Client Update: Zambah Launches New “Pro” Service

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Zambah, the community driven online music platform that supports the discovery of new independent music, is pleased to announce the release of their new Pro account. Zambah Pro comes with a multitude of new and exclusive features which enable independent musicians to sell music and keep 100% of the profits. Highlights of Zambah Pro include:

-       Unlimited song uploads by artist
-       Unlimited downloads per song
-       Artists keep 100% of profits from all music sales
-       Access to detailed analytics including measure of song sales, plays, likes, downloads, and geographic information

“Zambah Pro is meant for music creatives looking for a clean and intuitive platform to host and sell their entire music catalogue,” said Zambah CEO, Kenneth Asafo. “We want Zambah Pro to empower artists to sell music directly to listeners in a matter of seconds without losing any profits – we aim to lead as a music service that gives the most back to artists.”

Zambah launched its beta application only a few short months ago with the objective of providing music artists with core tools to upload, share, and monetize their music to an engaged audience of music enthusiasts.

Artists can purchase Zambah Pro for $10 a month and can cancel their subscription at any anytime.

For more information about the new Zambah Pro, visit: zambah.com/pro

About Zambah: Zambah is a community driven music platform that supports the discovery and collection of new independent music.  Zambah is currently available for Android and the web. Founded in February 2014, Zambah is headquartered in Oshawa, Ontario. Visit zambah.com for more information.

Media Contact: 
Kenneth Asafo, CEO and Co-Founder
905-409-5364                                      
k.asafo@zambah.com

Client Update: Seriously Fun Games

One of Spark Centre’s top start-ups to watch in 2015 and Thrive Cohort One member is Seriously Fun Games (SFG). SFG built their company to teach important social, health and safety lessons to kids using the fun and engagement of video games.

Since joining Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program earlier this year, SFG has worked with the Spark team on approaching strategic partners, sales advisory and branding. The companies’ debut game, Monster Brusher™ is now complete and set to launch on Google Play and the Apple Store later this summer.

Monster Brusher is a new game that helps kids learn about oral health in a fun and interactive way using a tablet or phone. Gesture recognition lets kids learn proper brushing techniques. They follow along with the instructions by brushing teeth in a circular motion for two minutes and are graded on their skills when they finish.

While building the game, Monster Brusher teamed up with Brush-a-mania’s educational program. Brush-a-mania is a not-for-profit program designed to promote oral health and awareness among young children from Junior Kindergarten to Grade 6. Matthew Stephan, CEO of Seriously Fun Games attended the Brush-a-mania launch in April and introduced Monster Brusher to dentists, educators and kids.

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Seriously Fun Games CEO, Matt Stephan at the Brush-a-mania launch event

The goal of SFG is to continue to work with the Spark Centre advisory team on building their business and continue to build educational games so anyone can have fun while learning.

Spark Innovation Centre and City of Oshawa Announce The Loft

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Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre in partnership with City of Oshawa is pleased to announce the official Grand Opening of The Loft, a 90 seat start-up incubation space located at 21 Simcoe Street South in Downtown Oshawa.

The Loft is a new ecosystem where innovative entrepreneurs and partners can collaborate with Spark Centre in a truly unique environment. The open concept co-working space allows start-up businesses the opportunity to expand their network and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and business leaders.

City of Oshawa has committed $150,000 over five years to help encourage the advancement of entrepreneurship and innovation in Downtown Oshawa. This funding has allowed Spark Centre to expand office space to The Loft and offer more advisory and business support to clients on a daily basis.

“The City of Oshawa is thrilled with the opening of The Loft. This is a wonderful opportunity for our innovative and technology based entrepreneurs to explore a unique way of conducting business,” said Councillor John Aker, Chair of the Development Services Committee.  “I encourage all our innovative entrepreneurs and partners to take advantage of this newly open 90 seat start-up incubation space and together we will continue to grow our amazing community.”

“Opening The Loft is another great milestone and achievement for Spark Centre,” says Dennis Croft, President & CEO of Spark Innovation Centre. “The City of Oshawa’s insight into setting a strong Downtown strategy for entrepreneurship has been a major driver in creating the ecosystem here at The Loft. I am confident that their ongoing focus on entrepreneurship and innovation will continue to expand in the downtown core.”

Applications for Thrive Cohort 2 are now open!

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What is Thrive?
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.

We are looking for…

  • Compelling business ventures with innovative technology focus
  • Rapidly scalable, large market opportunity
  • Strong, committed and coachable team
  • Willingness to work day to day with the Spark team.

