Celebrating 150 Years of Canadian Innovation

A CTV Windsor feature on our CANnovation project.

 

Launched in January 2017, our CANnovation project celebrates our rich history of Canadian innovations and innovators from coast-to-coast-to-coast.

The CANnovation Project is posted at Instagram.com/CANnovation and in our CANnovation album on Facebook.

 

Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit III Wows

The word has gotten out.

Well over one-hundred creative and collaborative professionals and students from the health, tech and business worlds came together over the May 5th weekend for the third annual Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit.

There were doctors, nurses and hospital administrators as well as programmers, graphic designers, entrepreneurs and investors.

They spent the weekend dreaming up, designing and demonstrating innovative solutions to everyday health care challenges, while building business cases around their vision.

Some of the team leads drove two hours from London, Ontario.  Others came from Ann Arbor, Michigan.  Most were from the greater Detroit and Windsor metropolitan area.

Christopher Bricio flew in from Guadalajara, Mexico – a biomedical engineer and project leader from the local Hacking Health chapter looking to bring best practises from Windsor-Detroit back to Guadalajara as they prepare their first event.

Christopher Bricio (3rd from right) from the Guadalajara, Mexico chapter of Hacking Health, meeting with some of the Windsor-Detroit organizers in Hacker HQ.

Teams had the opportunity to pitch in front of a star-studded panel of judges that included Jacqlyn Smith from the Detroit Medical Center, Dr. Steve Bartol from Henry Ford Innovations Institute and Lindsay Aspegren a venture investor at North Coast.

“Technology entrepreneurship moves forward when tech is connected to real people with real challenges,” says Paul Riser, Managing Director of Technology Based Entrepreneurship at co-organizer TechTown Detroit. “Hacking Health does that in spades, and the solutions and startups it generates backs that up.”

Windsor-based teams showed very well.

Mandeep Bumbra – a Registered Nurse and University of Windsor Odette School MBA – took home a prize powered by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce and Office Depot – which includes tickets to the Detroit Policy Conference.

Bumbra’s Project LEAP focused on eradicating leprosy with the help of a mobile application.

A team led by Morgan Rosenberg, from TechAlliance in London, scored a prize sponsored by the University of Windsor Odette School of Business for his mobile application called Supports – which provides support to individuals facing mental health crises.  The award includes four tickets to the renown Georgie Odette Leadership Conference 2017.

Supports also received three months of co-working space at Grand Circus.

Members of the Supports team proudly displaying their 2 awards

A team of University of Windsor and St. Clair College students called MediMeals received the prize sponsored by the University of Windsor EPICentre which includes entry into the prestigious EPIC Founders accelerator program valued at $6000.

MediMeals also went home with the People’s Choice Award that included two Airtame media streaming devices courtesy of Audacia Bioscience and two Amazon Echoes powered by TechTown and WEtech.

Finally, Lisa Jacobs – who is part of the Libro StartUP accelerator program – took home Customer Validation Engagement consultation sponsored by SearchLite for her mobile application called ClinicSeeker.

I am always amazed at how Hacking Health continues to serve as a bridge, connecting people across the tech and health care sector but also across our region and beyond

Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO of WEtech Alliance, one of the co-founding organizations of Hacking Health Windsor Detroit.

As if to highlight the diversity of professionals at Hacking Health, the Overall Judges Prize went to the Dystexia/Stroke App – which was presented by Darnell Stewart, who is a Fire Captain with Detroit Fire Department.

Captain Stewart received entry into the Entrepreneurial Bootcamp at Ann Arbor SPARK as well as commercialization consultation with the University of Michigan Fast Forward Medical Innovation.

“Hacking Health provides WEtech clients with an opportunity to meet investors, potential clients, and other business support organization on both sides of the US-Canada border,” says Dr. Irek Kusmierczyk, Director of Partnerships at WEtech Alliance.  “Right away they learn to operate with the US and Canadian markets in mind, and draw from cross-border talent and resource pools.”

Plans are already underway for Hacking Health IV – which will travel back across the Detroit River to Windsor in 2018.

Hacking Health Windsor Detroit would not be possible without the generous support from Windsor Regional Hospital, Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare, Leamington District Memorial Hospital, the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation and the University of Windsor as well as the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs and the Ontario Centres of Excellence.

WEtech Alliance Provides $6,500 in Funding through the WINnovation Fund to Two of Its Portfolio Companies

WINnovation Recipient, RF Kinetics

WEtech is pleased to announce that it has provided direct dollars through the WINnovation Fund totaling $6,500 to two of its clients. Formerly known as the Regional Advisory Service Fund (RASF), startup related activities undertaken by clients included specialized service provider support, search engine optimization, product development and testing, and marketing/communications activities.

The Q2 recipients include:

  • Brewin’ Bros Beverage Co. is not just a coffee shop in Windsor providing great service and local support, they are a company seeking to grow locally, provincially, nationally and internationally selling their innovative active charcoal teas.
  • RF Kinetics combines innovative design and manufacturing to produce high-quality, novel, and competitively priced devices for minimally invasive electrosurgery. They currently offer three lines of products: Vessel Sealing: Generator and Seal-n-Cut Forceps, Electrosurgical Burn Prevention Access Device: Scannula and Monopolar Hand Instruments: Modular and Disposable devices.

    WINnovation Recipient, Brewin’ Bros Beverage Co.

