The Government of Canada has announced a cumulative $14 million investment into eight projects led by companies based in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the funding will largely go towards a slew of tech startups, such as Able Innovations, Cognota (formerly Synapse), Mero Technologies, and BlueDot, to create over 230 skilled jobs across GTA through tech-focused initiatives.
Construction company Earth Boring received the largest portion of the pot, $4 million, to purchase advanced microtunnelling equipment.
BlueDot, which is receiving $3 million of the $14 million contribution, is using the funding to accelerate the adoption of its global epidemic intelligence and threat monitoring platform.
As consumer behaviour, and thus, business strategies, shifted throughout the pandemic, BlueDot made several changes to its business that focuses on public health threats. Speaking with BetaKit last year, BlueDot CEO Kamran Khan said that the company was focusing its efforts working with more private sector clients after seeing initial success working with governments organizations.
Amid this, last year also saw BlueDot lay off 14 employees as it adjusted its business, and Khan added that BlueDot hoped to raise funds to support its growth sometime in 2023 to 2024.
Toronto-based Able Innovations has been allotted an investment of nearly $800,000 ($797,031) through FedDev. Founded in 2018, the startup provides robotic technology that enables front-line healthcare staff to conduct safe and easy patient transfer solutions.
Able said this contribution will allow the healthtech startup to acquire advanced manufacturing equipment to bring its patient transfer platform to market, obtain regulatory approvals and make enhancements to its add-on features. The Toronto firm previously secured $7.5 million CAD in funding in May of last year.
Cognota, which is also headquartered in Toronto, provides a learning technology platform for corporate training. Of the total $14 million investment, Cognota received $1.9 million to scale its product and “secure new sales opportunities in Canadian and US markets.” In 2020, Cognota raised $2.64 million CAD in funding to help accelerate the growth of a new partnership program sales stream.
Mero is receiving $1.5 million of FedDev’s investment. Established in 2018, the Toronto startup offers smart cleaning solutions for commercial buildings that can measure building occupancy and cleanliness.
This contribution from the federal government, according to Mero, will support the company’s aim to accelerate the commercialization of its platform, while also supporting made-in-Canada sensor production as well as market expansion efforts into Western Canada and the US. Mero previously closed a $3.1 million CAD seed round in July 2021.
Other tech companies that have received funding in this recent FedDev Ontario investment are mobile sensor and software company BeWhere ($500,00), which is publicly traded on the Toronto Venture Exchange; clinical data management platform provider Pentavere ($1.06 million); and market research company Schlesinger Group ($1.3 million), which has acquired several Canadian-made tech such as Toronto-based Delvinia’s AskingCanadians and Methodify products.
Construction company Earth Boring received the largest portion of the pot, $4 million, to purchase advanced microtunnelling equipment to expand its trenchless tunnelling capabilities and take on large-scale projects.
Feature image courtesy Able Innovations.