Applications will be opened for each four month term, based on capacity. Applications will be assessed on team capability, attitude and commitment, ability to execute, strength of innovation, and potential to generate revenue and raise capital.

Applications are open until May 25th. Thrive Cohort 2 will commence the first week of June 2015.

Click Here to Apply! 

 

 

Client Update: Tiko 3D Raises $3.4 Million CDN on Kickstarter

Spark Innovation Centre would like to congratulate Thrive Accelerator Program client, Tiko 3D on becoming fully funded through Kickstarter, with a significant raise of $2.95 million USD, with over 16,000 backers.

In just three hours, Tiko hit their $100,000 goal and continued to climb over the 30 day campaign.

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Tiko 3D is the creators of an affordable, elegant, and easy to use 3D Printer. The Tiko team is bringing delta printing technology to the masses in a user-friendly, affordable desktop device. Since they launched their campaign, Tiko 3D has taken the tech world by storm, being globally featured and recognized on Readwrite, Gizmag, CNet, Geeky Gadgets, and Your Tech Report.

Tiko 3D became a Spark Centre client in March 2014. In the beginning stages, Spark worked with the company on legal and manufacturing strategies. In August 2014, they applied to Spark Centre’s Ignite Start-up Competition, and in the end Tiko 3D was announced as the General Entrepreneur winner, awarded $25,000 to use towards their business.

Since that time, Tiko 3D has entered Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program which offers strategic advisory and business support services to achieve a faster market commercialization.

“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. “Working with Spark Centre has helped us go from prototype to product to a viable business.”

“The Tiko team is a winner!” said Dennis Croft, President & CEO of Spark Innovation Centre. “They are committed to launching a high quality product for an affordable price, and proved it to all of us with a physically existent product. We are very excited to be apart of their accelerated journey.”

The Tiko team is now co-located with Spark Innovation Centre at The Loft in Downtown Oshawa where they are working on getting Tiko into production and out to their backers.

For more information on Tiko 3D, visit www.tiko3d.com.

Client Update: IFTech Announce the Release of new SDK for ARAIG

Michael and Brodie Stanfield – Founders of IFTech, with the ARAIG gaming suit

IFTech Inventing Future Technology Inc. are pleased to announce the release of their Software Development Kit (SDK) for ARAIG As Real As It Gets, a high-tech, multi-sensory gaming suit.

Created by a Canadian father and son team, 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. People wearing the ARAIG gaming suit will experience a level of immersion that has never been reached and felt before.

“We have pushed technology in the creation of ARAIG and now there is a new standard for human perception based on sensory stimulation and sensory manipulation,” said Michael Stanfield, Founder and Co-CEO of IFTech. “The ARAIG technology provides real world sensory stimulation for all virtual world environments.”

The ARAIG SDK is used to integrate the ARAIG gaming suit into a customer’s software and properly activate the suit’s various sensors. The software development kit is currently available to companies that have demonstrated they are leaders in their marketspace.

ARAIG Software Development Kit provides:
• Ability to learn how to integrate the ARAIG SDK into customers software
• Access to developer support
• Feedback to help IFTech better support a customer’s needs and development process

“The ARAIG SDK is a big first step to providing developers and solution providers with a means of integrating ARAIG into their games and software,” says Brodie Stanfield, Founder and Co-CEO of IFTech. “We are looking forward to seeing how developers take the ARAIG SDK and create experiences that have never before been possible.”

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.

Download the IFTech Press Kit here: http://bit.ly/1GlERVE

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.

Client Update: Tiko 3D Proves To Be A Game Changer

Tiko 3D, the creators of the most affordable, elegant, and easy to use 3D Printer officially launched their Kickstarter campaign last week. Within three hours, they reached their goal of $100,000. As of right now, the campaign is over $1 million and continues to climb! The company is bringing delta printing technology to the masses in a user-friendly, affordable desktop device called Tiko.

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After being selected by Fallon StarterKit to create their crowdfunding campaign, Tiko was officially unveiled at SXSW. The tech community quickly caught on and were eager to get their hands on a Tiko with the early bird deals selling out within a few minutes.

We’re thrilled with the support that we are getting and we look forward to really disrupting the 3D printing space,” says Matt Gajkowski, Founder and CEO of Tiko 3D. “Our goal is to make 3D printing accessible to anyone who wants to create. With over 5000 backers so far, we feel like we are doing just that.”

