Futurpreneur Canada™ Announces 2016 Spin Master Innovation Fund Recipients
Nine Canadian businesses benefit from financing, mentoring and coaching as part of Futurpreneur Canada’s Spin Master Innovation Fund
For immediate release
TORONTO (October 31, 2016) – Futurpreneur Canada, in partnership with leading Canadian toy company Spin Master Inc. and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), is pleased to introduce the 2016 recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Fund. Nine businesses were chosen through a highly competitive process that tested the viability and innovative aspects of their business plans. This year’s recipients represent businesses that range from an innovative concept for baby monitors to an online platform that connects Canadians to therapists who speak their language and understand their culture.
These businesses will each receive start-up financing of up to $50,000 from Futurpreneur and the BDC, and will be matched with a mentor from Futurpreneur’s internationally recognized mentoring program. They also visited Toronto in October to attend a two-day workshop, with networking opportunities and one-on-one coaching from Spin Master’s top executives, including Jodi McDonald, Canadian marketing Manager, Arwen Hunter, Director Research & Consumer Insights, Susanne Teixeira, Director Contracts & Licensing, Legal Department, Toni Corrado, Director Demand Planning, Ashley Roman, Human Resources Coordinator and Tara Tucker, VP Marketing Communications.
The 2016 recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Fund are:
Company: 2020 Armor
Entrepreneurs: Ali Ghafour
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Company Description: 2020 Armor is a system of taekwondo equipment that is built on instant feedback so students and instructors can measure performance and growth in real time. Using a scoring method similar to video games, 2020 Armor was designed to improve upon current electronic scoring systems, which favour certain competitors and make it difficult for the audience to follow. Its creators have a vision to be the official scoring system of the 2020 Olympics for taekwondo.
Company: Atlantic Rope and Twine
Entrepreneurs: Matthew Moore
Location: Hubbards, Nova Scotia
Company Description: Atlantic Rope and Twine manufactures CSA approved safety rope, including an innovative luminescent buoyant rope. Their products can be used in a variety of rope access job sites, and are much more cost effective than using older methods such as metal scaffolding, with a quicker setup, an Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) record and a simple tear down process at the end of a project.
Company: Coastline Market
Entrepreneurs: Han Young (Joseph) Lee and Robert Kirstiuk
Location: British Columbia
Company Description: Coastline Market is a software platform that connects commercial fishing boat operators directly with institutional buyers (including chain restaurants and independent grocery stores) in a local area. By keeping everything local, we decrease the number of intermediaries in the supply chain and subsequently increase the amount of revenue that commercial fishers earn on every fish that they catch.
Company: FPrimeC Solutions
Entrepreneurs: Farid Moradi-Marani and Hamed Layssi
Company Description: FPrimeC Solutions is a knowledge-based service provider that provides expert guidance to owners and managers of bridge structures regarding seismic performance of corroded structures. Their innovative approach to the performance analysis of bridges takes into account the simultaneous effect of corrosion and earthquake hazards and risks. It provides owners with risk-informed solutions that help them with improved maintenance plans and optimized life-cycle costs.
Company: Hime Hiko
Entrepreneurs: Didier Lortie and Nicolas Plourde
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Company Description: Hime Hiko is a Montreal-based business specializing in ready-made electronic products for the whole family. Their first product is the Hoko baby monitor, a portable sound and comfort monitor that syncs with users’ smart phones to alert them if their child’s comfort is compromised or if they wake up.
Entrepreneurs: Jonathan Guillemette
Company Description: IntelliSports will quantify the performance of athletes around the world. Their first product, the Statpuck (patent-pending) is a hockey puck with sensors that provides real-time data related to player performance at every level. Through a Federal (NSERC) grant, IntelliSports has been collaborating with the Montreal Canadiens on bringing this technology to the pro world.
Entrepreneurs: Davie Lee and Ryley Iverson
Location: Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
Company Description: Townfolio responds to the need of economic developers across Canada, who are unable to find localized data. To help communities address these pain points, Davie Lee and Ryley Iverson launched Townfolio, a network of community profiles across Canada showcasing localized data and business opportunities to attract interest from visitors around the world.
Entrepreneurs: Babak Shahabi, Chakameh Shafii and Saeed Zeinali
Company Description: TranQool is an online platform to connect Canadians with therapists who speak their language and understand their culture. In addition to video therapy sessions, users can track their progress using the “Daily Emotional Tracking” tool, which is being designed in collaboration with Ontario Licensed therapists using the Cognitive Behavioural Therapy method. The TranQool dashboard then provides the patient and their therapist a snapshot of the user’s profile.
Company: UGo Smoothies
Entrepreneurs: Mitch Schwartz and Morgan Abraham
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Company Description: UGo Smoothies is making eating well simple and fun by creating the first automated vending machine that blends frozen fruits and vegetables into custom smoothies. With low overhead and space requirements, the UGo vending machine can go almost anywhere.
“We’re thrilled to kick off our sixth consecutive year partnering with Spin Master Inc. to support Canada’s next wave of innovative young entrepreneurs with financing, mentoring and skill-building opportunities,” said Julia Deans, CEO, Futurpreneur Canada. “Since launching the Spin Master Innovation Fund, we’ve seen 51 companies benefit from real-world advice and coaching from corporate sector leaders, which has built their confidence and helped them to launch successful and sustainable businesses.”
“Once again we are seeing innovative businesses of the highest calibre coming through the Spin Master Innovation Fund in this latest cohort. Each year we look forward to coaching the new recipients, and we are always inspired by their creativity, passion and drive to succeed,” said Ronnen Harary, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Spin Master Inc.
“BDC is pleased to partner with Futurpreneur Canada and Spin Master Inc. on the Spin Master Innovation Fund once again this year,” said Steven Oliver, Assistant Vice President, Automotive Group, BDC. “The success of this program year after year means that we are equipping ever greater numbers of young entrepreneurs with the skills and resources they need to launch and grow successful businesses.”
“We came into the Spin Master program looking to tap into Spin Master’s branding and product development enterprise. Through our session with Jodie and Armen [from Spin Master], we gained critical feedback and marketing recommendations that will help elevate our company,” said Joseph Lee, Co-Owner and 2016 Spin Master Innovation Fund recipient, Coastline Market.
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About Futurpreneur Canada
Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, or CYBF) has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada’s young enterprise for nearly two decades. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,800 volunteer mentors. Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week. www.futurpreneur.ca. Facebook: Futurpreneur Twitter: @Futurpreneur
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