customized sound therapy embedded in music. Using current knowledge of the brain changes that trigger tinnitus, the treatments are tailored to each individual using cutting-edge software that takes into account a person’s tinnitus and hearing loss.

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.

“I am continuously impressed with the amount of entrepreneurial talent in Durham Region. The level of competition this year was at its highest and I congratulate all 72 companies who participated throughout the process,” said Dennis Croft, President & CEO of Spark Centre. “Congratulations to IFTech and Sound Options, two incredibly dedicated and hard-working companies. Spark Centre is looking forward to being a part of their journey and continued success.”

About Ignite: Currently in its third year, Ignite is an exciting entrepreneurial journey organized by Spark Innovation Centre. The competition is an extensive journey which includes a 60 second pitch competition, a three minute pitch competition, and a 30 minute boardroom presentation in front of the Ignite Power Panel before two $25,000 winners are chosen. For more information visit ignitedurham.ca.

Ignite Student Entrepreneur Winner – Durham Electro Optics


By Ahmad Touseef, Owner and Director of Durham Electro Optics & Durham Electro

Durham Electro Optics’ product line enables regular LED light bulbs to transmit wireless data to devices. This means LED (both visible and invisible infrared spectrums) lighting can be used to implement WiFi and many other types of wireless networking standards. This technology enables Wireless Data speeds that are 99.9% the speed of ethernet. The speed gains occur due to no need for encryption (light is local to each room), mutual repeaters (each light source also repeats the signal), data transfer at carrier wave of visible and near-visible frequency – Terrahertz range, which is 1000x Gigahertz. Durham Electro Optics is the brain child of 3rd year undergraduate Electrical Engineering student – (Ami) Ahmad Touseef – who is now studying in the University of Ontario Institute of Technology. Ahmad Touseef’s start-up is a research and development focused in embedded hardware systems and embedded systems software.

DurhamElectroWinPrior to the Ignite competition, Ahmad Touseef operated his embedded hardware engineering and software engineering projects in his garage. Winning the Durham Ignite competition in the Student Entrepreneur category means Ahmad Touseef and his team can take their garage level science activities to a full-fledge R&D company scale operation. Ahmad Touseef is using the $5,000 grant funding to file patent, register trademark, DBA (doing business as) tradename, incorporation of start-up costs, orders of first round of bill of materials of parts for next stage of prototyping. The guidance from Spark Centre in preparation for the Ignite competition was essential and paramount. Without the staff at Spark Centre, Ahmad Touseef’s idea would have not seen the light of commercialization, and perhaps would remain confined within his science garage with white papers published about it for use by future students in pure research and bench science use cases. Ahmad Touseef is deeply indebted to the Spark Centre for their continued support and is soon going to re-locate to Spark Centre’s flagship office space for start-ups located at 21 Simcoe St. South, called the “The Loft at Core 21″. You can read more about Ahmad Touseef and his start-up on his webpage at http://ahmadtouseef.ca/durhamelectro

To contact Ahmad Touseef and the team, connect with them via email

1. ahmad.a.touseef@ieee.org
2. dhimiter.qendri@uoit.net

Spark Centre Announces Cohort 2: Fall Student and Youth Incubator


Spark Centre is pleased to announce Cohort 2: Fall Student and Youth Incubator! Congratulations to the following start-up companies who have been chosen to join the 10-week program.

1. Henlen Watches
Henlen Watches have created interchangeable smart watches that allow the user to pop the “smart” component out and insert it into different types of watchbands. Their vision is to offer several types of fashionable watchbands for all situations.

2. Ideal Compass
Ideal Compass is a web application company that increases the time efficiency, business management, and sale closures for travel agents. Their goal is to help agents that struggled in the previous years due to websites wholesalers service their customers better and help make them more money.

3. Belle in a Box
Belle in a Box helps companies to promote their product or service to their fan base using a subscription outlet. By working together, they use creative methods to enhance the user experience; adding on to a customers already present and predominant product experience.

4. Spectro
Spectro is a paint mixing device designed to help artists create masterpieces easily and effectively. By using online cloud software, artists can select colour values in the form of a hex code, ratio or picture and send it to the Spectro. The Spectro then prints out this colour with accuracy.

5. GoOrganic
GoOrganic is a web and mobile platform that will bring buyers and sellers of organic products together – providing greater visibility to sellers, and greater opportunity to consumers of organic products. The platform will bridge the current gap that exists between local and global producers and consumers of organics.

6. Charleton’s Flavoured Coco
Charleton’s Flavoured Coco provides unique, hand-created, hot chocolate flavours. Sold online at first, flavours such as Caramel, Birthday Cake, Strawberry, and Cookies & Creme and many more will be available. The products will first be sold in take home sizes online, with ready-to-drink options bring provided from a store front later.

