LevelUP’s First Cohort Concludes with Maman Biomedical Inc. Winning a $10,000 Pitch

PETERBOROUGH, ON – April 30, 2024—The Innovation Cluster is thrilled to announce the successful conclusion of the first LevelUP pitch competition. Latchmi Raghunanan, co-founder of Maman Biomedical Inc., emerged as the standout victor among 7 other competing companies, claiming the $10,000 prize sponsored by Invest Kawartha, LAUNCH Kawartha, and Prima IP. This event marked the finale of a 13-week program aimed at propelling regional startups from concept to market readiness.

 

About the Event

Held downtown Peterborough at the Innovation Cluster, this exclusive competition showcased the top startups from our first LevelUP cohort. Entrepreneurs pitched their innovative solutions to a panel of expert judges, including renowned strategists Christine Crandell, Gail Moorhouse, and venture capitalist Amit Bhanot, engaging a room full of investors and regional business leaders.

 

Victorious Pitch and Program Success

With her co-founder and husband, Roop, in the wings, Latchmi blew the judges away with Maman Biomedical’s trailblazing products that are disrupting the in vitro fertilization (IVF) sector. Offering products in patch and gel form, their cutting-edge products eliminate pain and reduce costs for women facing infertility, both major barriers to accessing traditional needle-injected IVF treatments. 

“Winning this competition means we can accelerate and move forward,” said Latchmi. “We loved the LevelUP program, and we’ve made a lot of progress in a very short period of time. I am extremely proud of where we are.”

 

A Word from Judge and Innovation Cluster Vice Chair Christine Crandell 

“Our first cohort has set a high benchmark for success,” expressed Christine Crandell, LevelUP judge and Vice Chair of the Innovation Cluster’s Board of Directors. “Seeing these entrepreneurs evolve over the past weeks has been profoundly inspiring. This program, and today’s prize for Maman Biomedical Inc., highlights the vibrant potential of Peterborough’s innovation ecosystem. A huge thank you to our sponsors Invest Kawartha, LAUNCH Kawartha, and Prima IP for making the $10,000 prize possible.”

 

Impact on Regional Economy

LevelUP aims to boost economic growth by nurturing startup ventures capable of contributing innovative solutions and jobs. This program is a cornerstone of our strategic initiative to transform Peterborough and the Kawarthas into a thriving hub for business innovation.

 

Call to Action for Future Innovators

With the successful launch of our inaugural cohort, we are now eagerly looking forward to welcoming new applicants for the next LevelUP cycle beginning on August 6, 2024. We encourage all ambitious entrepreneurs from the region to apply and take their business ideas to the next level.

Applications Open: April 30, 2024
Application Deadline: July 1, 2024

For more details and to apply to the next LevelUP cohort, please visit: https://innovationcluster.ca/programs/startup-accelerator/ 

 

Join Us in Celebrating Innovation

We invite the community and media to continue supporting these rising stars by sharing their stories and successes. The next cohort promises even more breakthroughs as we continue to foster a robust platform for entrepreneurial growth.

About Our Sponsors

Invest Kawartha – Invest Kawartha drives innovation through its comprehensive support for entrepreneurs. Offering everything from funding and business advisory to incubation services, they are a pillar in the City of Kawartha Lakes’ economic and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Learn More: https://www.investkawartha.ca/ 

 

LAUNCH Kawartha – Eastern Ontario’s hub for innovation, Launch Kawartha, is the newest centre dedicated to fostering entrepreneurial success. As a vibrant part of the local economic development scene, they provide essential services and a collaborative space for innovators. Learn More: https://launchkawartha.ca/ 

 

Prima IP – With a global network and decades of expertise, Prima IP specializes in all aspects of intellectual property, from patents to trademarks and beyond. Led by Marcelo Sarkis, their work ensures that innovators can protect and maximize their intellectual creations effectively. Learn More: https://primaip.com/ 

 

About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs in launching, growing, and scaling their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

Startup Incubator – a full-service startup incubator program

LevelUP – a full-service accelerator program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Slingshot – Student Entrepreneurship Program

LAUNCH Kawartha – The Innovation Cluster operates across multiple locations, one of which includes LAUNCH Kawartha, a dedicated space for incubation programming situated in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes. For additional information, please visit www.innovationcluster.ca

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, LAUNCH Kawartha ,and OMAFRA.

