Today in accelerators: Volta Cohort, FounderFuel


Over the past week, two Canadian accelerators have announced the companies joining their next cohorts. Here’s the latest on these accelerators.

Volta Cohort invests $25,000 in five Atlantic Canada startups

Volta Labs’ Volta Cohort has selected five Atlantic Canadian companies to receive a $25,000 investment.

The companies were selected at a pitch event held in Halifax on May 16. Sixteen companies pitched their businesses to a panel of judges, including representatives from BDC Capital, Innovacorp, Volta Labs, and the region’s startup community.

In addition to the investment, the selected startups will also receive mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs and resources to help grow their businesses.

“The quality of applicants to this program are very high. Selecting only five of the pitching companies was tough given each founders’ potential,” said Jesse Rodgers, CEO of Volta Labs and member of the judging panel. “Together, with our partners, we look forward to helping these early-stage companies grow and succeed from their home base in Atlantic Canada.”

The five companies include:

  • Talem Health Analytics (Sydney, NS): A healthtech company that uses machine learning to predict outcomes in musculoskeletal rehabilitation, providing financial, and rehabilitation insights for private sector insurance.
  • Grey Lit (Halifax, NS): Allows users to publish and share their research, while instantaneously searching for and reviewing the research of their peers around the world.
  • ColourSmith Labs Inc. (Halifax, NS): A company that is creating direct-to-consumer contact lenses that restore a full spectrum of colour in red-green colour blind individuals.
  • UAV Control Tower (St. John’s, NL): An IT company that has developed a drone monitoring system used by air traffic controllers to approve, manage, and record drone flights.
  • Speakr (Halifax, NS): allows users to analyze data on their voice and body language and see how it compares to others to help pinpoint strengths and weaknesses and provide a means of training over time.

Along with announcing the winners of the Volta Cohort pitch event, Volta Labs announced that it is receiving a $200,000 investment from the Government of Canada through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Business Development Program. The investment will support the hiring of a full-time program manager, as well as operating costs associated events, meetings, and outreach.

“Canada is a country of innovators. Curiosity, courage, creativity and a collaborative spirit are what lead to the kinds of advances and technologies that improve our daily lives and drive our economy, and our country, forward,” said Andy Fillmore, the Member of Parliament for Halifax. “Non-profit tech super hub Volta Labs embodies all these characteristics. It is renowned as a place where founders help founders. Volta Cohort is an important addition to its programs.”

FounderFuel announces seven companies joining 2018 cohort

Montreal-based accelerator FounderFuel has announced the seven companies that will join its 2018 cohort.

The companies, which were selected from a pool of over 200 applicants, come from sectors like artificial intelligence and cleantech. The selected companies will spend 13 weeks in the accelerator program, where they will attend workshops, receive mentorships, and prepare pitches.

FounderFuel said it will focus on helping the companies’ founders craft their narrative, develop their go-to-market strategy, and learn how to navigate the venture path. Over the past seven years, the accelerator has supported over 80 companies including XpertSea, which raised a $10 million Series A in April; and Unsplash, which raised a $6.25 million Series A in February.

The 2018 FounderFuel cohort includes:

  • Chargehub: working to remove EV charging barriers for drivers in North America
  • Enkidoo: developing an AI assistant that helps with demand planning, inventory optimization, and supply chain analytics.
  • InVivo AI: plans to use AI to enable accurate toxicity screening during the early stages of drug development
  • Lockbird: developing laser bird deterrent systems
  • Locketgo: Targeted to event venues, Locketgo is developing secure and smart lockers that include chargers.
  • Pelcro: wants to help fund content creators by providing them with data-driven and content commerce tools in a single platform
  • YPC: wants to make good food more affordable by enabling restaurants and cafeterias to integrate small-scale robotic automation into their processes to allow them to prepare food at lower costs

This year’s FounderFuel program will end with a Demo Day on July 10. Those interested in attending can reserve a spot here.


Amira Zubairi

Amira Zubairi is a staff writer and content creator at BetaKit with a strong interest in Canadian startup, business, and legal tech news. In her free time, Amira indulges in baking desserts, working out, and watching legal shows.

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