The goal of Spark Centre’s Student and Youth Incubator program is to help entrepreneurs validate their business ideas and take those ideas to market quickly. It also aims to provide practical exposure to entrepreneurship as a career path.

The incubator provides the entrepreneurs with free office space at The Loft, a state-of-the-art environment in Durham Region. They will also have access to one on one mentoring, job shadowing, peer group best practices, partner programs, coaching, and support for youth grants and loans.

For more information, CLICK HERE.

Ignite Student Entrepreneur Winner and Final Five

Spark Innovation Centre is very pleased to announce the Student Entrepreneur winner as well as the Final Five Finalists, after an incredible evening at the Ignite Central Pitch Competition.

The Top 25 competitors gave their best three minute pitch in front of the Ignite Power Panel. The Student Entrepreneur winner was chosen and awarded $5,000! After much deliberation, the panel also chose the Final Five (two Young Entrepreneur Finalists and three General Entrepreneur Finalists) to move onto the Boardroom Competition on November 17th and continue their quest for $25,000.

Spark Centre would like to congratulate the winner and finalists!

Student Entrepreneur Winner
- Durham Electro Optics

Young Entrepreneur Finalists
- IFTech
– Ball In The 6

General Entrepreneur Finalists
- BackFlip
– IntriEnergy
– Sound Options

For tickets to the Boardroom Competition on November 17th, please CLICK HERE.

Introducing the Ignite 2015 Top 26!

The first round of Ignite pitches are complete and we have our Top 26!

Currently in its third year, Ignite saw 73 incredible innovation, technology or invention based businesses apply. Those eligible had the chance to give their best one minute pitch to a panel of judges made up of successful entrepreneurs and business leaders. The judges then had the difficult task of choosing the Top 26 to move onto the next round.

Ignite held three separate competitions for the three categories; Student Entrepreneur, Young Entrepreneur and General Entrepreneur. During the competitions, each participant had only 60 seconds to convince the judges that their startup was viable and investment worthy. Being able to pitch in one minute is not easy, but it shows the need to communicate clearly, quickly, and to engage your audience when speaking about your start-up business.

Spark Centre would like to congratulate the 26 companies selected to move on to the Central Pitch Competition October 14th at the Abilities Centre in Whitby.

Student Entrepreneur CategoryTop26
Durham Electro Optics
Go Charge
Think Tank Oshawa
Warlords 1944

Young Entrepreneur Category
Ball In The 6
Henlen Watches
Icarus Technologies
Turnkey Aquaponics

General Entrepreneur Category
Belle in a Box
Coqui 3D
Hexyoo Scientific
Jason Campbell
SOKO Insight
Sound Options

If you’d like to join us for the Central Pitch Competition on October 14th at Abilities Centre, please REGISTER HERE. Tickets are limited, so reserve your place quickly! The Student Entrepreneur winner will be announced and awarded $5,000! Two Young Entrepreneur and three General Entrepreneur finalists will also be announced to move on to the Boardroom Competition for their chance to win $25,000.

Client Update: IFTech Announce the Release of SDK Closed Beta for ARAIG

Brodie and Michael

IFTech Announce the Release of Software Development Kit Closed Beta Version for ARAIG
Companies can now integrate the ARAIG gaming suit technology into their software

Oshawa ON (August 19, 2015) – IFTech Inventing Future Technology Inc. are pleased to announce the Software Development Kit (SDK) for ARAIG, a high-tech, multi-sensory gaming suit is now in closed beta.

The ARAIG gaming suit provides a unique immersive experience through multi-sensory feedback. Whether it is for gaming, training, virtual reality, augmented awareness or another market entirely, ARAIG can deliver the most cutting edge technology to its users.

The ARAIG SDK is used to integrate the ARAIG gaming suit into software and applications to properly activate the suit’s various sensors. The software development kit is now available to a variety of companies across multiple marketspaces. A major milestone from the Alpha version to the Close Beta version of the ARAIG SDK is the Visualization Tool. Now it is easy to develop, debug and demonstrate the functionality of the ARAIG suit while simultaneously running your software and applications.

ARAIG Software Development Kit provides:

  • Ability to evaluate functionality before Purchasing a DevKit
  • Ability to learn how to integrate the ARAIG SDK into software and applications
  • A robust Visualization Tool to support the development and demonstration of ARAIG integration and functionality
  • Access to developer support
  • Ability to provide feedback to help IFTech better support the needs of developers

Access to and use of the ARAIG SDK is free but you need to sign a confidential developer license agreement to get your exclusive access.

