MobileXCo Partners with Toronto Parking Authority

Spark Centre client and Whitby-based, MobileXCo have partnered with the Toronto Parking Authority to introduce a new pilot project in select Liberty Village parking lots. The project allows users of the Green P Mobile Pay App to download discount coupons for area retailers, powered by MobileXCo.

The pilot project is being conducted at 2 designated Liberty Village lots, #181 1155 King Street West and #224 34 Hanna Avenue in partnership with mobile solution provider, MobileXCo, with the view to expand the program across Toronto in 2017.

“Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for retailers to connect with their customers, as well as to provide an enhanced shopping experience,” said Peter Pinfold co-founder at MobilexCo. “In partnership with Green P, we’re able to provide retailers with a powerful mobile solution, so they can drive sales, foster loyalty, and save money.”

Participating Retailers (Liberty Village):
Metro (Grocery Store)A029_C044_0101YT.0000613
Global Pet Foods (pet food)
Hero Certified Burger (Fast Food)
Shoeless Joe’s (Restaurant)
Panago Pizza (Fast Food)
The Roastery (coffee)
For the Love of Cake (Bakery)
Brazen Head Irish Pub (Restaurant)
Williams Landing (Restaurant)
Oats & Ivy (Restaurant)
Home Hardware (Hardware)
Athlete’s Kitchen (Health Food)
Suzanne Gardner Flowers
V.O.C. (Women’s Clothing)
Vibrant Lifestyle (Health)
Smooth Wax Bar (Spa)
Kitchen Stuff Plus (Retail)
Toronto FC (Sports)

The coupon redemption process is extremely easy for retailers to implement and for shoppers to use. There is no special hardware or software required at point-of-sale and no need to scan barcodes at checkout. All that is needed is a smartphone. For a video demonstration of how the program works, click here

About MobileXCo:
The Mobile Experience Company (MobileXCo) is a mobile solutions provider that specializes in mobile-first retail experiences. Tether™ – a mobile marketing platform that helps retailers build, manage & measure personalized marketing experiences www.mobilexco.com

Client Profile: Tool Belt Technologies

by Brandon Drenikow, Founder of Tool Belt Technologies 

Tool Belt Technologies is a software company that strives to help emerging game developers enhance their user’s experience. Tool Belt Tech is currently in the process of releasing its first analytics tool, Vixen, which helps developers optimize the playtesting process, saving developers precious time and money.

The analytics tool, Vixen, has been in development since June 2014, beginning as a research project at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), started under the supervision of assistant professor Dr. Pejman Mirza-Babaei and associate professor Dr. Andrew Hogue. During this time, the proof of concept and earliest prototype was researched and developed. Vixen development was continued through UOIT’s incubator program during the final year of Brandon’s undergraduate Game Development & Entrepreneurship program under the supervision of Morden Shapiro. This allowed the company to begin designing the initial concepts of the business model and further iterate on the designs of Vixen with the help from two former developers, Thomas Galati, and James Simpson.

Tool Belt Technologies founder Brandon Drenikow began to pursue his masters to develop Vixen with the intention to advance the field of computer science and the games industry. During his first year of grad school, Brandon teamed up with four experienced software developers, Chris Carmichael, Liam Svirk, Derek Chong, and Tucker Alban to continue iterating on Vixen. Since then, our team remains to be these five members as they join Spark Centre’s Youth Incubator Program for the summer of 2016.

With our strong skill set for innovative technology we joined Spark Centre seeking help with the business aspects of our company, as we understood our need for assistance with key business sections such as marketing, finance, and legal. Our members have taken away high value from Spark’s presentations such as Marketing that STICKs, Finding and Compensating Partners, Startup Fundraising, along with many others! We have taken advantage of the Spark Centre’s experience and services to further and refine the development of our business.

Our main goals for the remainder of the summer are to launch our product on the Unity Asset Store, a platform similar to the Apple App Store but for game developers, and to begin the building of a loyal customer base from our potential business clientele. This will provide Tool Belt Tech with the opportunity down the road, to provide playtesting services for our customers as well as provide a sustainable revenue stream for our business. To aid with marketing our new product, Tool Belt Tech has acquired initial startup capital to help cover some of the expenses, receiving $3,000 in assistance funding from the Firefly Grant.

