November 11, 2019
L-SPARK hosted their SaaS Roadshow in four Canadian cities (Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Waterloo) over the past Quarter. The primary goal — find the next B2B SaaS ‘unicorn’ in Canada. No small feat, but it is always best to aim high!
Over the course of the Roadshow, the team heard business pitches from hundreds of start-ups focused on a number of industry sectors, including SaaS, AI, cybersecurity, IoT, deep technology and FinTech. Adhering to an established process, once the application period closed, the L-SPARK team created a shortlist of companies who were then invited to participate in a “pitch-prep” session — a workshop to help refine those initial pitches — as preparation for the key Selection Day event held at the Brookstreet Hotel.
Selection Day brings up to 30 of the top VC and angel investor groups in Ontario and Quebec together to hear the polished pitches from the shortlisted start-ups, and vote on those most promising. From that vote, 6-8 companies are chosen to join the next Accelerator program. The latest Selection Day welcomed six eager new firms to the L-Spark Fall 2019 SaaS Accelerator cohort. Details on each can be found on the L-SPARK website.
In parallel with this exercise, the team has been busy forging new partnerships. L-SPARK and Queen’s University in Kingston Ontario recently announced an initiative to support women-led companies and women in technology, through a specifically designed Accelerator program.
The Secure IoT Accelerator — announced recently with partners TELUS, BlackBerry and Solace — welcomed four companies into the first cohort. Those four companies were Flosonics Medical, Platoi Industries Inc., Canscan and the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA).
Flosonics Medical is developing non-invasive sensors to improve the management of critically-ill patients. Platoi offers a scalable and easy-to-use solution for pipeline operators to assess and manage the external risks along millions of miles of pipelines in North America and beyond. Canscan is using artificial intelligence to identify and report issues such as structural damage to shipping containers. And CIRA develops and implements policies to support the Canadian Internet community, and represents the .CA registry globally. Again, more information can be found on the website.
L-SPARK also continues to work closely with BlackBerry to launch the second cohort of the BlackBerry/L-SPARK Corporate Accelerator, which will focus primarily on the connected car. Applications are open for this Accelerator now, and the next program will start before Christmas.
Plenty of exciting activities to keep the team busy, indeed. Look for continued updates in Q. l-spark.com