Located in the heart of the innovation corridor that stretches from Toronto to Kitchener-Waterloo, the Guelph region is home to some of Canada’s most forward- thinking and successful companies.
Innovation Guelph plays a key role in nurturing that innovation ecosystem by bolstering the efforts of entrepreneurs to commercialize new products or scale up existing businesses to compete on the world market.
Since its inception in 2011, Innovation Guelph and its network of business mentors have developed a range of programs and services to help businesses gain a toehold and expand their presence in the marketplace in key sectors such as advanced manufacturing, agri-food and clean technology. With this support as a springboard, many Innovation Guelph clients are poised to make a global impact – here are some to watch in 2018:
Helping us all breathe easier
On a mission to reduce air pollution, Guelph-based Envision SQ is gearing up for a breakout year in North America, the United Kingdom and China. The company’s first product, the SmogStopTM Barrier, is a transparent highway sound barrier that reduces air pollution along transportation corridors. It breaks down the nitrogen oxides (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in fuel exhaust, to reduce traffic pollution levels by over 50 per cent. Envision SQ is also adapting its unique technology to produce the SmogStopTM Filter to protect and improve indoor air quality in residential, commercial and industrial settings.
Translating website content for search engines
Schema App is another Guelph enterprise making a name for itself on the world stage. It helps businesses be understood by search engines and voice search for better organic search results and higher quality leads. Schema App’s automated tools are used by marketing teams and agencies in more than 30 countries to optimize search engine strategy with speed, and without IT.
Ensuring reliability of industrial FRP equipment
Game-changing ultrasound technology developed by Cambridge-based UTComp is proving to be a giant leap forward for reliability testing of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) tanks, pipes and other industrial assets. The company’s UltraAnalytixTM system provides clients with a fast, accurate, safe and effective way to assess the strength and condition of FRP assets to prevent catastrophic failures that endanger public safety and the environment. UTComp’s efforts are attracting major new customers in the United States, Europe and Saudi Arabia.
The beauty of all-natural nanotech
Mirexus Inc. is pioneering novel all-natural nanoparticles with a wide range of potential applications in cosmetics, nutraceuticals and human & animal health products. The company’s proprietary nano- biomaterial PhytoSpherixTM is derived from glycogen — a natural sugar extracted from non-genetically modi ed Ontario sweet corn. Published research confirms how its exceptional water- retention and cellular-energy properties make PhytoSpherixTM an ideal moisturizing and anti-aging ingredient for skin care products. In the fall of 2017, the company closed a successful $12-million investment round and broke ground on a new facility in Guelph that will manufacture PhytoSpherixTM for world markets.
Nourishing the skin with tropical breadfruit
Soleluna Cosmetics is the first company in the world to use breadfruit as the key ingredient in environmentally friendly beauty products. Founder Kenna Whitnell, a biochemistry student at the University of Guelph, has developed a process to extract the active compounds from breadfruit flowers, which provide soothing and protective benefits for the skin. The company, which recently opened a manufacturing facility in Cambridge, uses only sustainably-sourced breadfruit and other botanicals for its new line of Altilis Beauty products, providing important social and economic benefits to farmers in the South Pacific.
Better, faster real estate appraisals
Value Connect is a fintech specializing in the efficient delivery of accurate, comprehensive, and compliant home appraisal reports. The industry’s future involves merging human experience and AI for better outcomes, and starts with digitizing the appraisal process. By streamlining processes and combining the latest mobile technology with built-in validation tools, Value Connect reduces risk & increases efficiency for lenders across North America.
Getting a GRIP on idle reduction
The GRIP Idle Management System by Canadian Extreme Climate Systems reduces and tracks vehicle idling time, fuel consumption, emissions and more, while ensuring operator safety, comfort and convenience. Top eets across North America are now using the patented GRIP system, which has been recently updated to include real-time operation analytics for better decision-making and environmental reporting.
These and other Innovation Guelph clients benefit from mentorship and access to IG’s suite of novel business acceleration programs, made possible with funding from the Ontario Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, through the Business Acceleration Program administered by MaRS; and the Government of Canada through the National Research Council of Canada, Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) and FedDev Ontario.