Four Windsor-based companies received two things startups need to thrive – investment and talent – thanks to support from WEtech Alliance totalling over $45,000.
Two homegrown start-up companies each received $3,000 courtesy of WEtech Alliance through the latest round of WINnovation Fund grants.
Nifty Studios is an entertainment based application developer that specializes in interactive and engaging virtual reality, computer and mobile experiences.
Envirodrone is a commercial drone that performs a variety of professional services from surveying and mapping to surveillance-based activities specializing in environmental applications.
In the last 18 months, WEtech Alliance has delivered over $27,000 in direct grants to ten startup companies led by WEtech’s youth clients aged 18-29. Formerly known as the Regional Advisory Service Fund (RASF), the WINnovation Fund provides up to $5,000 to youth-led companies for startup related activities such as specialized service provider support, product development and marketing.
“The WINnovation fund provides timely funding to WEtech portfolio companies through a straightforward application process with quick turnaround times,” says Marco Fiori, a Business Advisor with WEtech Alliance. “These projects have tight timelines with immediate impact that helps these startups clear hurdles to growth”.
WEtech also dispersed Embark Funding – which is a program of the Province of Ontario’s Youth Business Acceleration Program (BAP) supporting entrepreneurs in the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE).
Ontario-based technology companies are eligible to receive up to $20,000 towards the cost of hiring a young professional aged 22-29. Each recipient will also be required to contribute $2,500 cash (or 12.5% of the amount requested) over the program’s six-month period.
Powerball Technologies developed a powerful software tool called Og – for augmented reality – that allows customers and salespeople to showcase furniture virtually at home or any other location through a tablet device.
True Phantom Solutions designs and creates biomedical phantoms – which are anatomically correct life-like models. These models, for example, include a human brain complete with blood vessels, ventricles and tumours. Phantoms are critically important for the development of innovative diagnostic imaging techniques, neurosurgery treatment planning, and training of medical students.
Both companies will be looking to hire marketing support.
“Embark provides an important piece of the startup puzzle, which is the ability to hire talent that drives growth,” says Deborah Livneh, the Entrepreneur-in-Residence at WEtech Alliance who provides business mentoring to Powerball Technologies and True Phantom Solutions.
“Through the Embark and WINnovation funding, WEtech Alliance is strengthening local startup companies and fostering job creation,” says Yvonne Pilon, President and CEO of WEtech Alliance. “At the same time we recognize the many partners in our entrepreneurial ecosystem across Windsor-Essex and Ontario that contribute to each startup success”.
The WINnovation Fund and Embark Funding are 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.