"With massive amounts of cash being pumped into development by Google, Facebook, Microsoft and context-aware startups such as Flybits, the PA in everybody’s pocket could soon be a reality," Nick…
According to TechVibes, “Companies were selected for their technological innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and growth. Now in its 18th year, Technology Fast 50 celebrated companies with an average four-year growth rate of 1,293%.”
Companies to collaborate on creating enhanced personalized mobile experiences for TD customers
TORONTO, Sept. 16, 2015 — TD Bank Group and Flybits today announced an exclusive agreement within the Canadian financial services industry to collaborate on providing TD customers with more personalized mobile banking experiences.
The Flybits cloud-based software program transforms mobile apps to deliver rich, contextual experiences to each user, including personalized financial advice—where and when they need it.
Flybits is a Ryerson University start-up created in partnership with MaRS Innovation. Read more about their growth and development in our news archive.
“A key focus for TD’s digital roadmap is to create more intuitive, personalized experiences that make customers’ lives simpler,” said Rizwan Khalfan, senior vice president and chief digital officer, TD. “Our agreement with Flybits is another example of TD demonstrating its commitment to enriching customers’ lives through innovation. We’re elevating our customer-centric approach by bringing in-the-moment experiences to each individual depending on their situation and needs.”
Biotechnology Focus, a compendium of the Canadian life sciences industry, has published a guest column by Dr. Raphael Hofstein, MaRS Innovation’s president & CEO, and Elizabeth Monier-Williams, director of marketing and communications.
The article explores the way research focused on discovery and commercialization are often viewed or positioned as competitors within the funding ecosystem and the need to align their goals:
The time of Canada’s French and English solitudes may be past, as Governor General Michaëlle Jean notably stated when she took office in 2005, but the solitudes of thought concerning how Canada supports basic and commercial research persist.
This thinking is most easily spotted after the government announces a federal budget, triggering a flurry of opinion pieces debating the breakdown for the $2.7 billion Canada spends on research.
Most recently, Jim Balsillie, co-founder of Research in Motion (now BlackBerry Ltd.), wrote for the Globe & Mail about the Canadian need to understand that “geopolitics is at the heart of commercializing ideas,” and create better policies to protect Canadian ideas, including “better
incentives for researchers to spur commercialization,” such as during an academic’s consideration for tenure. Yet, like any business endeavor whose success depends on people, there’s more involved in changing Canada’s approach to commercialization than just policy.
The people must want to change, too.
Vodafone expands Toronto-based company’s global partners to advance mobile platform offerings
TORONTO, April 28, 2015 – Vodafone, one of the world’s largest global mobile carriers, has led a second closing of Flybits’ Series A round through Vodafone Ventures. The announcement builds on Flybits’ previously announced Series A financing in August 2014, which was led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital and Trellis Capital.
As an innovative software-as-a-service (SaaS) company, Flybits enables consumer-focused enterprises to expand and manage mobile experiences that deliver targeted content and services. Its platform enhances mobile services to deliver a better customer experience, drive sales and capture analytical insight to establish a competitive advantage. The Flybits solution is easy to deploy, user-friendly and scalable.
“We’ve enjoyed an excellent partnership with Vodafone since beginning an incubation project with them almost two years ago,” said Dr. Hossein Rahnama, founder and chief product officer of Flybits. “They helped us make our product carrier-grade, and this investment will allow us to leverage their presence in more than 21 countries. With the support of our strategic investors, Bosch and Vodafone, our plan is to become the leading platform for companies to develop and deliver intelligent and context-aware mobility solutions.”
“I congratulate Flybits on today’s announcement,” said the Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade. “Flybits has used many of the services our government offers to help Canadian businesses succeed abroad including the Canadian Technology Accelerators (CTA). Through our network of Trade Commissioners and various programs, this government is committed to helping companies such as Flybits grow beyond our borders to expand globally, creating jobs and economic prosperity across Canada.”
MaRS Innovation enjoyed an exceptional year in 2014. Our team continues to collaborate with researchers within our membership to help bridge the commercialization gap between their world-leading research and creating successful start-up companies or licenses.
Here are our picks for the top 10 news stories from MaRS Innovation’s portfolio.
