The L-Spark accelerator is widening its sectors of focus but keeping closer to Ottawa with the first four companies announced in its 2018 fall cohort, three of which call the National Capital Region home.
The Kanata-based accelerator program says it heard from 499 companies on this year’s SaaS Roadshow, an annual tour that this year brought the organization to Ottawa, Toronto, Montreal and Waterloo. After an evaluation process, four firms were selected to take part in the six-month program with the goal of growing their revenues 10x.
If the cohort seems smaller than previous years, it’s because L-Spark recently announced it would switch to a rolling acceptance model. More companies are expected to join the newest cohort in the future.
It’s also drawing from beyond its original focus on SaaS, now accepting firms in cyber, Internet of Things and “deep tech” – disruptive technologies rooted in scientific discoveries.
Tuesday’s cohort announcement brings to total number of companies run through the L-Spark program to 41 since the accelerator was founded in 2015. While the Kanata company has expanded its programming to attract firms from across Canada in recent years, a majority of the new firms are from the Ottawa-Gatineau area.
L-Spark’s fall 2018 cohort
Gatineau’s AideXpress brings home-care services to the sharing economy. Through the startup’s platform, those in need can connect with self-employed maintenance workers, housekeepers or just someone to help with miscellaneous chores.
L-Spark managing director Leo Lax said in a statement that Ottawa-based AlphaKinect reflects the accelerator’s recent move to work with deep tech companies. The firm develops a portable EEG system for those suffering from a concussion, delivering real-time cognitive information to a user’s phone. Analytics derived from this data then help to prescribe rehabilitation techniques.
Gatineau-based Brokrete has created an app for on-demand concrete orders. The platform helps both contractors and suppliers manage orders and invoices for ready-mix concrete.
Kingston’s Wavve develops an app for boaters to better navigate the water. Users can find their friends, navigate to popular destinations and connect with nearby boaters for a fill-up if their tank unexpectedly runs dry.