AVIN Waterloo Ventures Fund announces first cohort of startups

self driving

AVIN Waterloo Ventures Fund, which invests in startups that are working on autonomous vehicle technology and connected transportation solutions, has announced the first cohort of startups that will receive investment and mentorship through its program.

Each startup in the first cohort of the program will receive up to $50,000 for eligible product development costs.

The Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) is an $80 million program by the Ontario government, and includes six regional technology development sites in Durham, Hamilton, Ottawa, Southwestern Ontario, Toronto, and Waterloo. The AVIN Waterloo Ventures Fund is a program offered through the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), and includes partners Communitech, University of Waterloo’s centre for automotive research, and the Waterloo Economic Development Corporation.

Each startup chosen to participate in the program will receive up to $50,000 for eligible product development costs, and are required to match the costs. Companies must use the funding to develop or demonstrate a viable working prototype, or make product or service improvements that generate more sales and greater market traction. Companies also get access to mentors with expertise in areas like spatial analytics, HD mapping, data science, data strategy, and data engineering, as well as a data concierge that helps companies connect with external sources of data and other resources.

The first cohort startups include:

  • Brisk Synergies, which identifies real-time conflicts and traffic patterns for insight into road safety.
  • ClearPath Robotics, which builds autonomous vehicles for sectors like mining and agriculture and raised $39 million in 2016.
  • Eye For Infrastructure, which helps autonomous vehicles conduct road mapping inspection; Jakarto, which provides HD mapping for autonomous vehicles.
  • Maple Precision, which allows companies to use geographic datasets to build maps.
  • MapYourProperty, which allows developers to streamline the due diligence process with analysis on potential areas of development.
  • Spotzi Canada, which allows companies to map their own location data and merge it with third-party data for unique insights and;
  • SafeGround, which is building a platform to help autonomous vehicles predict pedestrian and cyclist behaviour.

Upon completion of the program, startups will be eligible to receive a referral to a demonstration project or matchmaking event with corporate partners, through the AVIN Demo Zone. The eight startups selected for the initial cohort were chosen from a total of 23 applicants. AVIN Waterloo Ventures Fund noted that requests for information on the second cohort are open, and it is expecting to have an even larger pool of candidates to choose from.

Photo via Pixabay.

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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