Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

November 12, 2014 10:30 ET

Minister Goodyear Announces Support for New and Growing Businesses in Waterloo Region

Investments to Support Job Creation and Economic Growth

KITCHENER, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Nov. 12, 2014) - Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)

FedDev Ontario Minister of State Gary Goodyear, along with MPs Harold Albrecht, Stephen Woodworth and Peter Braid, today announced up to $2.03 million that will help grow innovative businesses in the Waterloo region.

FedDev Ontario is providing up to $1.53 million for three companies to further develop and bring to market a variety of products, from customization of an unmanned vehicle, to a digital display advertising system to social media content analysis. These companies have attracted more than $3.1 million from venture capital and angel investors.

FedDev Ontario is also providing up to $500,000 for the Golden Triangle Angel Network to support the growth of the angel investor community in southern Ontario. This will enable businesses to benefit from more investment capital and coaching.

The Government of Canada's contributions, through the Investing in Business Innovation initiative, are aimed at strengthening the innovation ecosystem in southern Ontario by supporting new entrepreneurs, early-stage businesses and angel investors.

Quick Facts

  • Clearpath Robotics, a global leader in the unmanned vehicle robotics industry for research and development, will develop software that will enable faster customization and upgrading of its unmanned vehicles.
  • In the Chat will expand its digital customer service software which enables large-scale enterprises to support and respond to their customers through text messaging and social media into the United States market.
  • WestonExpressions Inc. is finalizing the development of its interactive advertising display system called LINKETT that identifies consumer behaviours and provides that information to marketers. This makes in-store marketing more effective and measurable on a real-time basis.
  • The Golden Triangle Angel Network is expected to attract 100 new angel investors, which will help them invest an anticipated $40 million in 100 companies over a five-year period.
  • Through the first phase of Investing in Business Innovation launched in October 2010, FedDev Ontario invested nearly $57 million in repayable contributions to 86 companies, leveraging almost three times more in private sector investments. FedDev Ontario also invested more than $3 million in 13 angel networks and associations.
  • Investing in Business Innovation funding is available for early-stage businesses with fewer than 50 employees; southern Ontario-based angel investor networks; and not-for-profit organizations that provide skills development and seed financing to new entrepreneurs.

Quotes

"Our Government continues to invest in jobs, growth and prosperity by supporting start-up and early-stage businesses. Innovative start-ups need access to capital today to grow into the flagship businesses of tomorrow and we are creating that environment, right here, in the Waterloo region."

  • Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for FedDev Ontario

"This investment in Clearpath Robotics will help to enhance its R&D capacity, enable further customization of its unmanned vehicles and expand its sales in global markets."

  • Harold Albrecht, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Conestoga

"The investment announced today will help WestonExpressions Inc. complete the final development of its digital display advertising system and to take its business to market."

  • Stephen Woodworth, Member of Parliament for Kitchener Centre

"Today's announcements will help the Golden Triangle Angel Network to broaden its impact, and allow In the Chat Communications Inc. to expand to the U.S. and international markets.

  • Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo

Related Products

Backgrounder: Investing in Business Innovation Initiative Funding Recipients in Waterloo Region

Speech: Investing in Business Innovation Initiative Funding Announcement Waterloo Region Toronto

Associated Links

Investing in Business Innovation initiative

Clearpath Robotics

Golden Triangle Angel Network

In the Chat

WestonExpressions Ltd.

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Backgrounder

Investing in Business Innovation Initiative Funding Recipients in the Waterloo Region

FedDev Ontario is investing a total of up to $2.03 million in three high-growth companies and in one angel organization.

Clearpath Robotics Inc.

Contribution: up to $950,000

To accelerate the development and commercialization of a remote software management system for mobile robots and to develop prototypes for client testing and evaluation. FedDev Ontario's investment will leverage additional funds from a syndicate of angel investors who are members of the Golden Triangle Angel Network and the Southwestern Ontario Angel Group, as well as from a private equity firm. The project is expected to create 20 new jobs, to maintain another 35 full-time equivalent predominantly engineering jobs and an additional 20 jobs by 2018.

"We're really proud to be growing the company in Ontario. Because of the support we've received from the government, we can double our staff and continue to grow our product offering."

  • Bryan Webb, CFO/COO and Co-Founder at Clearpath Robotics.

In the Chat Communications Inc.

Contribution: up to $400,000

To expand adoption of its social media and SMS sales and service product in international markets. FedDev Ontario's investment will leverage up to an additional $800,000 investment from angel investors including members of the Angel One Network and the Golden Triangle Angel Network. The project is expected to create up to 20 new jobs and maintain 16 full-time equivalent jobs during the project and an additional 47 jobs by 2017.

"With FedDev Ontario's support, we have doubled down on our sales and marketing efforts, with a specific focus on growing the client base for our digital customer service platform in international markets. The results are very favourable, with our new text messaging capability already being received as the go-to solution for enterprise SMS customer service, both at home and abroad."

  • John Huehn, President and CEO, In the Chat

WestonExpressions Inc.

Contribution: up to $179,950

To complete the final development of its digital display advertising system, execute a global sales and marketing plan, and protect its intellectual property. FedDev Ontario's investment will leverage $433,103 in additional investments from BDC Capital Inc. and investors registered with XDL Capital Group and Stokes Capital. The project is expected to create up to four new full-time jobs during the project, an additional three full-time equivalent jobs by 2017 and maintain four jobs.

"We are excited and grateful for the contribution that FedDev Ontario has made through the Investing in Business Innovation initiative. The funding is helping us bring our LINKETT technology to market and build the necessary business foundations to ensure success. It is fantastic to see the government supporting local start-ups and dedicate capital not only to spark growth, but also to influence and assist committed angel investors in the community."

  • Douglas Lusted, Co-Founder and CEO, WestonExpressions

Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN)

Contribution: up to $500,000

Incorporated in 2009, GTAN has invested more than $20 million in 45 companies and facilitated $23 million in additional funding to date. This project is to improve its investment and reporting tools, expand its angel investor membership, increase the pool of angel investment funds, and improve mentoring support available to early-stage high growth companies in southern Ontario. The project will have a high impact; the Network is expected to increase its membership from 100 to 200 members resulting in 100 additional companies receiving over $40 million of new investment over a five-year project period.

"With FedDev Ontario's support, the Golden Triangle Angel Network (GTAN) has experienced unprecedented success in its first five years. GTAN thanks FedDev Ontario for the financial support it provides to our angel network, and commits to providing expanded services and funding to the early-stage ecosystem over the next five years and helping to bring renewed prosperity to communities in southern Ontario."

  • Robert Douglas, President, Golden Triangle Angel Network

Related Products

News Release: Government of Canada Supports New and Growing Businesses in Waterloo Region

Speech: Investing in Business Innovation initiative Funding Announcement in Waterloo Region

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