For more information and visuals on the technical aspects of the product, or to register for our monthly newsletter; please visit our website. Our newsletter will provide information on the current status of the product and company.

Thanks for taking your time to read about Tool Belt Technologies product, Vixen, Unity’s first Games User Research tool!

Ignite 2016 Sponsorship Opportunities

In 2015, Ignite entered its third year and 78 Innovative startup companies were put through an even deeper and more rigorous selection process. The process involved three competition categories: Student, Young Entrepreneur and General Entrepreneur.

Four months later, IFTech and Sound Options emerged as the winners and each received $25,000 in cash and were inducted into Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program. Check out the Ignite 2015 journey HERE.

Ignite has now become Spark Centre’s most notable public event, bringing awareness to our start-up industry, local entrepreneurship and the importance of creating an innovative ecosystem.

Applications for Ignite 2016 are opening soon! If you are interested in sponsoring Ignite, please have a look at our value-packed sponsorship package. All inquires can be directed to info@sparkcentre.org

Click Here to view the Ignite 2016 Sponsorship Package!

Spark Centre 2016 Annual Report

 

Spark Centre is very pleased to present our 2016 Annual Report.

The report details Spark Centre’s mission and vision and also introduces our Board of Directors, Staff and Advisors. It also highlights some of the organization’s and client’s incredible successes in 2016!

Click Here to download a copy.

2015 Spark Centre Annual Report_Cover

 

For printed copies, please contact Amanda Reynolds, Communications Specialist areynolds@sparkcentre.org

Spark Centre Announces Creative Spark Marketing Service

Spark Innovation Centre is pleased to announce Creative Spark, a new service that focuses on the must haves for any business: Design, Marketing, Media and Communications.

Creative Spark is a multi-disciplined branding and marketing communications studio working with businesses to create, renovate and elevate their brand. The team at Creative Spark holds a wealth of experience working with a diverse list of brands and businesses.

A variety of different packages and add-ons are available through Creative Spark, including:

  • Marketing Strategy
  • Graphic Design
  • Brand Identity / Story
  • Media & Press Training
  • Social Media
    • Profile set-up
    • Content Creation
  • Media Relations
    • Story Pitching
    • Press Release & Media List Creation

For more information on the services Creative Spark offers and pricing, visit www.sparkcentre.org/creative-spark.

Ignite is Coming!

We are very excited to announce that applications for our fourth annual Ignite Startup Competition will be opening in August 2016.

Two start-up companies will be awarded $25,000 to use towards their business. 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.

Ignite will also include the Student Entrepreneur category, awarding $5,000 to a post-secondary entrepreneur along with automatic inclusion into Spark Centre’s Youth Incubator Program.

We are excited to announce the dates for Ignite 2016:

Pitch Schools Round One
• All Category Entrepreneurs: September 20

Pitch Competitions Round One
• Young Entrepreneurs: September 27
• Student Entrepreneurs: September 28
• General Entrepreneurs: September 29

Pitch School Round Two
• All Category Entrepreneurs: October 6

Central Pitch Competition
• All Category Entrepreneurs: October 13
  (student winner announcement)

Boardroom Presentations
• Young & General Entrepreneurs: November 15

Awards Ceremony
• Young & General Entrepreneurs: November 17

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

Please visit ignitedurham.ca for more information on the application process, eligibility criteria, and important dates.

Client Profile: Hexyoo Scientific

Hexyoo Scientific Inc. is a wellness product development and benefits validation testing company with expertise in formulating and pouring visco elastic polymers (gel). An important milestone for our health based technology company was the filing of our provisional patent, protecting our methods of manufacturing, gel compression wrap design, and our ability to embed sensor technology into our gel. Our gel dissipates pressure,  attenuates vibration, regulates temperature, accommodates body friction and shear, can withstand repeated use and is easily cleanable, which highlights a few of its many features.

We are currently at various stages of development for a handful of projects. Presently, our two flag ship products are:

⁃     The Opus gel Compression Wrap: conveniently combines Hot or Cold therapy with the clinical benefits of true compression. This visco elastic polymer’s unique features allow for faster and safer recovery. Sign up for an invite to our upcoming crowd funding launch on Indiegogo online today at www.opusgelwrap.com.

