Today in cohorts: VentureLAB, Climate Ventures


Two Canadian programs have recently announced that new companies or individuals are joining their ranks. Here’s the latest on Canadian tech cohorts.

VentureLAB announces first Hardware Catalyst Initiative cohort

Markham-based tech hub VentureLAB has announced the first cohort in its Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI), a hardware and silicon-focused lab aimed at supporting startups from Southern Ontario.

“Without this opportunity, it’s extremely difficult for hardware and silicon startups.”

The hub’s founding partners, including U.S.-based tech companies AMD and Synopsys, have committed $8 million in resources and mentorship in addition to the $5 million funding the program received from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) in June.

With the goal of helping startups develop hardware solutions for healthtech products, electronics, telecommunications, smart energy, and connected transportation, the HCI’s lab would provide access to specialized equipment and toolsets critical for manufacturing semiconductor, silicon, or advanced hardware-based solutions.

According to VentureLAB, the program was created out of the need to access expensive tools, lab space, investment, and industry expertise. It aims to support up to 40 companies and create over 200 jobs and 15 new products over the next five years.

“Without this opportunity, it’s extremely difficult for hardware and silicon startups to afford the
barriers to entry,” said VentureLAB president and CEO Melissa Chee. “York Region’s unmatched tech expertise will ensure that HCI participants have every opportunity to hone their skills, scale their operations, and commercialize their products globally.”

The eight startups participating in the inaugural cohort are Bionic-i, BluMind.AI, Cyberworks Robotics, Ekidna Sensing, Humantec, Micromensio, Tartan AI, and Wind Shape Technology. The cohort is expected to kick off programming in February.

Climate Ventures announces first cohort of Earth Tech accelerator

Centre for Social Innovation’s Climate Ventures has announced 16 startups and nonprofits participating in the first cohort of its Earth Tech accelerator.

With the goal of advancing tech-based solutions to freshwater and climate problems, the six-month accelerator is planned to run annually over the next three years and is supported by RBC Foundation, Bullfrog Power, a Spark Power Company, and Vancity Community Investment Bank (VCIB).

“We’re proud to support the entrepreneurs and innovators working on the technology solutions that will play an important role in enabling this transformation for people and planet,” said Centre for Social Innovation CEO Tonya Surman.

The 16 participants in Earth Tech’s 2020 cohort are divided into freshwater and climate streams.

The climate ventures include Project Neutral, Springbay Studio, Dunya Habitats, CERT, Flash Forest, Innovia GEO, Just Vertical, Solar Wind Reliance Initiatives, and Volta Technique.

The freshwater ventures include Biopolynet, RainStick Shower, CANN Forecast, Clean Nature, Sentry, Water Rangers, and Eaigle.

Image courtesy Government of Canada


Denise Paglinawan

Denise is a writer for BetaKit. She spends most of her free time with her pug, Timbit.

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