Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

October 10, 2012 10:09 ET

Government of Canada Invests in Business Innovation in Kitchener-Waterloo

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Oct. 10, 2012) - Five innovative early-stage businesses in Kitchener-Waterloo will be able to get their products to market faster while creating jobs and economic growth in southern Ontario, thanks to an investment from the Government of Canada. Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo, announced the funding today on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

"Our Government is investing in the people, businesses and communities of southern Ontario to help create jobs, growth and long-term prosperity," said MP Braid. "This investment will have a huge positive impact on the Kitchener-Waterloo area, creating more than 210 jobs and helping to secure our region's reputation as a major player in the new economy."

The Government of Canada's investment of up to $4.4 million, provided through FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation initiative, breaks down as follows:

  • $985,000 for P&P Optica to develop technology that can quickly and accurately measure very small chemical concentrations;
  • $980,000 for Maluuba Inc. to develop and commercialize its natural language processing software, allowing users of specific smart phones and tablets to find the information they need by speaking to their devices;
  • $950,000 for Avenir Medical Inc. to develop a guidance tool for hip replacement surgery that allows for precise alignment of implants digitally rather than by sight, reducing the costly and painful problem of incorrect positioning of implants;
  • $750,000 for Axonify Inc. to expand and improve its corporate training system for employers to deliver health and safety training; and
  • $750,000 for Sweet Tooth Inc. to expand the compatibility of its customer loyalty rewards software system.

Please refer to the backgrounder for more information about the companies receiving funding through Investing in Business Innovation.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.

BACKGROUNDER

Contributions to P&P Optica, Maluuba Inc., Avenir Medical Inc., Axonify Inc., and Sweet Tooth Inc.

FedDev Ontario is investing a total of up to $4,415,000 in repayable contributions in five Kitchener-Waterloo-area early-stage businesses under the Investing in Business Innovation initiative. This investment will allow the businesses to leverage a total of $9 million in additional investments from venture capital and angel investors.

The five businesses include:

P&P Optica
Contribution: up to $985,000
P&P Optica has developed a transmission-based, high-performance spectroscopy platform technology that is able to quickly and accurately measure very small chemical concentrations. FedDev Ontario's investment leverages an additional $1.97 million from angel investors with the Golden Triangle Angelnet. This will enable the company to complete development and commercialize its technology. The project is expected to create 17 new jobs. More information is available at: www.ppo.ca/.
Maluuba Inc.
Contribution: up to $980,000
Maluuba Inc. has developed natural language processing software that enables users of Android smartphones and tablets to search for information by speaking into their devices. FedDev Ontario's investment leverages an additional $1.96 million investment from the Samsung Venture Investment Corporation. These investments will allow Maluuba to continue development, testing and validation of its technology. The project is expected to create 60 new jobs. More information is available at: www.maluuba.com/.
Avenir Medical Inc.
Contribution: up to $950,000
Avenir Medical Inc. has developed a sensor-based guidance tool device for hip replacement surgery that allows for precise alignment of implants digitally rather than by sight, reduces surgery times and costs, and minimizes implant alignment error in hip replacement surgery. FedDev Ontario's investment leverages an additional $1.9 million from angel investors with the Georgian Angel Network. This will allow Avenir Medical to complete product development, testing and registration. The project is expected to create nine new jobs. More information is available at: www.avenirmedical.com/.
Axonify Inc.
Contribution: up to $750,000
Axonify Inc. has developed an online corporate training system that delivers job-specific learning to employees, while helping employers maintain records of employee knowledge in the areas of health and safety. FedDev Ontario's investment leverages an additional $1.7 million in investments including venture capital funding from MaRS Investment Acceleration Fund and Bridgescale Partners, a U.S.-based venture capital provider, and from angel investors with the Golden Triangle Angelnet. This will allow Axonify to scale up its software to meet new market opportunities and align it with cloud computing-based technology. The project is expected to create 92 new jobs. More information is available at: www.axonify.com/.
Sweet Tooth Inc.
Contribution: up to $750,000
Sweet Tooth Inc. has created a flexible and customizable customer rewards software system for small- and medium-sized online retailers, allowing the retailers to easily reward customer purchases to retain loyalty. FedDev Ontario's investment leverages an additional $1.5 million from the MaRS Investment Acceleration Fund and the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System Ventures, and the Ryerson Angel Network. This will enable Sweet Tooth to move its software into cloud computing-based technology and develop connections to major eCommerce web sites. The project is expected to create 34 new jobs. More information is available at: www.sweettoothrewards.com/.

Investing in Business Innovation

Investing in Business Innovation is designed to boost private sector investment in start-up businesses to accelerate the development of new products, processes and practices and help bring them to market. The Government of Canada is focusing on a portfolio of early-stage businesses that are recognized by the investor community as having the potential for high-growth and a net long-term economic benefit for southern Ontario. The investor community includes accredited angel investors from recognized angel investor networks in southern Ontario registered with the Network of Angel Organizations - Ontario and venture capital providers who are member of Canada's Venture Capital & Private Equity Association.

Funding under the initiative is also available for angel investor networks and their associations to attract new investment and support the growth of angel investment funds.

Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis. For more information and to apply, please refer to the program guidelines available on the FedDev Ontario website at www.feddevontario.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Stephanie Thomas
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
    613-960-7728

    Media Relations
    FedDev Ontario
    416-954-6652