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Minister Fast Launches New Start-Up Program to Help Canadian Companies Succeed Abroad

Business development initiative to accelerate growth of innovative cleantech small and medium-sized enterprises abroad

March 12, 2013 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, announced today in New York City that 10 promising Canadian start-up companies have been selected as the inaugural class for a new Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) program for the clean technology (“cleantech”) sector.

“Our government’s top priority remains jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Fast. “To support these efforts, we are committed to helping small and medium-sized enterprises succeed abroad. This new Canadian Technology Accelerator program—one of six such programs—brings innovators together with like-minded Canadian companies to accelerate the companies’ access to fast-growing, dynamic markets abroad and in turn create new high-value jobs at home.”

Canada’s Canadian Technology Accelerator initiative provides Canadian start-up companies with access to unique resources and contacts that can help them grow internationally. The new program is the first CTA dedicated solely to the fast-growing clean technology sector. It is managed as a joint partnership among the Canadian consulates general in New York City and San Francisco, with the support of the Business Development Bank of Canada and Sustainable Development Technology Canada.

By leveraging resources available in New York City and Silicon Valley, participating companies will develop business growth opportunities throughout the United States and globally through access to the global value chains and multinational corporations in these markets and the risk capital that flows through them.

REGEN Energy Inc., an industry-leading wireless electrical energy management provider from Ontario, was selected to participate in this new program. “We are thrilled to be selected for the CTA cleantech program because of the impressive calibre of the participants and networks provided by the Canadian consulates general in New York City and San Francisco,” said Tim Angus, President and CEO of REGEN Energy. “We are grateful for this creative initiative and the hands-on assistance provided by Canada’s Trade Commissioner Service, which will help better position us in the competitive U.S. energy market.”

Canada’s $10-billion clean technology industry consists of more than 700 technology companies, comprising primarily small and medium-sized enterprises operating in every region of Canada and directly employing more than 52,000 people.

While in New York City, Minister Fast also marked the first anniversary of the New York City CTA (CTA@NYC) program for the digital media sector (see Harper Government Helps Launch Canadian Start-Ups in Dynamic New York City Market).

“Since its launch in February 2012, the Canadian Technology Accelerator dedicated to the digital media sector has helped 29 high-growth Canadian digital media start-ups tap into the New York market,” said Minister Fast. “Many of these companies have been able to raise venture capital and close new deals—bringing high-value jobs and growth to Canada.”

“Being selected by the Canadian government as one of the top technology companies in sports media was a great honour, and our experience in New York has been incredible,” said Greg Bobolo, CEO of SendtoNews and one of the participants in the program. “Our recent digital and broadcast rights negotiations with the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing and the Ladies Professional Golf Association were made easier by our involvement with CTA@NYC.”

According to a report by the Information and Communications Technology Council, there are between 2,300 and 3,200 digital media firms in Canada, employing more than 52,000 people and with annual revenues of over $3.5 billion.

To learn more about Minister Fast’s visit to New York City, please visit Minister Fast Travels to New York and Washington.

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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 for Clean Technology Sector

Participating Companies

The following 10 start-up companies were chosen to participate in the launch of the first accelerator program dedicated exclusively to growing Canadian clean technology companies.

Awesense Wireless Inc. (British Columbia), Mischa Steiner-Jovic, CEO

Awesense Wireless offers a comprehensive and economical solution combining hardware, loss analysis, networking and advanced power monitoring to help utilities identify, characterize and verify power losses from equipment failures as well as power diversion.

CarbonCure Technologies Inc. (Nova Scotia), Robert Niven, CEO

Working toward carbon-negative concrete, CarbonCure has developed a technology that enables concrete producers to fabricate a greener and stronger concrete product. The technology permanently absorbs post-industrial carbon dioxide into concrete products, creating a unique green alternative for builders and specifiers without material or economic trade-offs for producers.

eCAMION Inc. (Ontario), Carmine Pizzurro, CEO

eCAMION solutions enable utilities to improve the utilization of electricity grid assets, defer capital expenditures and incorporate renewable energy into the grid. Looking ahead, eCAMION will support infrastructure for charging electric vehicles, as well as provide uninterruptible power and backup power for emergency situations.