 

Media Contact

Christine Crandell, Vice Chair of the Board
board@innovationcluster.ca 

 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas Seeks New Board Members to Drive Regional Innovation

PETERBOROUGH, ON – April 8, 2024 – The Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas is inviting accomplished professionals passionate about fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. Our organization is at a pivotal growth stage. We seek to enhance our Board with individuals who can contribute to our mission of transforming Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes into a recognized Centre of Innovation.

 

Here’s what we do

At the Innovation Cluster, our core mission is to catalyze entrepreneur-led economic growth within the region. We achieve this by providing entrepreneurs unparalleled access to a comprehensive network of industry partners, experts, government officials, educational resources, and funding opportunities. Our vision is to position Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes as a dynamic hub of innovation and entrepreneurship. This year, the organization is celebrating its 20th anniversary and launching the 2024- 2026 Strategic Plan. 

 

Why Join Our Board?

Our organization distinguishes itself through a commitment to personalized mentorship, ensuring each entrepreneur we support gains significant, impactful guidance. As a board member, you can directly influence the strategic direction and success of startups in our region. You’ll collaborate with a team dedicated to making a substantial impact, driving both innovation and economic growth.

We Are Looking for Professionals With:

  • A strong passion for entrepreneurship, technology, and startup culture.
  • A strong passion and knowledge of the latest technological trends 
  • Experience in accounting(CPA)/finance 
  • Experience with successful exits (IPO, M&A)
  • Expertise in specialized fields such as agtech, healthcare, finance, or business leadership.

 

Benefits of Board Membership:

  • Engage with a dynamic team committed to meaningful change.
  • Play a pivotal role in shaping the economic and innovative landscape of Peterborough and the Kawarthas, Ontario and Canada.

 

Board Member Expectations:

  • Active participation in strategic discussions, events, and meetings.
  • Contribution of unique insights and expertise to support the leadership team.
  • Advocacy for the Innovation Cluster’s mission and vision within the community and beyond.

 

Join Us in Shaping the Future

If you possess the vision, expertise, and drive to contribute to a leading-edge board, we invite you to apply by April 19, 2024. Collaborate with us to fuel innovation and entrepreneurship, impacting the economic development of Peterborough and the Kawarthas.

 

For application details and to take the first step towards becoming a part of our visionary board, please visit innovationcluster.ca/about/our-board/. There, you can download the application form. Once completed, kindly email it to board@innovationcluster.ca  

 

About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs in launching, growing, and scaling their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

Startup Incubator – a full-service startup incubator program

LevelUP – a full-service accelerator program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Slingshot – Student Entrepreneurship Program

LAUNCH Kawartha – The Innovation Cluster operates across multiple locations, one of which includes LAUNCH Kawartha, a dedicated space for incubation programming situated in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes. For additional information, please visit www.innovationcluster.ca

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, LAUNCH Kawartha, OMAFRA, and Feddev Ontario. 

 

Media Contact

Camila Duarte, Executive Director
Innovation Cluster
cduarte@innovationcluster.ca

 

Innovation Cluster Announces Strategic Collaboration With BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada to Accelerate Innovation and Economic Growth

PETERBOROUGH, ON – March 26, 2024  – The Innovation Cluster is excited to announce a strategic collaboration with BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada (BWXT NEC), a leader in the supply of innovative solutions for the commercial nuclear industry. This collaboration represents a key step in our commitment to driving innovation and economic development in the region. The collaboration was revealed at a press conference on March 26, 2024, at our premises.

BWXT NEC supplies fuel and fuel channel components, services, equipment and parts for the CANDU® nuclear technology. Their work includes the design and supply of highly reliable equipment used to fuel, inspect, and refurbish CANDU® power reactors. BWXT NEC employs approximately 400 skilled employees at its Peterborough location, which has the largest workforce of its three locations in Ontario.

This collaboration between the Innovation Cluster and BWXT NEC aims to highlight the importance of clean technology for the future, expand the local cleantech network and spark further innovation for the nuclear industry. It is a significant achievement in promoting innovation and economic growth in Peterborough and the Kawarthas, showcasing the benefits of collaboration between the nuclear energy sector and other vital industries for the community.

