Thursday, November 21st, 2019 – Five top tech start-ups in the region got the chance to pitch in front of a group of seasoned investors and members of the Windsor-Essex Regional Alliance for a top prize of $10,000 in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).
The start-ups are the third cohort to graduate from the ScaleUP Tech Accelerator program launched by WEtech Alliance and generously supported by the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF). ScaleUP is the first and only accelerator program dedicated to scaling tech companies in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.
The four-month accelerator program provides one-on-one mentoring, cohort sessions, and access to provincial, national and global networks of programs and mentors valued at $15,000.
The initiative is the product of a partnership with Libro Credit Union, which provided a $25,000 sponsorship.
“Libro believes that a business grows best when it’s supported by an ecosystem that understands the entrepreneurs journey” says Lori Atkinson, Regional Manager Windsor-Essex, Libro Credit Union. “We know WEtech not only understands the journey, but more importantly what stage to introduce resources to maximize impact, it’s this “Netflix of business services” approach that makes the program so successful.”
In addition, WEtech Alliance partnered with the Windsor-Essex Regional Alliance member organizations, Windsor-Essex Capital Angel Network (WECAN), SOAR Innovation and its investors to host the pitch competition.
“Small business is the foundation of our community’s economic engine,” said Sabrina DeMarco, Executive Director, WindsorEssex Small Business Centre and Chair of the Windsor-Essex Regional Alliance. “Each of the 20 organizations gathered today represent the Windsor-Essex Regional Alliance and have an important role to play in the success of Windsor-Essex entrepreneurs and the economic success of our region. Together we are working to identify and support local high growth companies and providing them with a coordinated network of supportive resources to help them innovate and scale their operations.”
Following a “Dragons’ Den” style pitch that measured cohort company’s growth over the course of the program, the Winner of the top prize was IPM Scoutek™. Taking home the Regional Alliance People’s Choice prize was GreenerBins Composting.
“Thank you to WEtech, Libro Credit Union and the Ontario Trillium Foundation and the panel of judges for selecting our company to win today’s ScaleUP pitch competition. So many incredible companies competed!” said Brian Hendle, President of Splice Digital. “We are thrilled to have been a part of the ScaleUP experience, and all the strategic insights we’ve gained.”
Applications for the fourth cohort will open in summer 2020.
The third graduating class of ScaleUP includes the following companies:
GreenerBins – GreenerBins is the only Bio-compost operation in Windsor and Essex County, and has a social impact mandate to make our region more environmentally friendly, one pick-up at a time. Over the course of their 4 month ScaleUP journey, they will be focusing on doubling up their customer base, working with local post secondary institutions to design region specific recycling-tech, and expanding into new markets with their message of a greener world for everyone.
Growliv – Growliv is a company dedicated to providing high quality bio-control products at an affordable price, through innovation application approaches. They are one of the only ventures rearing beneficial bugs for the greenhouse sector in Ontario. Throughout Scaleup, they will be focussing on a new product line geared towards residential gardeners, aimed at bringing the quality of greenhouse level products to your home.
The IIN – The Industrial Innovation Network (The IIN) is a virtual factory, geared towards connecting manufacturers with excess capacity, to organizations in search of manufacturing partnerships using highly targeted search functions, and fostering real world relationships with SME’s eager to take on new products. Its goal is to virtually connect the Ontario 401 corridor manufacturing supercluster in ways that will improve efficiency and increase transparency, all while protecting intellectual property and fostering trust.
Splice Digital – Splice has worked with some of the top brands worldwide to develop digital solutions. Companies like Microsoft, Atari, and Volkswagen have trusted splice to unlock new opportunities, and design new tech. Splice has recently launched their greenhouse pest management software called IPM Scoutech, an easy to use system that is going to revolutionize the greenhouse industry’s current approach to managing pests.
Coutler Software – Coulter Software has years of experience in product and technology development. With a focus on solution integration and mobile, web, and desktop app development, Coulter has been powering businesses with innovation for over 10 years. Their ScaleUP project sprint will be a focus on new Agri-technology designed to measure outdoor growing conditions using state-of-the-art sensor and software integrations.