Tiko 3D became a Spark Centre client in March 2014. In the beginning stages, Spark worked with the company on legal and manufacturing strategies. In August 2014 they applied to Spark Centre’s Ignite Startup Competition. Tiko 3D were announced as the General Entrepreneur winners of the Ignite Competition and awarded $25,000 to use towards their business. Since that time, Tiko 3D has entered Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program which offers significant advisory and business support services to achieve a faster market entry.

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“We are extremely delighted and proud of Tiko 3D for the phenomenal success of their Kickstarter campaign. It’s a great product and supporters won’t be disappointed,” said Dennis Croft, President and CEO of Spark Centre. “Hardworking and driven, with a fun demeanor, the Tiko team is achieving success in a very rapid time. Their story is a great example for all of our clients here at Spark.”

To purchase a Tiko or to learn more about the technology, visit their Kickstarter campaign here.

 

 

 

Client Update: iApotheca on Next Gen Den!

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Spark Centre client, iApotheca recently appeared on an episode of CBC’s Next Gen Den, which is Dragons’ Den for an online world. Shorter and made for mobile, Next Gen Den is a launching pad for young entrepreneurs, pitching startups and early-stage businesses to the next generation of Dragons. We talked to Spencer Turbitt, CEO & Co-Founder of iApotheca Healthcare to talk about his experience pitching his pharmacy software solution to the Dragon’s.

Tell us about iApotheca.
iApotheca Healthcare is software for pharmacies and nursing homes. Right now it comes in three different sections of modules. The first is a Compliance Tool which helps reduce the risk pharmacies have in keeping and following all procedures and policies that the different regulatory boards in Canada put it place for them. It digitalizes these policies and procedures and it allows managers and owners of the pharmacies to see reports of who has and hasn’t confirmed that they have read new policies online. This tool also allows you to share the information across many pharmacy locations. The second is Incident Tracking which allows you to create different categories of incidents such as a delivery or dispensing. The module can track these incidents on a monthly basis or a yearly basis and reduce them over time. It has shown to reduce incidents by approximately 50% through a series of tests. The Incident Tracking module also digitalizes the process of narcotic drug destruction. The third module is iApotheca Workflow Module which monitors things like delivery orders and medication changes for med pouches and blister packs. We also offer an accounting suite for pharmacies which will eliminate the pharmacies having to use a separate interface.

Why did you start iApotheca?
We started iApotheca because we were working on different software solutions for businesses and quickly realized we couldn’t compete with the big guys like Salesforce and NetSuite. We decided to focus on a specific area that we knew. One of our partners and myself both have had family that was in pharmacy so we had a lot of information and background on it. Also, with all of the baby boomers continuing to retire over the next few years, the Government is putting more and more pressure on pharmacies by reducing drug costs which makes the pharmacies work hard for every dollar. They don’t necessarily have the money to fund big software programs like a larger chain would. We wanted to give independent pharmacies the ability to have the same or even better software available to them.

How did you get on Next Gen Den?   
We applied to be on Dragon’s Den a year ago for a different idea and concept that we had. After applying online, we were called to do an interview in front of producers. We pitched to a producer who loved our idea and said he would recommend us for the Dragon’s Den student special and was very confident that we had a great chance of appearing on the show. After that, we unfortunately didn’t hear back. Fast forward to this year and we received a call from the Next Gen Den producers who were going through some old material and thought we would be great for the show as the new dragons were making riskier deals with newer companies.  We told them that the original idea was a previous concept and that we are doing something new now that’s getting traction. After pitching the idea of iApotheca Healthcare, they thought it would be perfect for the show and invited us to film an episode.

Tell me about your experience appearing on Next Gen Den?
When we arrived, they had everyone gather in one room outside of the studio with the other companies who are pitching. Everyone is assigned a producer who is there to keep you informed of what’s going to happen, what to do and what to expect. About 15-20 minutes before your pitch, they take you to hair and make-up. Then from there they take you to film a clip of a few words about the company which ends up being a teaser before your pitch airs. When you walk in, you start speaking right away. A lot of people ask how many takes you have to do your pitch and you only do have one chance. If you make a fool of yourself or make your business look badly, they’re going to use that because its funny and its for television. We were in there for over 20 minutes but they of course edit it down to fit it into the episode. We pitched for about 3 minutes and then a demo of the software and then the dragons ask questions.

Did you get a deal?
You can watch the clip at the following link to see the outcome! (second half of clip) http://www.cbc.ca/dragonsden/nextgenden/season1/next-gen-den-7

What happens now? What’s the future for iApotheca?
There’s a due diligence process and we have to negotiate on some things with the Dragon’s. We aren’t sure what direction it’s going to go in the future but the great news is that we have a lot more traction for iApotheca now after appearing on the show. We’re about to go into a number of pharmacies and also have interest from large organizations with a large number of pharmacies who are interested in bringing iApotheca Healthcare on board so I’m looking forward to seeing where we are six months from now.