This collaboration is founded on three pivotal goals:

  1. Nuclear Energy: A crucial part of this goal is to communicate the benefits of nuclear energy, addressing and transforming public perception.
  2. Boost Local Employment: BWXT NEC in Peterborough is creating job opportunities that attract bright and innovative minds, offering promising career paths within the nuclear industry. This goal aims to leverage local talent, including students from Trent University and Fleming College and skilled professionals in our region. 
  3. Grow Economy Through Innovation: Our collaboration is designed to fuel the local economy by combining innovative nuclear energy projects with job creation, promoting sustainable community development.

Brett Jermyn, Director of Fuel Handling and Engineered Solutions at BWXT NEC, shared, “Our collaboration with the Innovation Cluster highlights BWXT’s commitment to innovation, local job creation, and deepening our relationships within Peterborough. We’re excited to be working with the organization and tapping into their expertise and network to further enable our nuclear innovations and support our community. 

Camila Duarte, Executive Director of the Innovation Cluster, stated, “Collaborating with BWXT NEC is a transformative step for our region, underscoring the synergy between cleantech innovation and sustainable development. This collaboration aligns with our mission to cultivate a thriving innovation ecosystem and shows how strategic relationships can accelerate progress in essential sectors like health tech, cleantech, and nuclear energy.”

Through this collaboration, the Innovation Cluster launches its Corporate Sponsorship initiative, aiming to ignite innovation through corporate partnerships. BWXT joins as a Zone Partner, with an office inside the Innovation Cluster’s downtown Peterborough Incubator. From this location BWXT is dedicated to building a strong innovation team with workshops, training, and strategic planning. For businesses interested in exploring partnership opportunities and contributing to our vibrant ecosystem of innovation, please contact the Innovation Cluster. 

To engage the Peterborough community in exciting conversations surrounding regional initiatives and advancements in clean technology and nuclear energy, the Innovation Cluster invites the public to register for its Understanding CleanTech/ New Age Energy panel event on April 25th. To register: https://NewAgeofEnergy.eventbrite.ca 

About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

Startup Incubator – a full-service startup incubator program

LevelUP – a full-service accelerator program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Student Entrepreneurship Program

LAUNCH Kawartha – The Innovation Cluster operates across multiple locations, one of which includes LAUNCH Kawartha, a dedicated space for incubation programming situated in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes. For additional information, please visit www.innovationcluster.ca

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, and Franklin Empire. 

About BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc:

BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc. (BWXT NEC), a subsidiary of BWXT Canada Ltd., has more than 60 years of extensive experience and innovation in the supply of nuclear fuel and fuel channel components, services, equipment and parts for the CANDU® nuclear power industry. This includes designing and supplying highly reliable equipment to fuel, inspect and refurbish reactors. BWXT NEC employs approximately 500 skilled employees at three locations in Ontario: Peterborough, Toronto, and Arnprior. For more information, visit www.nec.bwxt.com.

Media Contact

Camila Duarte

Executive Director, Innovation Cluster

cduarte@innovationcluster.ca

Metaboly Research Group Inc. Awarded $180,000 MITACS Grant for Equine Research

Peterborough, Ontario – Metaboly Research Group Inc. (“Metaboly”) is delighted to announce its recent success in being awarded a $180,000 MITACS grant, a testament to its commitment to advancing equine research and agtech. This grant not only underscores Metaboly’s dedication to innovative solutions in the equine industry but also highlights the pivotal role played by the Peterborough Innovation Cluster in the company’s remarkable journey. 

“Horses are not only cherished companions but also vital contributors to a wide range of industries and communities,” says Daniel Palberg, Co-Founder & CEO at Metaboly. “By investing in equine research and aggressively expanding our service platform, we aim to add a lot more depth and colour to the health information provided to owners by modernizing the way that the analysis and data reporting steps are performed.”

The peer-reviewed grant will support several of Metaboly’s research initiatives addressing a wide range of topics, including equine nutrition, disease prevention, reproductive health, and performance monitoring. Current efforts involve empowering owners, trainers, and practitioners to identify and analyze equine health issues more effectively through new services and resources. Additionally, a portion of the grant will be allocated to tackling the challenge of providing diagnostic services to remote and resource-poor regions, where access to many veterinary services is limited. “At Metaboly, we believe that everyone deserves access to quality care” added William Kim, Co-Founder & COO at Metaboly. “By partnering with local communities and organizations, we can bridge both the technological and accessibility gap that currently exists in this sector.” 

