L-SPARK and BlackBerry Announce Second Accelerator Cohort

Six Canadian startups ready for four months of intensive, one-on-one training aimed to fuel growth

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Canada’s largest accelerator for Software as a Service (SaaS) companies L-SPARK, and BlackBerry have announced the six companies selected for the second cohort of their joint accelerator program, which aims to advance Canadian technology startups that are focused on vehicle-connected services and cloud connectivity to the vehicle.

The startups selected for the second cohort include:

  • Preteckt (Hamilton, Ontario) – Predictive diagnostics for commercial vehicle fleets (trucks and buses) with cloud-based software that uses telematics data to predict maintenance issues, their severity, and root cause.
  • TRAINFO Winnipeg, Manitoba – Technology that facilitates safe operations for automated vehicles at rail crossings.
  • Northstar Robotics (Winnipeg, Manitoba – Intelligent control systems that power networks of autonomous vehicles (ie: automated snow removal on airport runways).
  • Sensor Cortek Ottawa, Ontario – AI software solutions that enhance autonomous vehicle perception systems.
  • Deeplite (Montreal, Quebec) – AI software powered by reinforcement learning to make Deep Neural Networks (DNNs) faster, smaller and more energy-efficient from cloud to edge computing.
  • Passenger (Toronto, Ontario) – AI software monitoring solutions designed to detect and resolve incidents in driverless cars and shuttles.

Launched last year, the cohort program aims to help small and medium-sized technology enterprises (SMEs) grow their businesses and bring new products to market that are built on BlackBerry QNX technology. The first cohort included startups in a range of industries, from cybersecurity to 3D imaging.

“With L-SPARK’s help, we have assembled another impressive group of disruptive, unique startups who hope to enter the connected vehicle market,” said Grant Courville, VP, Product Management and Strategy, BlackBerry QNX.

“Transportation, mobility and smart cities are some of the hottest sectors of the economy and present a great opportunity for technology innovation and new business development. We look forward to working with each of these innovative companies over the coming months to help enable the development of next-generation vehicle connectivity products and services.”

Applications were received from across Canada with senior representatives from BlackBerry and L-SPARK ultimately narrowing down the highly competitive field based on the startups with business models and technologies that aligned best with the BlackBerry QNX mission to create safe, secure and reliable solutions for companies building trusted mission-critical systems, such as autonomous vehicles.

“After the success of our first BlackBerry/L-SPARK Accelerator cohort, it is my pleasure to introduce the second cohort. After a Canada-wide search, we have identified the best next generation companies to be a part of the BlackBerry connected car ecosystem,” said L-SPARK’s Executive Managing Director, Leo Lax.

“The industry is rapidly evolving with advancements in all aspects of autonomous and connected car applications. This cohort will demonstrate how the leadership of BlackBerry can be leveraged to power the rest of the Canadian ecosystem.”

L-SPARK will, once again, turn to the expertise of the National Research Council of Canada-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), to support the companies involved in this program.

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