⁃     Opus gel Pressure Ulcer Pads: developing a proprietary gel based pressure ulcer pad for both treatment and prevention. This pad is compatible with current health care infrastructure and will be a low cost addition to every hospital, long term care, and community based bed for at risk populations. This semi solid gel can be disinfected with straight bleach, has a pliable skin-like texture, and can be embedded with an antimicrobial. Our provisional patent protects our ability to embed sensors, such as accelerometers, pressure mapping systems, and temperature monitors within the gel. These monitors will transmit real time data to hand held devices and a central monitoring station within the health institution. This data will reduce human error and improve patient care. It will also provide much needed evidence of proper management during litigation.

 

Client Profile: Wetraq

by Rachita Goyal ,the Public Relations & Communication Manager for WeTraq

WeTraq is the first credit card sized global tracking device that combines the power of Internet of Things (IoT) and GPS technology. With its unique set of features such as Global Coverage, geo-fencing, precise location & SOS alerts; Wetraq allows you to track your loved ones anytime & anywhere across the globe with NO monthly subscription fee. WeTraq will be proudly ‘Made in Canada’ to ensure better quality and create jobs.

Safety is everyone’s concern, with more than 3.5 million Americans live with an autism spectrum disorder and over 5 million Americans & 750,000 Canadians living with dementia.

Unlike other tracking devices that only use Bluetooth or GPS, WeTraq has overcome the limitation of geography, size & limited battery life. The device connects wirelessly with your smartphone via the Wetraq Mobile App which allows remote monitoring of devices by providing seamless interaction using global GSM Network. It uses proprietary software that fetches the location based on billions of WiFi access points spread across the globe. The device uses a rechargeable battery and has an inbuilt sleep mode functionality to prolong battery life.

This device will play a vital role in the lives of families having kids or adults affected by disorders such as Autism and Dementia, helping them ease their anxiety about safety of their loved ones when they are not around. Organizations such as Autism Canada have already come in support of WeTraq device to help make the world a safer place says Ishaan Singla, CEO of WeTraq.

Wetraq will be launching their Kickstarter campaign soon to raise funds to get the device in the hands of who need it the most. You can subscribe for early bird discounts on our website (CLICK HERE) and be part of our initiative to make this world a safer place.

Spark’s Soft Landing Program A Success!

During the week of May 16th, Spark Innovation Centre hosted five companies from Brazil for our first International Soft Landing “Touchdown” Program in partnership with the Region of Durham Economic Development team. These five companies learned all about doing business in Canada from Spark Centre advisors and partners, and about the numerous resources available in Durham Region.

The Touchdown Program is focused on providing emerging and earlier stage innovative companies the opportunity to learn about doing business in Canada. The program provides orientation and exposure to key areas including Marketing, Sales, Legal, Intellectual Property, Financial and Human Resources.

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The five Brazilian companies were welcomed to Spark Centre’s head office at Core21 in Downtown Oshawa to attend a variety of in-depth workshops Monday – Thursday. A networking event was hosted on Thursday evening for these five companies to meet with local startups to learn about their experiences and to gain knowledge from how they have started their business in Canada. Spark Centre staff, partners and service providers also attended to encourage business connections and access to support structures for their next visit to Canada.

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On Friday, the companies were treated to a full day bus tour of Durham Region which showcased some of the local attractions and what it would be like to live, work and play in the region. Participants learned about real estate, the rental market, local projects, and large Durham based companies while checking out the beautiful waterfronts and thriving communities. The week ended with a great showcase of all that the Region of Durham has to offer.

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Thrive Accelerator Program: Cohort 4

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

Spark Centre is excited to introduce and welcome two new companies:

Henlen Watches: Creators of the first interchangeable smartwatch that allows for a smart component to be swapped with various designs and watch styles.

CrossPlatform Cloud Technologies Inc.: CrossPlatform is focused on harnessing the best of the cloud and make it more accessible, easier to use, and delivering innovative products for users.

Spark Centre is also excited to welcome back the following companies to Cohort 4:

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.

Sound Options: Sound Options provides effective treatments for reducing chronic ringing in the ears by working with hearing clinics to provide a software-generated customized sound therapy embedded in music.

Panda Insights: Creators of the first bio-metric data driven customer loyalty solution connecting health & fitness retailers with gym members. Their solution uses fitness wearables to track gym member work-out activity.

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.

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