Since its inception, Metaboly has thrived within the dynamic ecosystem of the Peterborough Innovation Cluster, leveraging invaluable resources and forging transformative partnerships that have contributed to its growth. From the initial stages of creativity to its current position, Metaboly has harnessed the support of experts, partners, and collaborators such as MITACS, Fleming College, and Trent University.

“Our journey with the Innovation Cluster has been extraordinary,” remarks Daniel Palberg, Co-Founder and CEO at Metaboly. “Through strategic collaborations and access to essential business resources, we have witnessed firsthand the power of an ecosystem dedicated to fostering innovation and driving economic prosperity.”

In addition to research, Metaboly collaborates with local partners to provide advanced training and experiential learning opportunities for post-secondary students in STEM-related programs from Trent University and Fleming College.

“Trent is thrilled to see Metaboly receive this well-deserved Mitacs grant which helps in furthering skilled workforce and research development at Trent and in the Peterborough region.” Says Dr. Cathy Bruce, Vice-President of Research at Trent University. “Metaboly is the result of the creativity, hard work, and entrepreneurial spirit of its founders. It is just fabulous to see top Trent students like Daniel and Will taking the talent and skills they have developed, and in turn contribute to the talent and economic well-being of the bigger ecosystem.”

With a new location now open at Trent University, Metaboly’s fruitful partnership with MITACS, facilitated through its association with the Peterborough Innovation Cluster, will fuel new ground-breaking research initiatives and expedite the availability of services to the surrounding region.

“What Metaboly has achieved exemplifies the transformative impact of collaborations and a supportive ecosystem,” says Camila Duarte, Executive Director from Peterborough and the Kawarthas. “The Innovation Cluster has seen their growth while guiding them from ideation to R&D and being investment ready. With the MITACS grant and key partnerships in-hand, they are poised to reach remarkable heights in advancing equine research.”

Through its continued dedication to innovation and collaboration, Metaboly remains steadfast in its mission to revolutionize equine healthcare, ensuring powerful diagnostic tools are within reach for every owner and veterinary practitioner.

About Metaboly Research Group Inc. (“Metaboly”):

Metaboly is a unique user-driven private diagnostic laboratory for large animals, catering to equine health. Metaboly was founded on a simple principle: making science accessible. Metaboly is redefining veterinary care by positioning itself as the trusted hub for diagnostics and providing powerful and comprehensive biochemical analytics for end users and veterinarians. Through the development of new techniques, systems, and platforms for retrieving, processing, and interpreting biochemical data, Metaboly is making it easier to assess and understand animal health and wellness. 

For more information about Metaboly’s initiatives and partnership opportunities, please visit www.metaboly.ca or contact info@metaboly.ca.

 

Media Contact 

Emma Kaszecki

Chief Technical Officer, Metaboly Research Group

emmakaszecki@metaboly.ca 

 

About the Innovation Cluster:

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow. The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

Startup Incubator – a full-service startup incubator program

LevelUP – a full-service accelerator program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Slingshot- Student Entrepreneurship Program

For additional information, please visit www.innovationcluster.ca

The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, and LAUNCH KAWARTHA provide Core Funding

 

Media Contact

Camila Duarte

Executive Director, Innovation Cluster

cduarte@innovationcluster.ca

LevelUP’s 13 Innovators Ready to Transform Peterborough and the Kawarthas

PETERBOROUGH, ON – February 6, 2024 – Today, the Innovation Cluster proudly announces the 13 exceptional companies selected for the inaugural cohort of LevelUP, a groundbreaking startup accelerator program. Spanning across the Innovation Cluster’s five core sectors of focus — Agtech, Healthcare, Cleantech, Social Innovation, and Digital Technology — the selected companies’ embarkation in the LevelUP program marks a pivotal moment in the journey to redefine innovation and economic growth in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.

About LevelUP

LevelUP is a fully-funded, comprehensive startup accelerator tailored for experienced entrepreneurs and regional innovators. It operates in three cohorts annually, hosting a select number of companies over a 12-week journey culminating in a competition where they will pitch for investment and compete for prizes up to $10,000 and access an exclusive AI platform – Pitch Bob – per cohort. The program offers mentorship, workshops, networking opportunities, and access to funding to transform startups into thriving businesses. In short, this is a fast-track program to bring more products and businesses to market in the region.

