More Than $100,000 Granted To Peterborough Startups Out Of The Innovation Cluster By N1M Funding

Five innovative Peterborough startups out of the Innovation Cluster program have received an accumulative $105,000 through N1M funding.

Northumberland CFDC launched the program with the support of FedDev last year to support high potential, innovation-driven enterprises in both Northumberland and across Southern Ontario. The Peterborough companies who’ve received the funding all are in the innovative technology sector, ranging from video game companies, to online educational training, to beverage products.

Innovation Cluster is located in VentureNorth building

Innovation Cluster is located in VentureNorth building

The following are those out of the Innovation Cluster that have received funding…

• Netmechanics -> Graeme Barrie, $25,000

• Treewell -> Tyler Steeves, $20,000

Canuck Play -> David Winter, $20,000

Unlock Math -> Matthew and Alesia Blackwood, $20,000

Biosphere GPS -> Jordan Ahee, $20,000

“Through this funding and with our continued support through the Innovation Cluster, these companies now have a greater ability to advance their products to market,” says Michael Skinner, President & CEO of the Innovation Cluster. “We are excited to see these companies take their innovations to its full potential.”

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Innovation Cluster & Trent University Celebrate New Entrepreneurship & Social Innovation Centre

The Innovation Cluster and Trent University held an Open House for the recently launched Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Centre (ESIC), a meeting hub within Trent’s Bata Library that will foster the development of entrepreneurship culture at Trent University.

The Open House featured speakers representing those that have assisted in the development of ESIC, including John Knight, Manager, Corporate Research Partnerships at Trent University; Michael Skinner, President & CEO at Innovation Cluster; and Scott Mancini, Vice President Commercial at RBC.

Scott Mancini, Vice President Commercial, RBC, speaking at Open House (John Knight at left & Michael Skinner at right)

Scott Mancini, Vice President Commercial, RBC, speaking at Open House (John Knight at left & Michael Skinner at right)

Through ESIC, students and aspiring entrepreneurs will be able to meet at the centre with Alexandra Kuhne (Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation Centre Coordinator at Trent University) and Braden Clark (Innovation Specialist at the Innovation Cluster) to gain business mentorship and community connections.

Michael Skinner noted at the Open House that the Innovation Cluster is happy to further support youth entrepreneurship through ESIC. Throughout 2018, the Innovation Cluster supported 46 youth (18 - 29) entrepreneurs in growing their business through mentorship, incubation space, mentorship and more.

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John Knight noted the importance of having a centre where students can improve their “soft skills”—a trait that multiple studies over the past year have shown is what graduates lack most in the workforce. “Entrepreneurial skills can be implemented in any career,” says Knight.

A way to teach these skills will include training programs, which is made possible by RBC. Scott Mancini, Vice President Commercial of RBC, noted they are excited to support these programs and create meaningful opportunities for young entrepreneurs.

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3rd Annual Electric City Hackathon Taking Place At Trent University

Ingenuity will be the name of the game as more than 300 creative students from across Canada descend on Peterborough for Trent University’s 3rd Annual Electric City Hackathon event.

The Innovation Cluster will again sponsor the event, along with over a dozen tech supporters. It takes place between November 2th to 4th.

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Electric City Hacks is a 37-hour student run event in the Trent Student Centre in Trent University’s Symons campus. This Hackathon will challenge student innovators to create innovative products with software and hardware, solving problems for communities.

“Electric City Hacks is a great opportunity for students and hackers of all skill levels and experience to come together to learn and invent products that solve issues within communities,” says Nicholas Barnes, president of the Trent Computer Science Society. “It promotes innovation, creativity and cooperation in a welcoming and inclusive environment, allowing participants to network with tech companies and one another.”

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

All post secondary and high school students interested in the development, innovation and progression of technology are encouraged to join. It will also be a fantastic networking opportunity as many representative scouts will be on hand to scout student talent in the tech industry.

“We are extremely excited to support the 3rd Annual Electric City Hacks,” says Michael Skinner, President & CEO of the Innovation Cluster. “This hackathon will be a great opportunity for students to expose talent, grow, recruit and bring new innovative companies to Peterborough.”

