Four startups from The Entrepreneurship Hatchery, U of T engineering’s accelerator for student business ventures, have received a total of $180,000 from the Ontario Centres of Excellence’s SmartStart seed fund.
The SmartStart seed fund helps Ontario-based startups that are associated with campus-linked accelerators. Teams led by young entrepreneurs between 18 to 29 can access up to $60,000 to match investments in their businesses by arms-length third parties. All four of the startups, which will use the funding to bring their products closer to market, also won Hatchery’s demo day during the fall.
The grant recipients, and their funding amounts, include:
TeleHex ($60,000) — The company makes an all-in-one tool for adjusting the hexagonal-shaped sockets on most standard bicycles. The telescoping instrument automatically selects the right size, making bike repairs simpler and faster.
MedChart ($60,000) — MedChart does the legwork of obtaining medical records from all of their clients’ health-care providers and uploading them into a secure, cloud-accessible platform. The goal is to simplify and improve the flow of medical information.
Kepler Communications ($30,000) — This company aims to use small data-transmission satellites to build a space-based communications network. This will allow other satellites to transmit or receive data even when they’re not near a ground station, reducing data blackouts and improving the flow of space-based information.
Pillsy ($30,000) — Pillsy has created a Bluetooth-enabled “smart pouch” that helps women remember to take their birth control pills.
“The grant is absolutely critical to creating a strong business around our product,” said Peter Wen, a third-year mechanical engineering student and co-founder of TeleHex. “Previously we’d been focused on the product itself. This enables us to afford patent filing, marketing and the help we need to make TeleHex widely available.”