Amazon makes AWS EdStart accelerator available to Canadians, picks Springbay Studio as first participant

childrens classroom
Springbay Studio creates climate-focused educational games for children.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has made its EdTech accelerator available to Canadians in recent months, selecting Toronto game developer Springbay Studio as its first participant from the country.

Named AWS EdStart, the program provides EdTech startups with supports like promotional credit, community engagement, customized training, joint marketing opportunities, and technical support.

The program made its way to Canada in June following its expansion in the Americas region (United States, Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico).

An increasing number of big tech companies, such as Amazon, continue to bring their accelerators to Canada. One such example is Google, with the multiple programs it opened to Canadians in recent years, including those specific to women founders.

Rejean Bourgault, country manager and director of public sector in Canada at AWS, said that the expansion of AWS EdStart into Canada is meant to show AWS’ commitment to EdTech customers and startups in the region.

Bourgalt added that HolonIQ, an impact intelligence platform, has mapped out more than 1,100 EdTech firms in Canada, which includes Springbay.

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Led by long-time video game developer Jane Ji, Springbay’s video games focus on environmental science and tackling climate change. The startup’s iBiome series, for example, allows children from Grade 3 to Grade 8 to create their own virtual ecosystem, stimulate human impact, and discover ways they can mitigate it.

According to the company, since Ji created iBiome in 2014, the game has received multiple recognitions and awards from the Association of School Librarians, the United Nations Environment Programme, Dr. Toy’s Best Green Toys, The Mom’s Choice Awards, The Parents’ Choice Awards, Academic’s Choice Awards, Apple, and other notable organizations.

Springbay also offers League for Green Leaders, an online platform where children can compete globally to reduce their carbon footprint.

In addition to its lineup of video games, Springbay hosts workshops and year-round competitions to encourage children to reduce their eco-footprints and co-create a sustainable future.

Springbay previously received $13,590 in COVID-19 emergency relief financing from the Canadian Media Fund last year. It also won $1,000 from Climate Ventures’ Earth Tech accelerator virtual demo night in 2020.

Featured image from Kenny Eliason via Unsplash.

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and a staff writer for BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter @charlizealcaraz

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