1. Triphase Accelerator Corporation, in which MaRS Innovation is an investor, started the year with a bang by signing a collaboration and option agreement with Celgene Corporation. In October, Triphase initiated a Phase I clinical study to evaluate marizomib in Glioblastoma (GBM) with Celgene, signed an agreement to provide Celgene with an option to acquire a new bi-specific antibody (licensed by Triphase from PharmAbcine) and closed the year by announcing that Triphase’s proteasome inhibitor, marizomib, demonstrates potent synergistic anti-multiple myeloma activity in combination with pomalidomide.
2. Flybits Inc., spun out of Ryerson University, announced a $3.75 million Series A financing with Robert Bosch Venture Capital to advance its context-aware mobile experience platform. The company was also named a Red Herring Top 100 North America winner.
3. XLV Diagnostics Inc., spun out from Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and the Thunder Bay Regional Research Institute, secured a $3 million Series A investment round with Boston-based Bernard M. Gordon Unitrust. XLV’s product will provide mammography image quality equivalent to top-of-the-line mammography machines currently in use, and will do so at a fraction of the cost of current generation systems. The funding will support continued product development and regulatory approval.
Toronto start-up to advance context-aware mobile experience platform
TORONTO, Canada (August 20, 2014) — Flybits Inc., a Toronto start-up that has created a context-aware experience development platform for mobile environments, has closed a $3.75 million Series A financing. Led by Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH (RBVC) and Trellis Capital Corporation with participation from MaRS Investment Accelerator Fund and Ryerson Futures, Inc., the investment will advance the company’s product development and international growth in the United States and Europe.
Since spinning off from Ryerson University in 2012, Flybits has raised a total of $4.05 million to date, including a seed round from MaRS Innovation. Flybits technology has been used in developing smarter cities, connected stadiums, smart corporate campuses, shopping malls, conference venues and even fashion shows. The company also concurrently incubated its technology at the Ryerson Digital Media Zone in Toronto and Vodafone Xone in Redwood City, California.
“Flybits is RBVC’s first investment in Canada,” said Luis Llovera, managing director of Robert Bosch LLC based in Palo Alto, California. “The company has demonstrated a unique and innovative approach in building foundational technology to deliver Contextual Mobility Services for both display-driven devices and for the emerging Internet of Things applications. Flybits’ strong roots in tangible and high impact R&D, their ability to predict the required infrastructure for the industrial Internet and their global entrepreneurial ambitions were some of the reasons we were attracted to this company.”
“Involving high-quality investors such as Bosch and Trellis demonstrates the potential in our unique approach to designing Intelligent Mobility Solutions that are intuitive and scalable,” said Dr. Hossein Rahnama, CEO and founder of Flybits. “In particular, having Bosch as a strategic investor means we leverage their global expertise in software automation, connected communities and sensor technologies as we support new and existing international customers, and scale and develop both our team and our products.”
“Recognizing the Flybits’ platform potential to create next-generation mobile experiences at an early stage, MaRS Innovation worked closely with Flybits to launch the company and secure initial market traction,” said Dr. Raphael Hofstein, president and CEO of MaRS Innovation.
TORONTO, Canada (May 20, 2014) — Red Herring has selected Flybits as one of its 2014 Top 100 North America award winners. Flybits was recognized for its leading-edge, context-aware computing solutions.
Red Herring Top 100 America recognizes innovation from outstanding entrepreneurs and promising companies. Its “Top 100 North America” award winners were selected from among approximately 3,000 tech start-ups financed each year in the U.S. and Canada. Past winners include companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, Yahoo, Skype, Salesforce.com, YouTube, Marin Software, Palo Alto Networks and eBay, and many others that have changed how we live and work.
“In 2014, selecting the top 100 achievers was by no means a small feat,” said Alex Vieux, publisher and CEO of Red Herring. “We believe Flybits embodies the vision, drive and innovation that define a successful entrepreneurial venture. Flybits should be proud of its accomplishment, as the competition was very strong.”
2013 was an exceptional year for MaRS Innovation. Here are the top 10 news stories from our commercialization portfolio. 1. MaRS Innovation secures a $15 million CECR funding extension In January,…
The City of Ottawa and Flybits Unveil New Traffic Management Tool That Provides Real-Time Traveler Information to Residents TORONTO, November 18, 2013 — The City of Ottawa and Flybits, an…