GrindSpaceXL is a bit longer than the average accelerator program, at four months. It’s a milestone-based program for high potential companies, including weekly education sessions, peer-to-peer sharing, and meetings with advisors and entrepreneurs in residence. “What you learn at GrindSpaceXL will be grounded in relevant, leading-edge experience,” wrote a member of Invest Ottawa. “The curriculum is customized to the specific needs of each cohort, so you will never feel like you are spinning your wheels. This intensive program uses real-world examples that can be applied to your business plan from day one. The only choice you can’t make is to take things at half-speed.”
GrindSpaceXL was founded in Fall 2012 and has accelerated 29 companies through its Ottawa location. An additional six recently graduated from a newly introduced Kingston location.
The curriculum consists of approximately 20 short interactive workshops, divided into four broad areas:
- Market validation and go-to-market strategy
- Marketing communications and sales effectiveness
- Essential skills for success and sustainability
- Financing and exit
At the time of writing it doesn’t appear to offer its entrepreneurs upfront cash. Each GrindSpaceXL cohort “has an opportunity to secure funding at various points during the program. Funding sources range from small tranches offered directly through the program to significant amounts sourced from investors.”
The heads of the program are Kevin Carroll, “managing director of innovation,” Marco Fiori, “manager of business acceleration” and Lisa Craymer, “portfolio facilitator.”
Entrepreneurs-in-residence include Andrew Jackson, who has more than 20 years of experience in guiding growth in private and publicly held companies from start-ups to large enterprises; Chris Johnson, former founder and CEO of dna13, a SaaS software company sold in early 2010 to PR Newswire; Sam Khan, who has worked with and managed many large-enterprise Government of Canada web initiatives; Andrew Moffat, cofounder and CEO of Keshet Technologies, which assists up-and-coming IT businesses and entrepreneurs with financing and strategic guidance; and Christine Pietschmann.
The current winter 2014 cohort at GrindSpaceXL features these 14 startups:
BankMine’s product is a financial evaluation software solution. The product is specifically designed to simplify the sales process for financial advisors, while creating a clear, transparent financial plan for the consumer.
Clear Pod Inc. develops environmentally sustainable solutions for septic system waste water treatment that significantly improves the performance of your system.
Fast2eat is online take-out ordering for food courts. Order online and skip the line, it’s that simple.
Figure of Eight Inc. focuses on developing solutions to facilitate the medical billing process for physicians and medical billing agents. It is the company’s dedication to improving the medical billing process that led to the development of Mo-Billing, a web and mobile application for paperless collection, storage, delivery and retrieval of medical billing data.
PrepYourData will enable business people to clean up inconsistencies and errors in their data easily, so they can get on with their analysis quickly, without needing IT help or advanced Excel skills.
SimpleBI Launches “Cloud” Solution for Small and Medium-Sized Businesses. SimpleBI was built to address the fundamental needs of a client, by quickly and easily getting them on-board the system and up and running in a matter of hours – and by partnering with IBM we’re able to offer the industry leading Cognos toolset, which allows users to begin reporting almost instantly.
travelabulous, we know that travel gives you some of the best memories of your life even though planning travel is tedious and time-consuming. Our goal is to provide you with an online and mobile personal travel concierge – to make sure you start enjoying your travel experience even before you begin to pack.
Zamani Wireless Solutions inc. (ZWS) develops disruptive intelligent wireless sensor technology platform with many high value applications such as e-health, indoor location tracking and personnel detection security. The first application of this technology is for an autonomous and non-intrusive fall detection product targeting Personal Emergency Response System (PERS) for seniors who are living alone at their homes or at seniors’ homes.
ArcheOptix is a start-up biomedical device company targeting Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and is developing the first handheld medical device for rapid, non-ionizing, point-of-care detection of intracranial hematomas.
MDSP Tech congregates academic expertise and the latest technologies in digital signal processing to provide innovative solutions for a wide range of industrial applications.
Per Vices builds low cost hardware that allows software applications to transparently communicate with any wireless signal.
Regulus Solutions is an Ottawa based start-up company which is developing technology to enable the rise of the Smart City with efficient and cost-effective solutions.