L-Spark, Telus, BlackBerry, Solace launch accelerator to support Canadian IoT ventures


L-Spark, an Ottawa-based SaaS accelerator, has partnered with Telus, BlackBerry, and Solace to launch the Secure IoT Accelerator program. The program aims to support Canadian IoT ventures by offering them global reach capabilities and secure technologies.

The Secure IoT Accelerator aims to address the need for greater security and more complex applications, with the global IoT market expected to grow to $1 trillion USD by 2021, according to a statement from L-Spark. L-Spark also told BetaKit the accelerator is looking for four companies, and that the program will kick off in May.

“It’s incumbent upon all manufacturers to deliver safe and secure IoT devices that consumers and enterprises can trust.”

“Adoption of IoT products and services by Canadian firms is accelerating at a rapid clip, and industry analysts predict the global connected IoT devices market will grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of approximately 19 percent through 2023,” said Leo Lax, executive managing director of L-Spark. “We’re excited to create an accelerator program that provides the tools and technology necessary for Canadian IoT innovators to scale their businesses and compete internationally.”

The accelerator program is aiming to develop several IoT products and services that use Telus’ Global Connectivity Platform and its IoT Cybersecurity services, as well as BlackBerry’s operating system, and Solace’s data movement capabilities. These will all be used to support L-Spark’s cohort of companies.

L-Spark said in a statement that combining these capabilities can enable companies to develop innovative products and services that safeguard privacy and security, and end user-managed access and provisioning. User-managed access is known to have privacy and consent implications for web applications and IoT.

RELATED: Telus report says only 52% of Canadian businesses plan to deploy IoT solutions

“Telus is dedicated to fostering a thriving and secure IoT ecosystem in Canada, capable of both serving the needs of Canadians and providing reach to markets around the globe,” said Ibrahim Gedeon, CTO of Telus. “Ensuring that next-generation security products and services are available to that ecosystem is vital to its success, so we are proud to support L-Spark’s Secure IoT Accelerator.”

Companies chosen to participate in the four-month program will receive access to LTE-M ready software development kits, technical mentoring from Telus, BlackBerry, and Solace experts, as well as business mentoring from L-Spark. Telus noted that its LTE-M Low Power Wide Area network is purpose-built for IoT solutions. All of L-Spark’s acceleration programs provide access to L-Spark’s SaaS, cloud, and IoT technology community.

“We believe the winners in IoT will be the companies that realize security is not an added cost but a valuable differentiator,” said Charles Eagan, CTO of BlackBerry. “It’s incumbent upon all manufacturers to deliver safe and secure IoT devices that consumers and enterprises can trust, and the Secure IoT Accelerator program is an excellent place to start.”

This is not the first partnership between L-Spark and BlackBerry. In December, L-Spark announced a joint accelerator giving companies access to BlackBerry’s QNX technology. The BlackBerry/L-SPARK accelerator program houses startups with business models and technologies that align with the BlackBerry QNX suite of products. BlackBerry helps the selected companies research and develop product prototypes in robotics, device security, sensor fusion, functional safety, analytics, medical devices, and autonomous vehicles.

RELATED: BlackBerry announces the BlackBerry IoT Platform

“The mentorship and resources that participants receive as part of the Secure IoT Accelerator, including access to the world-class Telus LTE-M network, provide a springboard for these companies’ growth and, ultimately, strengthening the entire Canadian IoT market,” said Gedeon.

The Secure IoT Accelerator program is currently accepting applications from growth stage companies developing IoT products in a variety of sectors including, (but not limited to), automotive, healthcare, access management, smart home and building, retail and supply chain management, logistics and fleet management, natural resources, and asset management.

Interested applicants must be headquartered in Canada, and should have the required team and financial capacity to complete projects.

Learn more about the Secure IoT Accelerator here.

Image courtesy L-Spark.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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