Skritswap, a company that has developed an AI-powered platform to make complex documents easier to read, has received two federal government investments amounting to $900,000.
“Sault Ste. Marie has a wealth of innovators like Melissa, eager to help drive our economy forward.”
– Terry Sheehan
The company, based in Sault St. Marie, Ontario, will receive an interest-free loan of $800,000 to commercialize its AI-powered platform through FedNor, as well as an additional grant of $100,000 through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, to allow the company to obtain for a patent and support Skritswap’s expansion in the US. The government said this funding will enable the company to make information more accessible through its document conversion platform.
“Our government is committed to helping women entrepreneurs and women-led companies, such as Skritswap Inc., grow and succeed in the global economy,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “Today’s investment in support of product development and market expansion is helping the company take the next step in its business evolution that will create good, middle-class jobs for Canadians.”
Founded by Melissa Kargiannakis in 2013, the idea for the company began while Kargiannakis was completing her Master’s in health information science. Skritswap takes complex documents, such as medical records, insurance agreements, and privacy policies, and replaces the jargon with easy-to-understand language.
The mission of the company is to improve information equity, by increasing general information literacy. Skritswap has been named one of the Canadian Innovation Exchange’s top 20 startups, and previously raised an undisclosed six-figure angel round from Boost VC in April. It raised a $675,000 pre-seed round in September.
“Sault Ste. Marie has a wealth of innovators like Melissa, eager to help drive our economy forward,” said Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie. “Our government’s investment in her company Skritswap Inc. will help unleash the economic and job creation potential of this homegrown and forward-thinking information technology company.”
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The loan will be provided through FedNor, the federal government’s economic development organization for Northern Ontario, while the $100,000 grant will be provided by the Women’s Entrepreneurship Strategy, a $2 billion federal government initiative seeking to double the number of women-owned businesses by 2025.
“I would like to thank the Government of Canada, through FedNor, for its support to help take my business to the next level. In a year and a half, we have doubled in team size creating jobs in artificial intelligence right here in Ontario. As a young, female founder who started this company in my hometown of Sault Ste. Marie, I am grateful for the resources from the Government of Canada to continue building on Skritswap’s momentum.”