Impact on Regional Economy

LevelUP is expected to drive substantial economic growth in the region. It aligns with the strategic plan to make Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes an innovation hub. The program contributes to job creation and economic development by nurturing and retaining these companies, enhancing the region’s status as a beacon of entrepreneurial growth.

Collaboration and Community Engagement

In collaboration with regional stakeholders, including the City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, and industry experts, LevelUP nurtures individual startups and contributes significantly to our region’s broader economic and social fabric.

A Word from Our Executive Director

Camila Duarte, Executive Director of the Innovation Cluster, expresses her enthusiasm: “The selection of these 13 companies for LevelUP is a milestone for our region. We are fostering a sustainable ecosystem where innovation and economic growth thrive together. This program symbolizes our commitment to transforming our region into a vibrant hub for entrepreneurs.”

Share Their Journey:

Your support in sharing the stories of these ambitious companies can have a profound impact. We invite the community and media to join us in celebrating their journey, amplifying their achievements, and showcasing the strength of innovation in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.

About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

Startup Incubator – a full-service startup incubator program

LevelUP – a full-service accelerator program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Student Entrepreneurship Program

LAUNCH Kawartha – The Innovation Cluster operates across multiple locations, one of which includes LAUNCH Kawartha, a dedicated space for incubation programming situated in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes. For additional information, please visit www.innovationcluster.ca

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, and Franklin Empire. 

Media Contact

Camila Duarte

Executive Director, Innovation Cluster

cduarte@innovationcluster.ca

Launch of LevelUP: A Game-Changer for Entrepreneurs in Peterborough and the Kawarthas

PETERBOROUGH, ON – January 16, 2024 – In an ambitious move to redefine the future of innovation in Peterborough and the Kawarthas, the Innovation Cluster proudly announces the launch of its latest program, LevelUP. This groundbreaking initiative will ignite the regional economy and foster entrepreneurial success.

LevelUP, a fully-funded, full-service startup accelerator program, is tailored for mature entrepreneurs and regional innovators. Launching in February 2024, the program promises to transform startups into thriving businesses and streamline the current incubation pace at the Innovation Cluster. With a focus on sectors such as Agtech, Healthcare, Cleantech, Social Innovation, and Digital Technology, LevelUP is poised to make a significant impact.

Key Offerings and Impact

LevelUP is an accelerator program and a comprehensive ecosystem offering mentorship, workshops, networking opportunities, and access to funding. The program operates in three cohorts annually, each hosting ten companies over a 12-week journey. This structured approach, built on pillars of knowledge transfer, networking, tracking, and funding preparation, ensures startups are robustly prepared for the challenges of the entrepreneurial world. The aim is to prepare entrepreneurs to pitch for investment and compete for prizes up to $10,000 per cohort. 

Regional Economic Growth and Innovation

The Innovation Cluster’s commitment to driving $10M in economic value is significantly bolstered by LevelUP. This initiative aligns with the Cluster’s strategic plan to make Peterborough and the Kawartha Lakes an innovation hub. By nurturing and retaining companies in the region, LevelUP will contribute to job creation and economic development, positioning our region as a beacon of entrepreneurial growth and innovation.

Collaboration and Community Engagement

LevelUP collaborates with regional stakeholders like the City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, and business and technology experts. This synergy ensures that the program nurtures individual startups and contributes to our region’s broader economic and social fabric.

Executive Director’s Vision

Camila Duarte, Executive Director of the Innovation Cluster, shares her enthusiasm: “The launch of LevelUP is a milestone for our region. This program is not just about nurturing startups, it’s about creating a sustainable regional ecosystem where innovation, collaboration, and economic growth flourish together. We’re committed to transforming Peterborough and the Kawarthas into a vibrant hub where entrepreneurs can thrive and make a lasting impact. This program has been missing in the organization for the last three years, and now we are finally ready to streamline many of the services that support startups. “

Invitation to Entrepreneurs

We invite innovation-driven entrepreneurs with a Minimum Viable Product to apply for LevelUP. This is your chance to be part of a transformative journey and elevate your startup to unprecedented heights.

