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Harper Government Helps More Innovative Canadian Start-ups Access Capital, Know-how and Key Contacts in Dynamic New York City Market

Second wave of Canadian digital media firms completes dynamic initiative, and third wave of companies begins

September 7, 2012 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced that six promising Canadian digital media start-ups have successfully completed their participation in the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) initiative in New York City and an additional six new companies have entered the program.

“As part of our government’s focus on helping Canadian entrepreneurs and start-ups grow Canada’s economy, this exciting initiative is producing positive results for participants by helping develop their business potential and offering them networking and other opportunities in promising and sophisticated markets,” said Minister Fast. “By helping increase Canadian exports by opening new markets for our world-leading entrepreneurs, we are also helping bring jobs, growth and long-term prosperity to Canadian middle-class families.”

The CTA initiative provides a launching pad from which innovative small and medium-sized Canadian businesses can access New York’s dynamic start-up technology and investment markets. A similar program is up and running in the Silicon Valley near San Francisco.

One of the Canadian companies completing the accelerator program says the initiative in New York paid off in spades.

“This program is a huge success thanks to the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service’s strong commitment to helping small and medium-sized businesses open new markets,” said Greg Bobolo, President and Chief Executive Officer, SendtoNews. “The opportunities facilitated by the CTA helped us permanently expand our business development operations into the competitive New York market and bring the job-creating benefits that come from growing our business through new partnerships.”

By establishing a presence in New York—the global capital of advertising, media, commerce and finance—Canadian start-ups can tap into new business opportunities and access new markets.

Other recent graduates from the accelerator initiative have gone on to obtain new partners and financing, expand their operations and better hone their business models.

“There is no other place in the world where media, retail and technology combine as well as in New York City,” said Ethan Song, Chief Executive Officer, Frank & Oak, one of the third-wave participants. “As a next-generation online retailer, we are at the centre of these intersecting spaces and are thrilled to join the CTA.”

To learn more, please visit The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

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A backgrounder follows.

For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
Follow us on Twitter: @Canada_Trade

Backgrounder - Canadian Technology Accelerator Initiative

The Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) initiative provides Canadian start-ups that are specialized in key sectors—including information and communications technology, digital and social media, gaming and clean technologies—with access to unique resources and business contacts in order to help them grow internationally.

The third wave of companies were selected from among Trade Commissioner Service clients in the digital media sector to be part of the CTA taking place in New York City from September to December 2012. The participating companies and their representatives are listed below.

Frank & Oak Inc., Montréal - Ethan Song, CEO

Frank & Oak is an e-commerce site that makes shopping easy for men through personalization and curation—offering premium name-brand shirts and accessories at affordable prices.

Kytephone, Toronto - Anooj Shah, Partner

Kytephone is a mobile parenting platform that enables parents to protect their children and participate in their smartphone experience.

Ooka Island Inc., Charlottetown - Joelle MacPhee, Director of Partnerships

Ooka Island is a fun, effective learn-to-read system for all new readers that features adaptive learning technology and real-time data.

PO-MO, Winnipeg - Meghan Athavale, CEO

PO-MO makes affordable, customizable, easy-to-use interactive floor and wall display software that responds to physical user activity.

Social Scavenger Inc., Toronto - Warren Glenn, Co-Founder

Social Scavenger is a social mobile gaming platform that facilitates the creation and sharing of amazing life moments.

Tabillo, Oakville - Sanjeev Arora, Founder

Tabillo is a web-based collaborative and customizable business productivity tool. Small and medium-sized enterprises use Tabillo to centralize information and consolidate web apps for better productivity.

The second wave of CTA graduates are:

  • Adfinitum Networks Inc., St. John’s
  • BuzzBuzzHome, Toronto
  • Mobovivo Inc., Calgary
  • Touch Bistro, Toronto
  • SendtoNews, Victoria
  • Shopcastr Inc., Toronto

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

Located in more than 150 cities worldwide and in regional offices across Canada, the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service, part of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, is Canada’s most extensive network of international business professionals. The Trade Commissioner Service helps companies that are looking to export, invest abroad, attract investment or develop innovation and R & D partnerships.