Seed Funding for Policetech Start-ups in Southern Ontario
January 24, 2024
Start-ups working on solutions for policetech, community innovation and first responders got a boost from NCFDC’s thriveFORWARD initiative, with the support of FedDev Ontario and the Government Canada’s Jobs and Growth Fund (JGF). Three southern Ontario ventures are helping to ensure the operational efficiency, excellence and effectiveness of police services and allied organizations through their innovative technologies.
- Rubicon in Toronto is automating operational workflows, generating insights, and improving services for police and first responders, and received $25,000 in matching, performance-based funding for platform development including online reporting tools.
- Based in Mississauga, DixaTech is working on breakthrough computer vision and AI-driven detection. They were awarded $25,000 in matching, performance-based funding for prototyping, engineering and strategic hardware/software testing.
- Custom Shrouds in Quinte is a specialized additive and plastics manufacturer and received $10,000 in funding for strategic capacity-building for a new production line.
“We were able to secure a multi-year contract with the Department of National Defense to continue developing the technology from this project,” said Daniyar Akhmedjanov, Founder of Rubicon. “We couldn’t have got here without thriveFORWARD.”
Concurrent with seed funding for southern Ontario start-ups that can help bring cutting edge entrepreneurial solutions to market, NCFDC partnered with the Cobourg Police Service at Venture13 to offer an Accelerator program that acts as an interface between innovation-driven ventures like Rubicon, DixaTech and Custom Shrouds, and local law enforcement. The V13 Policetech Accelerator adds value to entrepreneurs in many ways, including providing feedback on product development and informing design thinking based on input from frontline personnel, focus groups and even innovation testing. Successfully tested products (such as Sootsoap) were awarded the Policetech TestedTM badge. The V13 Policetech Accelerator also supports academic research and policy development including a study with principal investigators from Ontario Tech University to understand the ethics of AI and facial recognition. The V13 Policetech Accelerator joint initiative has facilitated a total of $1.72 million in incremental grants from multiple levels of government for critical initiatives, including the establishment of a local CCTV network, and continued development of the Cobourg Police Service’s innovative HARP and M-HEART programs. The joint initiative has also enabled follow on investments for V13 Policetech Accelerator portfolio companies of $1.73 million.
“The V13 Policetech Accelerator has positioned CPS as a leader for community safety innovation,” said Paul VandeGraaf, Chief of Police, Cobourg Police Service. “The implementation and testing of novel technologies through the Accelerator programming have helped increase our operational efficiencies and increase information transfer, all while helping offset traditionally tedious activities so that we can have an increased focus on community safety initiatives.”
“Venture13 is not just a place but a platform for collaborative innovation,” said Wendy Curtis, Executive Director of NCFDC. “The V13 Policetech Accelerator is a natural outcome of two anchor organizations co-locating in an entrepreneurship centre right here in Northumberland, and developing joint initiatives that complement and enhance each other’s mission and vision. With strategic funding and support from FedDev Ontario and the Government of Canada, we can realize the full potential of this partnership.”
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Part of the Policetech Accelerator joint initiative at Venture13 (a Cobourg Police Service—NCFDC collaboration) is a Pilot Program that supports the advancement of innovation and technology-driven solutions to challenges and opportunities in policing and community safety.
NCFDC has hired its first Junior Developer to drive integration of AI and Machine Learning applications from the organization’s headquarters at Venture13 in Cobourg, Ontario.
With the support of the Government of Canada through the Canada Summer Jobs (CSJ) program, NCFDC’s Summer Internships are back with three new positions posted for youth interested in entrepreneurship and innovation. CSJ is designed to help young Canadians successfully transition into the labour market.
To learn more about this project and the V13 Policetech Accelerator, please contact Joe Miller, Business Development Officer.
Contact Joe Miller
Joe Miller (B.Sc., Notre Dame) is an entrepreneur, innovator and intellectual property specialist with extensive experience in technology transfer. Throughout his career he has led strategic ventures at the University Health Network (UHN), the Innovation Cluster, and Ontario Tech, where he was responsible for the University’s IP identification, evaluation, administration and commercialization.
Areas of expertise include IP value creation, technology evaluation, tech transfer, commercialization grant writing, collaborative strategies and start-up assistance.