Join the Movement

Embrace this opportunity to transform your startup and our region. Apply now for LevelUP and be part of an extraordinary journey that redefines the future.

For further information and application details, please visit our website: https://innovationcluster.ca/programs/startup-accelerator/

About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

STARTUP INCUBATOR – a full-service Startup Incubator Program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Student Entrepreneurship Program

LAUNCH Kawartha – The Innovation Cluster operates across multiple locations, one of which includes LAUNCH Kawartha, a dedicated space for incubation programming situated in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes. For additional information, please visit www.innovationcluster.ca

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, and Franklin Empire. 

 

Media Contact

Camila Duarte

Executive Director, Innovation Cluster

cduarte@innovationcluster.ca

Cubs’ Lair 2023 Winners Unveiled: Hadi Jakmora Wins $3,000 Grand Prize for Pioneering Business Idea, Quest It

December 4, 2023 – PETERBOROUGH, ON – The Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas is excited to announce the winners of this year’s Cubs’ Lair entrepreneurial competition.

First place, with a grand prize of $3,000, goes to Hadi Jakmora for “Quest It,” a versatile mobile app designed for everyday task assistance, facilitating local services from snow removal to meal preparation.

Matt Anderson clinched second place and a $1,500 award for Chemong City Greens, an enterprise cultivating organic microgreens. Their nutrient-rich produce enhances meals year-round, enriching Peterborough’s local food network.

Nicholas Landon secured third place and a $500 prize, sponsored by Futurpreneur, for Course Sync Inc., an innovative platform revolutionizing student academic management.

Special commendation goes to the other outstanding participants:

  • Zachary McCue of REPWR
  • Ashley Bonner of Community Pin
  • Yash Ramnani of Nectar
  • Jayden Smith of Cub Storage Inc

Esteemed judges for Cubs’ Lair 2023 included Marcelo Sarkis of Prima IP, Jade Calver of Calver Immigration Consulting Inc., and Jason Fiorotto, a seasoned B2B marketing strategist. Their expertise and insights were invaluable in discerning the most promising ideas.

The event, enhanced by the generous support of sponsors such as Erben Restaurant and Futurpreneur, showcased the enthusiasm and ingenuity of the region’s entrepreneurs. Attendees enjoyed live pitches, networking opportunities, and refreshments, celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship.

The Innovation Cluster extends heartfelt congratulations to all Cubs’ Lair 2023 participants for their remarkable creativity and dedication. We eagerly anticipate the future success of these entrepreneurs in Peterborough and beyond as they continue to shape the landscape of innovation.

About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

STARTUP INCUBATOR – a full-service Startup Incubator Program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Student Entrepreneurship Program

The Innovation Cluster operates across multiple locations, one of which includes LAUNCH Kawartha, a dedicated space for incubation programming situated in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes. For additional information, please visit www.innovationcluster.ca.

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, and Franklin Empire. 

 

Media Contact

Camila Duarte

Executive Director

cduarte@innovationcluster.ca

Innovation Cluster and PORCH Unveil Dynamic Partnership to Elevate Immigrant Entrepreneurs in Canada

November 7, 2023PETERBOROUGH, ON In a move set to reshape the entrepreneurial landscape for immigrants, the Innovation Cluster is proud to announce its strategic partnership with PORCH, an exclusive community dedicated to empowering immigrant entrepreneurs either in or transitioning to Canada.

This collaboration is underpinned by mutual referrals, joint event collaborations, and a combined marketing effort, all designed to maximize the reach and impact of immigrant entrepreneurs. As the Innovation Cluster offers robust startup incubator services, this alliance will facilitate the exchange of resources and knowledge, allowing both entities to further enrich their support for immigrant entrepreneurs. 

The partnership between the Innovation Cluster and PORCH promises a range of benefits for both clients and members. 

Another benefit is an expanded network. Through a mutual referral system, members can connect with a broader community of like-minded entrepreneurs and potential collaborators.

The collaboration also offers richer learning opportunities. Members will gain access to joint content contributions, providing a diverse set of insights, tools, and strategies for success.

Lastly, the partnership will host collaborative events. These events will leverage the unique expertise of both organizations, offering members a wider range of activities and fostering deeper community engagement.