Effenco (Quebec), David Arsenault, Vice-President, Business Development

Garbage trucks are the biggest energy consumers on the road. Effenco’s HEAD (Hydraulic Equipment Assisting Device) hybrid system improves truck fuel economy by 15 to 25 percent, reduces annual emissions of greenhouse gases by 19 to 28 tonnes per truck and increases brake life by 300 percent.

Etalim Inc. (British Columbia), Ron Klopfer, CEO

Etalim is developing a disruptive technology that uses thermoacoustic physics to generate electricity from any fuel or heat source (including waste heat, sunlight, natural gas, biogas or biomass) with extraordinary efficiency, simplicity and reliability.

EnerMotion Inc. (Ontario), Jack MacDonnell, President and CEO

EnerMotion has developed a revolutionary hybrid power and energy recovery (HYPER) unit that eliminates the energy-consuming diesel auxiliary power units currently used in heavy trucks. Use of the HYPER unit means that no additional fuel will be consumed or greenhouse gas emissions produced as a result of interior heating and cooling while the truck is in motion or at rest—truck idling during the day and overnight is eliminated.

Greengage Mobile (Ontario), Lindsey Goodchild, CEO

Ninety-five percent of the world’s largest companies report on sustainability efforts, yet only 12 percent of their employees “buy in” to sustainability goals. Greengage Mobile develops mobile applications that significantly raise employee engagement, while the firm’s robust web analytics platform collects data required for transparent reporting.

Odotech Inc. (Quebec), Thierry Pagé, CEO

Odotech provides odour-measurement and odour-monitoring systems for industrial sites. Its products include electronic noses, olfactometers, sampling materials and software.

Quadrogen Power Systems Inc. (British Columbia), Alakh Prasad, CEO

Quadrogen provides a biogas cleanup system that improves the purity of biogas derived from organic waste. By enabling more biogas to generate energy and lowering the incidence of reciprocating engine, turbine or fuel cell failure, the process increases renewable power generation and reduces the environmental impact of waste-to-energy developers.

REGEN Energy Inc. (Ontario), Tim Angus, CEO

REGEN Energy provides industry-leading wireless electrical demand management and automated demand response solutions to commercial and industrial facilities. The company offers a patented approach that is affordable, is easy to use and maintains the comfort of facility occupants. REGEN’s solutions drastically reduce energy costs while giving customers unprecedented access to load-level data.

Canada’s Clean Technology and Digital Media Industries

More than 80 percent of Canada’s clean technology companies are exporters. In 2011, export revenues were just over $5 billion, with the United States accounting for 56 percent of these revenues.

Canada’s digital media sector is a vibrant, diverse and creative industry. Key Canadian strengths are in video and computer games, development tools, animation and visual effects. In 2010 and 2011, Canada’s video-game industry grew by 11 percent annually, and the growth rate is expected to be 17 percent a year for 2012 and 2013. Between 2003 and 2011, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted more than 1,000 multimedia-related patents—including more than 300 related to video gaming—to inventors based in Canada.

Canadian Technology Accelerator Initiative

The Government of Canada’s Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) initiative, led by the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service at Canada’s consulates general in San Francisco, New York City and Boston, provides Canadian start-ups in information and communications technologies, digital and social media, gaming, life sciences and clean technologies with access to unique resources and contacts that can help them grow internationally.

There are currently five CTA programs, in addition to the one announced today:

  • three located in California (at the Plug and Play Tech Center, Sunnyvale; at RocketSpace, San Francisco; and at the Quantitative Biomedical Center at the University of California, San Francisco’s Mission Bay campus);
  • one in New York (at General Assembly, New York City); and
  • one in Boston (at the Cambridge Innovation Center, Cambridge), which was officially launched on March 11, 2013.

These CTAs provide Canadian companies with the opportunity to engage in business development to further their growth in key markets, in addition to accessing key venture funding and entrepreneurial resources available in San Francisco-Silicon Valley, New York City and Boston. More than 170 Canadian companies have benefited from CTAs since the inception of the initiative in San Francisco in 2009.

Canadian Trade Commissioner Service

Located in more than 150 cities worldwide and in cities 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.