BlackBerry and L-Spark launch applications for second accelerator cohort

balckberry car
BlackBerry QNX's concept car at CAV Canada 2019.

With rave reviews from the first cohort of their automotive tech accelerator, Kanata-based L-Spark and Canadian tech giant BlackBerry are renewing their partnership and opening up applications for a second round of companies looking to shift their businesses into high gear.

The two companies, alongside the National Research Council, first announced their joint Ottawa-based accelerator program roughly a year ago. The idea behind the six-month program is to pair early- and medium-stage businesses with both the scaling expertise of L-Spark and technical resources and mentorship from BlackBerry, which develops its platform for connected and autonomous vehicles out of the QNX garage in Kanata.

Three Ottawa firms – Martello Technologies, Bluink and Evolved Vehicle Environments – were selected to take part in the first cohort of the accelerator. The results of those projects were presented on Ottawa’s L5 test track this past spring.

BlackBerry QNX vice-president of strategy and product Grant Courville, said in a statement that “collaboration is key” to the company’s continued success in the connected and autonomous vehicles space. He told Techopia Live last week at CAV Canada that BlackBerry QNX benefits from the wider growth of Ottawa’s automotive tech sector.

L-Spark managing director Patrick White also told Techopia Live earlier this year that the company would look to develop other corporate accelerator programs to build off the early success of the BlackBerry partnership. That prediction bore fruit in March, as L-Spark announced another new accelerator – this time working with Telus, Solace and BlackBerry – focused on Internet of Things firms.

Applications for the second cohort of the BlackBerry/L-Spark accelerator are open now until Oct. 21.