Neil Weitzman, Co-Founder & CEO of PORCH commented, “Our collaboration with the Innovation Cluster is a monumental step in amplifying our efforts. By joining forces, we deepen the resources available to immigrant entrepreneurs. The synergy between our two organizations will undeniably lead to greater and more entrepreneur success stories.”

Camila Duarte, Executive Director of the Innovation Cluster, shared her excitement, “Immigrant entrepreneurs come with a rich tapestry of experiences and insights. By partnering with PORCH, we are strengthening our commitment to ensuring their success in Canada. This collaboration will be pivotal in offering them the community, resources, and support they need.”

This partnership underlines the shared vision of both organizations: to create an inclusive, resource-rich environment where immigrant entrepreneurs can thrive, innovate, and contribute significantly to Canada’s economy.

About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

STARTUP INCUBATOR – a full-service Startup Incubator Program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Student Entrepreneurship Program

The Innovation Cluster operates across multiple locations, one of which includes LAUNCH Kawartha, a dedicated space for incubation programming situated in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes. For additional information, please visit www.innovationcluster.ca.

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, and Franklin Empire. 

About PORCH:

PORCH is an exclusive community for immigrant entrepreneurs in Canada. It offers a curated, engaging, and safe place for building relationships, learning, and mutual growth. PORCH aims to assist immigrant entrepreneurs in their journey by providing resources, events, and a community platform designed to address their unique challenges. The ultimate goal is to help one million immigrant entrepreneurs succeed in Canada. More information can be found at www.porchcommunity.ca

 

Media Contact

Camila Duarte

Executive Director

cduarte@innovationcluster.ca

Pitch IT! 2023 Winners and Cubs’ Lair Launch

October 23, 2023PETERBOROUGH, ON The Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas is celebrating entrepreneurial spirit in a big way. Today, we’re announcing not just the winners of the Pitch IT! 2023 competition but also the launch of this year’s Cubs’ Lair Entrepreneurship Competition.

Pitch IT! 2023: Sparking Innovation Today

Claiming first place and a $1,000 prize is Maysie Roberts from Trent University for her app concept, Uniquely Blossom. This women’s health app would specialize in reproductive anomalies. It would not only offer the features of a standard women’s health app but also provide tailored guidance and doctor bookings.

Securing the runner-up position and a $500 prize is Adithya Bala from Fleming College for his venture, EcoBites. This innovative product line offers edible, flavoured straws and lids as eco-friendly alternatives to single-use plastics.

We’d also like to commend the other remarkable participants:

  1. Whitney Stoner-Paget from Fleming College: First Five Club, focusing on innovative early childhood development.
  2. Christina Bourgeois-Davis from Fleming College: Hand-In-Hand Childcare Solutions, aimed at streamlining childcare services.
  3. Aruja Kulkarni from Trent University: Atomation.AI, a platform for automating routine tasks.
  4. John Samuel Joseph Premanand from Trent University: FarmersCart, revolutionizing the way Toronto residents access farm-fresh produce through an online marketplace and pop-up stores.

The esteemed judges for Pitch IT! were:

  • Catia Skinner, CEO of Mega Experience Inc., a leading marketing solutions provider.
  • Barry Payne, Founder of Adirondack Technologies Furniture Inc., and inspiring Indigenous entrepreneur.
  • Andrew Ko – Business Development Manager at Futurpreneur Canada, a vital partner of the Innovation Cluster.

We extend our heartfelt congratulations to all participants for their hard work and innovative spirit.

Cubs’ Lair 2023: Your Chance to Shine

Mark your calendars for Cubs’ Lair, happening Thursday, November 30th, from 6-8:30 pm at Erben Restaurant. This year, we’re broadening the scope to include not just students but also regional entrepreneurs from the Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes area.

Eligibility Requirements:

  • Must be in the region of Peterborough and Kawartha Lakes.
  • Must have a passion for entrepreneurship.
  • Must have an innovative business.
  • Must have a business plan.
  • Must be working in an active business (MVP preferred)

Top prizes include $3,000 for the first-place winner, $1,500 for the second, and $500 for the third, generously sponsored by Futurpreneur.

Nonnie Dube, this year’s facilitator, encourages everyone who meets these requirements to apply. She states, “This competition is a catalyst for untapped potential and passion. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to elevate your business idea, secure seed money, and gain pivotal mentorship.”