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

The hackathon will offer workshops, games, prizes and other activities to give hackers a break from their projects throughout the event.

To register for the event, click here.

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PTBOCanada Featured Post: Learn About Innovation Cluster's CleanTech Program

PTBOCanada Featured Post: Learn About Innovation Cluster's CleanTech Program

Sponsored video post by Innovation Cluster

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Peterborough-Based Health Food Startup Chimp Treats Just Landed Deal With Loblaws

The cool Peterborough-based health food startup Chimp Treats will have its frozen fruit product “Nicecream” hit a wave of Loblaws locations across Ontario starting on September 5th.

Nicecream will hit shelves across select Loblaws stores including the GTA, Ottawa, London and Barrie, and the next wave of locations will be in Québec in Loblaws’ Provigo Le Marché stores. After that, Chimp Treats aims to continue adding new locations until they reach all Loblaws stores across Canada by May 2019.

The team behind Chimp Treats: (left to right) Whitney, Brooke and Jillian.

The team behind Chimp Treats: (left to right) Whitney, Brooke and Jillian.

The announcement is the latest for a company that has had huge momentum since launching just one year ago on the market. They are one of the fastest growing natural food brands in Canada.

Founder and CEO, Brooke Hammer, 23, launched Nicecream in 2017 and has since expanded coast-to-coast with niche retailers such as Whole Foods Market and Healthy Planet.

While attending Trent University in Peterborough, Hammer developed an innovative manufacturing process that allowed her to create the fruit-only frozen dessert on a large-scale, commercial basis. Since entering the market, the entrepreneur has continued to reach new stores and locations along with growing her team.

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“It is an incredible time for innovative, start-up companies in the Consumer Packaged Goods  space,” says Hammer. “Companies like Loblaws are open to bringing in more innovative products by small brands to meet consumer demand.”

“Getting picked up by a national retailer like Loblaws is the ultimate milestone for any company in the consumer and packaged goods industry,” adds Rosalea Terry, Marketing Manager and Senior Innovation Specialist for the Innovation Cluster, where Chimp Treats is housed. “They are on their way to becoming a mainstream brand.”

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Top 20 Aspiring Entrepreneurs To Participate In Camp Startup

Twenty successful applicants have been chosen to participate at Camp Startup, an adventure by FastStart Peterborough (a youth entrepreneurship training partnership that brings together Trent University, Fleming College and the Innovation Cluster).

Each participant was chosen based on their innovative business ideas required in the applications, ranging from helping the environment to increasing accessibility.

The chosen applicants (they are between the ages of 18 to 29) are: Richard Mathieu, Kasandra Gill, Abdullah Alvi, Conor Lynch, Amber Pula, Katrina Schouten, Ranvijay Singh, Sulfiya Moideen, Amitozdeep Singh, Vinny Lana, Krishma Gabba, Geoff Wolfer, Gaurav Ahuja, Erica Rankin, Reilly de Jong, Meet Nakrani, Tyson McDonald, Atam Goyal, Dylan Trepanier and Timothy Bissonnette.

Some of the aspiring entrepreneurs chosen for Camp Startup

Some of the aspiring entrepreneurs chosen for Camp Startup

The camp takes place September 14th to 16th, and the winning team will receive incredible new entrepreneurship skills and $500 toward their new business.

The Top 20 will hit the ground running on the Friday evening (September 14th), as the campers arrive at Camp Kawartha for an icebreaker. This will be followed on Saturday and Sunday by team-building exercises while implementing their own enterprise ideas.

To end the experience on Sunday, campers in their group will pitch to a panel of established judges in entrepreneurship and business. The winning team will split $500 cash to go towards entrepreneurial pursuits.

Many past participants of the experience have since went on to build businesses through both the FastStart program and the Innovation Cluster.

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FastStart Launches Camp Startup For Young Entrepreneurs

Based on the Kawartha Backcountry Entrepreneurship Experience, FastStart Peterborough is launching a new and improved experience for young entrepreneurs called Camp Startup.

