The FedDev Ontario program started in 2009 and has seeded millions of dollars to startups in the province. Honing in on the Waterloo region, FedDev has invested over $25 million into 30 projects. The latest is RSVP Technologies (RSVP), which will receive up to $950,000 in funding.
RSVP says the money will be used to finalize the development of its NLP technology and also “create 38 jobs and maintain four jobs over the course of the project.” In addition, the funding will be used to further develop and customize its product to meet the specific needs in China and to attract new business.
“The FedDev Ontario contribution will enable RSVP Technologies to leverage up to $1.9 million through angel investors,” said Ming Li, Founder and CEO RSVP Technologies. “This contribution will not only accelerate growth opportunities for the company, but also create local job opportunities and growth for the Information Technology Communications cluster in the Waterloo region.”
RSVP has developed “Natural Language Processing” (NLP) and “Question Answering” technologies specifically for mobile devices. NLP is based on a database of 200 million existing questions and answers to quickly translate in Chinese and English. The funding will help RSVP further develop and customize its current product to meet the specific needs of customers in China and to attract new business through marketing and distribution strategies targeting the Chinese market.
RSVP has contracts with Shangong province, NavInfo, Huawei, and the Chinese Central Weather Bureau.
“This announcement is yet another key example of how our Government is fostering an environment in which tech start-ups and early-stage businesses can access support for innovative research and development,” said Peter Braid, MP for Kitchener–Waterloo. “This is helping to propel our innovative entrepreneurs to the world stage, creating a stronger economy at home.”