A Community That Cares

Special shoutouts to Erben Restaurant and Futurpreneur for their sponsorship. The support from our community plays a pivotal role in nurturing local talent.

Apply Now!

Ready to take the next big step in your entrepreneurial journey? 

Apply for Cubs’ Lair by filling out a simple form on our website.

Applications for Cubs’ Lair are open until November 3rd at 11:59 p.m. 

The shortlist will be announced on November 7th. Don’t miss this golden opportunity!

The Innovation Cluster is eager to see what brilliant ideas come next from our community’s budding entrepreneurs. Apply today and make your mark!

 

About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

STARTUP INCUBATOR – a full-service Startup Incubator Program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Slingshot – Student Entrepreneurship Program

The Innovation Cluster operates across multiple locations, one of which includes LAUNCH Kawartha, a dedicated space for incubation programming situated in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes. For additional information, please visit www.innovationcluster.ca.

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, and Franklin Empire. 

 

Media Contact

Camila Duarte

Executive Director

cduarte@innovationcluster.ca

An App That Builds Communities: Quest It App Officially Launches

October 11, 2023PETERBOROUGH, ON Quest It, a promising startup based in Peterborough and incubated by the Innovation Cluster, is set to change how we think about the gig economy. Designed to make life easier and offer income opportunities for everyone, this intuitive, user-friendly app facilitates the exchange of services ranging from home repairs to yard work.

“The inspiration for Quest It was born out of a real-world need for a digital solution. We noticed a growing dilemma in communities where people were struggling to find individual help for specific tasks,” states Hadi Jakmora, Founder and CEO of Quest It. “Whether it’s the elderly looking for affordable snow removal or young adults needing help with yard work, existing platforms were falling short. Quest It fills this gap as a specialized service marketplace. Users can specify their needs, set a budget, and get matched with skilled individuals ready to help.”

“Quest It is not just another service platform; it’s a community-building tool. From the moment users sign up, they can either seek assistance or offer services, making it a versatile resource for the community,” said Hadi Jakmora, CEO of Quest It Inc. The app offers over 25 different services, facilitated by intuitive, map-based technology and custom task icons, enhancing the overall user experience.

Camila Duarte, Executive Director of the Innovation Cluster, stated, “Quest It embodies the entrepreneurial spirit and focus on community building that we aim to nurture and support here at the Innovation Cluster. We are proud to be part of their journey and anticipate seeing them make a significant community impact.”

Quest It’s growth and app development have been greatly accelerated thanks to the support and mentorship provided by the Innovation Cluster. Hadi Jakmora, CEO and Director of Quest It Inc., praised the incubator’s impact: “The Innovation Cluster has enabled me to create a solid business plan, connect with valuable people in the industry, and facilitate support for my business loan. Their expertise and workspace made my startup feel not just viable but primed for success.”

The mentorship and resources from the Cluster have been crucial in enabling Quest It to secure a business loan from Community Futures Peterborough. This has helped the startup to fast-track its development, marking a significant leap in modernizing the local service industry. This financial backing underscores the cohesive and supportive entrepreneurial ecosystem in Peterborough, where various institutions come together to enable startups to thrive.

“The support from Innovation Cluster and the financial backing from Community Futures Peterborough have been game-changers for us,” says Hadi, the CEO of Quest It Inc. “They’ve provided the foundation we needed to launch, and we’re excited about the positive impact our app will have on the community.”

As for the future, Quest It has ambitious plans to expand its reach and continually add innovative features to improve user experience. Users interested in joining this growing community are encouraged to download the Quest It app from the Apple Store or Google Play. They can also keep up-to-date with the latest developments by following the company on Instagram.

About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

STARTUP INCUBATOR – a full-service Startup Incubator Program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Student Entrepreneurship Program

LAUNCH Kawartha – The Innovation Cluster operates across multiple locations, one of which includes LAUNCH Kawartha, a dedicated space for incubation programming situated in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes. For additional information, please visit www.innovationcluster.ca

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, and Franklin Empire. 

 

Media Contacts

Innovation Cluster

Camila Duarte

Executive Director

cduarte@innovationcluster.ca

 

 

Quest It

Hadi Jakmora 

Founder and CEO, Quest It

Phone: 647-706-8332

Email: Hadijakmora@trentu.ca

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