For companies who are interested in the ARAIG Software Development Kit, or to be placed on the reservation list for the ARAIG Development Kit, please email sales@iftech-technologies.com. To receive the license agreement please provide the following information:

  • Company Name
  • Company Address
  • Contact Information (Name, Email, Phone Number)

As a future business partner with IFTech, you will be on the leading edge of your marketplace.

About IFTech: Created in 2008 by father and son Michael and Brodie Stanfield, IFTech Inventing Future Technology Inc. is a high tech innovation company creating solutions to improve and bring about change across as many industries as possible. Their first product, ARAIG As Real As It Gets is a fully immersive, multi-sensory gaming suit.


Media Contact:

Amanda Reynolds
Public Relations & Media Manager 
905-432-3999 x 122

Spark Centre’s Youth Accelerator Program Winners Announced

Spark Innovation Centre is pleased to announce the summer winners of its first every Youth Accelerator Program. The organization is also pleased to announce that applications are now open for its Fall Youth Accelerator Program.

With the first cohort in the Summer Youth Accelerator Program coming to a close, participating companies were invited to take part in the Finale Pitch Presentation on August 11th in Oshawa, Ontario. The finale had 11 post-secondary student companies giving a 3 minute investment pitch on the businesses they have been building over the summer.

The Youth Accelerator Program saw 20 student companies spend four months over the summer receiving hands on advisory services, free office space at The Loft in Oshawa and seed financing from both the local university and college. Of the 20 companies, 11 qualified for the Finale Pitch Presentation.

The overall finale winner was Henlen Watches, who were selected by a panel of judges as our $2,500 Youth Accelerator Program Winner. Henlen Watches created an interchangeable smartwatch that allows for a smart component to be swapable throughout various designs and styles of watches.

The 20 participating student companies, more than 35 students, also participated in a cumulative points competition throughout the four months and Spark Centre announced Ideal Compass and Henlen Watches as the two $1,000 winners.

“We’ve learned so much in Spark Centre’s Youth Accelerator Program,” said Kyle George, CEO of Henlen Watches. “We are thrilled to have won the pitch competition, and are looking forward to working with Spark Centre more in the future to advance our business”             

“Spark Centre’s first Youth Accelerator has been an incredible experience for both the students, the advisory team, and our local partners,” said Braden Kemp, Director of Client Services at Spark Centre. “These young entrepreneurs came in with ideas, and many are exiting the program with revenue generating ventures, angel investment, and a deep understanding of what it takes to be an entrepreneur. We’re excited to announce the winners of the final pitch competition, Henlen Watches, and look forward to helping them enter the market this fall.”


Applications for the Fall Youth Accelerator Program will be open next week at www.sparkcentre.org.

Applications for Ignite 2015 are Now Open!

Spark Innovation Centre has announced applications are now open to its third annual Ignite Competition. The organization made the announcement at an Innovation Celebration held in partnership with 360 Incentives and SAP Canada on August 13th in Whitby, Ontario.

Two start-up companies will be awarded $25,000 to use towards their business plans.  Along with the monetary prize, the two winners will be given free office space in The Loft and will also join Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program which offers significant advisory and business support services to achieve a faster market entry.

Spark Centre continues its strategic focus on youth entrepreneurship and accordingly, Ignite will continue to include the Student Entrepreneur category for a second year, giving away $5,000 to a post-secondary entrepreneur along with automatic inclusion into Spark Centre’s Winter Youth Accelerator Program.

Start-up businesses located anywhere within Canada are eligible to apply, but winners must establish their business within Durham Region.

One of the 2014 Ignite winners, Tiko 3D, has since gone on to close one of the all-time most successful Kickstarter campaign, raising $3.5 million CDN. Tiko 3D is now co-located with Spark Centre at The Loft and continues to work with the organization as part of the Thrive Accelerator Program.

“Spark Centre is an awesome support network that takes tech savvy entrepreneurs and gives them a foundation upon which they can grow their company,” says Matt Gajkowski, Founder & CEO of Tiko 3D and 2014 Winner of Ignite. “Winning Ignite and working with Spark Centre has helped us go from prototype to product to a viable business.”

Ignite has become without a doubt the biggest contributor to our clients’ success,” said Dennis Croft, President & CEO of Spark Centre. “The competition is designed as a journey with a series of public pitch competitions, and then concluding with a 30 minute public boardroom pitch.  While the winners receive Ignite specific winnings, the bigger success has been the number of angels and funding interests which have resulted.”

Applications for the Young and General Entrepreneur categories must be received by 5:00pm on September 11th. Student Entrepreneur applications will be extended until 5:00pm on September 18th. Please visit ignitedurham.ca for more information on the application process, eligibility criteria, and important dates.

Check out what past Ignite winners have been up to since the competition: