Products range from wearable digital coaches to socially-drive financial investment tools
TORONTO (Dec. 2, 2014) — The University of Toronto Early-Stage Technology (UTEST) incubator, co-directed by U of T’s Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO) and MaRS Innovation, has announced its third cohort of computer science start-up companies.
Betakit and Electronic Products &Technology covered this announcement; TechVibes featured Syncadian and Onyx Motion in recent features. The U of T magazine also featured Syncadian and CEO Hanna Janossy in this recent profile.
The five companies and the diverse sectors they target are (scroll for full company descriptions):
- FlatFab Inc. — 3D printing (designing 3D objects that print in 2D)
- ICE3 Power Technologies Inc. — hardware (universal charger for portable devices)
- Onyx Motion Inc. — wearables (digital coaching)
- Nvest Inc. — financial investing (socially-driven stock recommendations)
- Syncadian Inc. — digital health (fatigue management for enterprise clients)
Past graduates include Whirlscape, TrendMD, Crowdmark, eQOL and Granata Decision Systems, among others.
“We had an excellent response from the U of T community this year with over 80 companies applying to join UTEST,” says co-director Kurtis Scissons of IPO. “In June, we selected 20 to present to the selection committee; seven promising companies made the short list in August. As always, we seek companies building business-to-business customer bases, preferably around operational products with a short term to market.”
Instead of immediately receiving $30,000 in start-up funding, however, UTEST teams had a three-month try-out period. “We wanted them to demonstrate their idea is scalable and enterprise-focused while showing us their team’s capable of executing,” says co-director Mike Betts, entrepreneur-in-residence at MaRS Innovation. “Accessing mentorship and business strategy assistance, along with use of the UTEST offices, generated a healthy competition.”
UTEST is part of the Banting & Best Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, a growing ecosystem of accelerators, incubators and commercialization support services at U of T, and is supported by the University of Toronto’s Connaught Fund. The companies are also eligible to become clients of MaRS Discovery Districts ICE or Healthcare practices.
“Getting into UTEST helped us take our idea from an idea to a company,” said Sheikh Mohammad Ahsanuzzaman, CEO of ICE3 Power Technologies. “The mentoring and funding we’ve received has allowed us to smoothly and efficiently start building as we create a world-class power supply company.”
UTEST Cohort Three
flatfab’s software helps people design and fabricate 3D objects. Typically, users imagine in 3D but ideate and draw in 2D. That’s because while 3D printing in new-age materials is great for small, complex objects, it can be prohibitive in both time and money. flatfab seamlessly solves this challenge by marrying digital modeling to traditional craftsmanship. flatfab enables designers and hobbyists to use their skills in working with common materials—anything that is reasonably flat and can be cut, such as paper, plastic, wood, steel and even stone—to create 3D objects. Contact flatfab by email email@example.com or visit the flatfab subreddit.
ICE3 (Ice Cube) Power Technologies: Simplifying power sources for portable electronic devices
Sheikh Mohammad Ahsanuzzaman, CEO
Seyed-Behzad Mahdavikhah-Mehrabad, CTO
Aleksandar Radic, VP Engineering
Aleksandar Prodic, CSO
ICE3 (Ice Cube) is developing new technologies to introduce lightweight, compact, cool and universal ac-dc power supplies to consolidate all electronic device chargers into one unit. Currently, state-of-the-art power adapters are often bulky, expensive and/or hot-to-the-touch solutions that burden the user, the environment and diminish the portable device experience. ICE3 technologies will improve the portability of the electronic devices and of users’ overall experience.
Onyx Motion is building wearable digital coaches to help individuals play like experienced athletes. This technology uses smartwatches to show a user how they play—and how to improve—at the moment when they need it the most. It’s a digital coach that fits right in a pocket and is always ready to play. Follow them on Twitter @onyxmotionnews or Facebook.
Nvest is a lighthouse to help investors decipher the flood of available stock recommendations. They are building a crowd-sourced stock recommendation platform where credibility of each recommendation is backed by the past performance of the adviser. Through Nvest, advisers can gain exposure by consistently providing high-quality advice and recommending high-performing stocks. Additionally, advisers can complement their recommendations with advanced analytical tools and trading strategies to enrich the quality of their recommendations, which assists investors to better evaluate them. Follow them on Twitter @nvest_platform, on Facebook or Youtube.
Syncadian Inc.’s first product was a mobile app helping soldiers in the Canadian military to prevent jetlag. The company is continuing to develop software in the fatigue modelling and management space, exploring possible applications for shift workers, military personnel, cancer patients and others. Syncadian’s vision is to develop fatigue solutions, enabling companies to decrease fatigue related errors and increase productivity, and enabling individuals to monitor sleep quality and quantity and optimize their sleep patterns.