How do you think Spark Centre has helped you along the way?
The #1 way they have helped was their facilitation of the Ignite Durham competition. They taught us how to pitch and how to get up in front of an audience. We made it to the second round so we were able to do our three minute pitch in front of a larger audience of almost 200 people. One of the most important things was learning about the different areas of a pitch; the revenue, the monetization model, the features, problems, solution, everything was a huge help. Before Ignite, I didn’t have any experience pitching to potential investors and it was a huge help for appearing on Dragon’s Den and other investor pitches that we have done since. Learning that from the Spark Centre made it very easy and in a matter of a couple hours, I had a pitch ready for our appearance on the Den!

Do you have any advice for other entrepreneurs who want to appear on Next Gen Den or Dragon’s Den?
The #1 advice I would give is know your numbers! If they’re not simple enough for the Dragon’s to understand what your revenue will be or if things don’t add up, they won’t spend the time trying to make them add up. If you don’t lay everything out clearly, they’re not going to be interested. You have to make it make sense!

To learn more about iApotheca Healthcare, you can visit www.iapotheca.com

Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program Announces Cohort One

 

Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre today announced the first cohort of start-ups accepted into their new Thrive Accelerator Program. Six ambitious companies will join Thrive’s four month accelerator program which offers significant advisory and business support services to achieve a faster market entry. The six companies will also be co-located at The Loft – Spark Centre’s collaborative ecosystem in Durham Region.

“We’re very excited to be working with six incredible startups that are positioned to make a huge impact in 2015.” says Braden Kemp, Director of Client Services at Spark Centre. “Thrive provides a focused environment for bringing rapidly scalable start-ups to market quickly. These entrepreneurs already have the ideas and the passion to succeed, we support them with the resources, advice and operational support required to get there faster.”

Introducing Thrive Cohort One:

Blancride: Blancride is a mobile application that modernizes carpooling. Incorporating GPS and smartphone technology, Blancride matches passengers and drivers to share a ride instantly.

IFTech: Innovators in wearable technology, IFTech is leading the next generation of immersive gaming. Their first product is ARAIG, a high-tech, multi-sensory gaming suit.

National ProStaff: The leading social network for anglers, brands, tournaments, and outfitters. Fishing brands are able to manage, recruit, and highlight all brand ambassadors in one place while consumers are able to make smarter buying decisions and interact with ProStaff.

Seriously Fun Games: Aims to provide access to the incredible power of educational games. The company creates engaging and fun game-based learning experiences to enable educators to deliver their message with impact.

Tiko 3D: Creators of the most affordable, elegant, and easy to use 3D Printer. Tiko 3D is bringing Delta printing technology to the masses in a user-friendly, affordable desktop device.

Zambah: A web and mobile platform dedicated to exposing and promoting independent musicians to wide variety of new fans. Independent artists can share and sell their music directly to listeners through a visually engaging, dynamic platform.

“Cohort One has already moved in to The Loft, and is working closely with Spark Centre Advisors, the Expert Network, and Corporate Partners to rapidly accelerate their path to market,” says Kemp. “We’re having too much fun helping these entrepreneurs build incredible technology right here in Durham.”

To learn more about the Thrive Accelerator Program and Cohort One, visit www.sparkcentre.org/thrive-program/.

 

 

Readwrite.com: Tiko Is 2015′s Most Unusual 3D Printer—And It’s Cheap, Too

by Signe Brewster, readwrite.com

The desktop 3D printer space is getting crowded. In just a few years, we’ve gone from “Wow! A 3D printer!” to “How cheap is it?” and “How are you going to convince me to buy it?”

That’s why I was surprised to be, well, surprised by the Tiko, a Canadian 3D printer that will hit Kickstarter next week. The Tiko is a delta printer, which means its body is shaped like a triangle instead of a rectangle. It has a sleek, unibody design. And it will cost $179.

In case you haven’t been playing along at home, that’s peanuts in a market where lots of 3D printers will set you back $400 or more.

I saw the Tiko in action at the SXSW conference, where it was hard at work pumping out blue trinkets. CEO Matt Gajkowski said he designed the printer with mass production in mind, meaning every part can be made on standard equipment. That bodes well for crowdfunding backers, who often have to wait months for delayed 3D printer deliveries. The Tiko is slated to ship this fall.

(Click Here to read the full story)