The WINnovation Fund is supported by the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). The ONE is made up of regional and sector focused organizations that WEtech Alliance is proud to represent for the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent Regions and is designed to help Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their companies to facilitate job creation.

Register now for Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit III

Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit breaks down barriers to healthcare innovation by bringing together IT and healthcare professionals across the US-Canada border to collaborate, dream up & design apps for patient-centric care.

The first Windsor-Detroit Hacking Health was held at TechTown Detroit – an innovation hub just five minutes from the border in May, 2015. Building on that success Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit II crossed the border into Windsor May 13-15, 2016 which was held at the Toldo Health Education Centre at the University of Windsor.

Hacking Health Windsor-Detroit III once again returns to TechTown Detroit May 5-7, 2017.

REGISTER TODAY!

This event sells out every year. Reserve your spot by registering below!

WEtech Is Graduating and Starting a New EPIC Journey

February 22, 2017

WEtech Alliance is graduating out of the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator.

The Regional Innovation Centre for Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent has spent five years at the Accelerator supporting the growth of tech companies as well as cultivating a community of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region.

“Like many startups, WEtech Alliance found its strength and built its network of partnerships at the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator,” says Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO of WEtech Alliance. “It is time to yield that space to other startups that can benefit from such support”.

Arthur Barbut, Manager Director at the Downtown Windsor Business Accelerator, says there are companies lining up to enter the Accelerator, which is a sign the local economy is gaining strength and that the Accelerator’s services are in demand.

“At its heart, the mission of the Accelerator is to incubate businesses, so in a way we are returning to our core mandate,” says Barbut. “But the partnership with WEtech will remain strong, and we remain proud of our role incubating a key business support organization for our region.”

As of March 1st, 2017, WEtech Alliance is moving their office to the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre – EPICentre – at the University of Windsor (2455 Wyandotte St W. Windsor, Ontario), which is an on-campus entrepreneurship centre and business incubator for student start-ups.

WEtech will continue to work with tech and innovation businesses of all ages, all sectors and stages across our entire region, says Pilon, who looks forward to new possibilities.

“We are excited about the opportunity to strengthen WEtech’s partnership with the EPIcentre, the University of Windsor and the Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation just next door”, she says.

The EPICentre – home to 9 incubator members and 17 discovery members – has engaged with more than 1,100 students in the past 6 months. EPICentre’s mission is more about engaging faculty and students and developing an entrepreneurial culture/skillsets on campus.

“We have collaborated with WEtech Alliance on a number of initiatives and events, and we often support the same startups along their journey to commercialization,” says Executive Director Dr. Francine Schlosser. “Our strengths and resources complement each other nicely and that benefits companies in our region”.

WEtech Alliance works with over 125 clients representing sectors such as manufacturing, clean tech, advanced health, agriculture and digital media and ICT.

WEtech Alliance Provides Over $5,000 in Funding through the WINnovation Fund to Two of Its Portfolio Companies

Marc Mckale, President of Innovative Distilling Technologies Inc. accepts the WINnovation Fund cheque from WEtech Alliance Entrepreneur-in-Residence Deborah Livneh

 

WEtech is pleased to announce that it has provided direct dollars through the WINnovation Fund totaling $5,500 to two of its clients. Formerly known as the Regional Advisory Service Fund (RASF), startup related activities undertaken by clients included specialized service provider support, search engine optimization, product development, and marketing/communications activities.

The Q2 recipients include:

  • Simplifly is a business that provides customers with an email list that connects people with mistake airfares. For more information, visit www.simpliflyclub.com.
  • Innovative Distilling Technologies has developed a Barrel Cap device used for the matured spirits industry. Has applied for Provisional Patent application. The device can greatly assist with the processes of emptying and refilling the barrels for maturing.

The WINnovation Fund is supported by the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). The ONE is made up of regional and sector focused organizations that WEtech Alliance is proud to represent for the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent Regions and is designed to help Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their companies to facilitate job creation.

Quotes

“It was a pleasure to meet with the WEtech Alliance team and have the opportunity to present our business plan. This funding will allow us to move forward with our business development and concentrate on our next business milestone. On behalf of Dan and myself,  we thank you for your interest and support with this endeavor.” Mark McKale, President – Innovative Distilling Technologies.

Thom Malone of Simplifly accepts the WINnovation Fund cheque from WEtech Alliance President and CEO Yvonne Pilon

WEtech Alliance Launches Social Innovation Toolkit

Windsor, ON – A new toolkit has been launched to help foster social innovation across Windsor-Essex.
This first-of-its-kind toolkit will provide information for non-profits and entrepreneurs wanting to create innovative new products, services or approaches that address social challenges.
The comprehensive toolkit includes:

Social Enterprises have been recognized as an important social innovation tool by the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, which launched a social enterprise strategy to accelerate their growth.

The more than 10,000 social enterprises already in Ontario are helping reduce poverty, protect the environment, build stronger communities and create jobs.

“We are very excited to provide these tools to entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations,” states Yvonne Pilon, President & CEO WEtech Alliance. “These resources will help inform and ignite even more innovation across our region.”

The Social Innovation Toolkit is one of several programs of the Windsor-Essex Social Innovation Project, funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation.
Interested in learning more about Social Innovation? For a presentation, please contact:
Cathy Mombourquette
Project Manager, Social innovation