L-Spark launches Secure IoT Accelerator program with Telus, BlackBerry and Solace

SaaS accelerator program L-Spark is launching a new Secure IoT Accelerator program, working with Telus, BlackBerry and Solace. The program will work with Canadian ventures developing Internet of Things (IoT) products and services.

The Secure IoT Accelerator program will support its portfolio companies in developing innovative IoT products and services that leverage the combined capabilities of TELUS Global Connectivity and IoT Cybersecurity services, BlackBerry’s secure operating system, and Solace’s industry-leading data movement capabilities.

Woven together, these technologies will enable development of out-of-the-box products and services featuring built-in, end-to-end security, streamlined device management and end user managed access and provisioning.

Telus is providing connectivity for the platform. BlackBerry is providing special software to enable delivery and management of the application in a secure fashion. Solace provides an event broker platform that will allow the applications to communicate with low latency.

Companies taking part in the four-month program will receive:

  • Exclusive access to LTE-M ready software development kits (SDK) from the corporate partners to facilitate the development and demonstration of new applications prior to the general market availability of the platform
  • Technical mentoring from TELUS, BlackBerry and Solace experts
  • Business mentoring from L-SPARK to accelerate company growth and facilitate business development opportunities with corporate accelerator partners as well as outside entities
  • All other benefits associated with L-SPARK acceleration programs, including access to L-SPARK’s extensive SaaS, cloud and IoT technology community.

The Secure IoT Accelerator is currently accepting applications from growth stage companies developing IoT products in a variety of industries including: automotive; health technology; access management; smart home and building; retail and supply chain management; logistics and fleet management; natural resources; asset management; among many others.

Ideal applicants must have a Canadian headquarters as well as the required team and financial capacity to execute projects during the accelerator program timeframe.

“Adoption of IoT products and services by Canadian firms is accelerating at a rapid clip, and industry analysts predict the global connected IoT devices market will grow at a CAGR [compound annual growth rate] of approximately 19 percent through 2023,” said Leo Lax, executive managing director of L-Spark.

We’re excited to create an accelerator program that provides the tools and technology necessary for Canadian IoT innovators to scale their businesses and compete internationally.”

The accelerator concept was born out of conversations between L-Spark and Telus, Lax says. As the needs and features that participant companies required became clear, BlackBerry and Solace were identified as partners. L-Spark also collaborates with BlackBerry on another accelerator project focused on developing technology with its QNX automotive platform.

BlackBerry has been developing its “enterprise of things” platform with a security focus. It also licenses its BlackBerry Secure Integrated Manufacturing Service to other hardware manufacturers, as a way to ensure no outside actor has tampered with a device. If an authentication check with Waterloo fails, then the device doesn’t boot.

Telus offers its LTE-M network as a service tailored to Internet of Things devices, which typically don’t require high bandwidth, but do require low latency. Telus will also offer its IoT Cybersecurity services to the accelerator participants. Solace offers a data distribution platform that is used by enterprise clients to move hundreds of billions of events per day.

All three firms will provide mentors to companies selected for the program, which need not relocate to Ottawa to participate, Lax explains. If a firm is already operating in Ottawa or is agile enough to move there, they’re welcome at L-Spark. But if they’re already established elsewhere in Canada, they can work with the accelerator in a more virtual fashion.

“We’re looking for firms that are working on the leading edge of the environment,” Lax says.

“There’s a huge benefit in using the same acceleration concept to test and validate and implement these capabilities.”

Applications for the program open today, and interested firms will have until the end of April to apply. During this time, L-Spark and accelerator partners will be conducting a roadshow across the country to engage with interested firms on a more direct basis.

Following that, a bootcamp-style hackathon will host about 12 finalists. A selection committee will judge their presentations and select four to six program participants.

The accelerator program will begin in June.

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