Innovative Businesses are Prospering

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In the sky, on the ground, and everywhere in between.

Cleeve Technology International

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Cleeve Technology is in growth mode and owner and president Paul Church credits Durham Region for helping making that happen. Cleeve, which specializes in electrical and harness assemblies for the aerospace and defence sectors, expects to see its labour force in Oshawa grow by 60 in the near future. The company now employs 200 around the world.

The company, founded by Church in 1999, designs, engineers, and manufactures its products in Oshawa. He says the city is a great location for an aerospace company thanks to access to airports, highways, skilled labour and U.S. markets. It’s also affordable compared to the GTA.

Now Cleeve needs to expand by 20,000 square feet, says Church.

Part of the reason is its acquisition of BRIC, an automation specialist also based in Oshawa. BRIC has developed a laser ablation process to remove coatings from aircraft. It cuts much of the necessary labour and cost and all of the aggressive chemicals traditionally used.

Cleeve will demonstrate the technology on an aircraft in Ottawa in May and Church says that will be a “game-changer” for his company. He credits municipal staff with facilitating the backing of a Chinese investor to help bring the technology to market.

He says that’s typical of the local support for business.

“Oshawa and Durham could not have been more supportive to us. When we were looking to expand, planning staff were the first to come out and help us and make sure there were no barriers in the way. The Oshawa Chamber of Commerce has also been a big help.”

IFTech Inventing Future Technology Inc.

Brodie Stanfield and his dad Michael were playing video games in 2007. On the screen, their vehicle exploded in flames but they felt it only in the controller. They kept playing, talking about how great it would be if they could truly feel that explosion.

The result is ARAIG (As Real As It Gets), a shirt and vest that wirelessly delivers surround sound, vibration and muscle stimulation to immerse wearers in their games, movies or training simulations. The environments of virtual worlds – rain, rumbling tanks, flying debris – comes to life.

Brodie, a graduate of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology’s game development and entrepreneurship program and Michael, a fire captain in Toronto, found the resources they needed in Durham to realize their vision.

IFTech partnered with Durham College on the electronics and with UOIT on training applications. They have set up shop in business hub Core 21 and were mentored throughout by the Spark Centre, an incubator and accelerator in Oshawa.

“With the university and the college and the Spark Centre, you can find the expertise and knowledge here. You don’t have to go to Toronto to find that or to find people who are just as driven as you are,” said Brodie. “It’s great to find all of that at home.”

ARAIG has been featured on National Geographic’s Machine Impossible and Brodie and Michael secured a deal on the Dragon’s Den. The exposure of the CBC hit was invaluable, says Brodie, though in the end they accepted a better investment deal elsewhere.

ARAIG will be delivered to crowdfunding supporters and those who pre-order no later than Oct. 31, 2017. Endras Automotive Group

The construction of the Salem Road interchange at Hwy 401 in 2003 has touched off millions of dollars of private investment year after year in the Salem Business Area in Ajax.

The ever-expanding Endras Automotive Group has been crucial to that growth.

Operating under the Lakeridge Auto Gallery banner, Endras Automotive Group operates BMW, BMW Motorrad, Mini, Infiniti, and Volvo dealerships, along with newly opened dealerships offering Lexus, Land Rover, Jaguar brands on Achilles Road, just east of Salem.

Endras also offers all Chrysler brands at a facility on Bayly Street west of Harwood Avenue.

The family-owned business plans to build a 40,000 square feet OEM-certified collision repair centre on its sprawling Achilles Road dealership campus within the next two years. When that is complete, Endras Automotive Group will employ more than 500 people in Durham.

“Private investment is about creating jobs. The Lakeridge Auto Gallery is quickly becoming one of the largest employers in the Durham Region. We are proud to be here and provide opportunities,” said president Christopher Endras.