Camp Startup has been created to inspire youth entrepreneurs and take them out of their comfort zone. It takes place between September 14th to Septemer 16th at Camp Kawartha, through FastStart Peterborough (a partnership between Trent University, Fleming College and the Innovation Cluster).

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

The group of 20 successful entrepreneurs between the ages of 18 - 29 will get to pack a bag and head out to Camp Kawartha for a full weekend of teamwork exercises—helping to increase the skills of those of entering the world of entrepreneurship. In order to reduce barriers to entry, the bootcamp will be free for the 20 successful applicants.

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

“Our unique entrepreneurship programming allows for young entrepreneurs to get out of their comfort zone and learn in a different environment,” says Rosalea Terry, Marketing Manager and Senior Innovation Specialist of the Innovation Cluster. “They will gain new business skills while building relationships with like-minded people.”

The weekend event will start out with participants arriving at Camp Kawartha Friday evening and spend time getting to know their fellow entrepreneurs. Saturday and Sunday will consist of various workshops and activities that will be sure to push entrepreneurial limits, including pitching, canoeing, a high ropes course, and a traditional event of the program, the "creative campfire rap battle".

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

Photo courtesy Innovation Cluster

The young entrepreneurs will also be able to take advantage of multiple skill-gaining activities to help build their entrepreneurship knowledge—including pitching, finances, grant applications and more that will be beneficial to their future business ventures.

The weekend will wrap up with a final pitching challenge that the participants will be working towards throughout the trip. The winning team will receive a $500 cash prize.

Applications for the adventure closes on July 26th at midnight. To apply, click here.

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Canada Learning Code Hosting Inclusive Workshop For Learning Code Basics At Innovation Cluster

The national not-for-profit Canada Learning Code is hosting an inclusive workshop "Ladies Learning Code: HTML & CSS for Beginners" for anyone to learn code. It will take place inside the Innovation Cluster’s awesome downtown incubator on Saturday, March 24th, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

The mission of the workshop is to provide an inclusive opportunity for anyone to learn code, including beginner’s of coding, women, men and others who may often feel unwelcomed to enter the world of coding or are hesitant and intimidated to start. The workshops provide a social and collaborative environment while promoting careers in technology.

llcode volunteers and staff..jpg

The workshop will allow participants to learn HTML and CSS—an essential skill for web development to create marketing materials, company domains and blog sites.

Participants can expect to learn:

-> basic techniques and concepts that are translatable to other programming languages
-> building blocks of how HTML and CSS work together to create richer online experiences
-> how to create a rich website with images, video, and a CSS-defined layout
-> how to create a multi-page website
-> what resources are available if you’d like to continue learning at home.

Register here

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PTBOCanada Featured Post: Learn About How The Innovation Cluster Is Having A Huge Impact With Startups

PTBOCanada Featured Post: Learn About How The Innovation Cluster Is Having A Huge Impact With Startups

Sponsored post by Innovation Cluster

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Thousands Of Post-It Notes, An Innovative Team & Hashtag Combine For Great Birthday Prank

The Innovation Cluster's Operations and Human Resources Manager Alyssa Stewart had quite the birthday surprise on Tuesday (July 4th) when she came into work in the VentureNorth building in downtown Peterborough.

Her colleagues had spent 2.5 hours and used thousands of Post-it notes to "makeover" her cubicle and wish her a Happy Birthday.

"Alyssa started the hashtag #cubeprankwars a couple weeks ago when she plastic wrapped a coworkers desk and filled my office with balloons for my birthday," her colleague Rosalea Terry tells PTBOCanada.

Alyssa's earlier pranks...

"She always brightens our day so we figured we would brighten her day by post-it note bombing her office," Terry tells PTBOCanada. "We take innovation seriously but we also know how to have some serious fun."

And yes, they definitely rocked it with this latest cube prank war...

Alyssa looks happy in this photo below but you can tell she's already plotting her next move in the Cube Prank Wars...

The birthday girl Alyssa

The birthday girl Alyssa

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