Ontario Assistive-tech Companies Compete in $20,000 Pitch Contest

Eighteen up and coming Ontario assistive technology companies will compete for $20,000 in business development funding in Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Accessibility Tech Pitch competition, part of The Government of Ontario’s Accessibility Innovation Showcase.

“Through our numerous programs, OCE has proudly supported the development of accessibility devices and technologies for many years,” says OCE President and CEO Dr. Tom Corr.

“This competition is a way to further support that development as well as a made-in-Ontario innovation.”

The showcase, which runs from August 8 to 10 at MaRS Discovery District, is the first of its kind and is an official part of the Parapan Am Games. In celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act and the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this high profile event brings together top innovators, investors, local and international dignitaries, government and the public.

“I am pleased that OCE is supporting innovators and entrepreneurs who are focused on developing cutting edge technology that will help improve the lives of persons with disabilities,” says Reza Moridi, Minister of Research and Innovation. “This competition will showcase and support the advancement of accessibility technologies, and give innovators the chance to access resources that can take their businesses to the next level.”

On Sunday, August 9, all 18 companies will pitch their products to panels made up of experts and investors in two rounds at MaRS Discovery District with the five best going on to the final round being held Monday, August 10.

The 18 competing companies are:

AccessNow – Toronto

AccessNow has created a mobile app that uses crowdsourcing to pinpoint accessibility information of public and private spaces on an interactive map.

BreqLabs – Toronto

BreqLabs is the creator of the ExoSwitch, a wearable device that allows limited movement individuals to select icons or links on a computer/mobile. Replacing buttons, the ExoSwitch detects slight movements to enable a user to communicate.

CareChair – Kitchener

CareChair is the first standalone system that can function both as a wheelchair and a bed while aiming to reduce the risk of injury associated with moving patients and to increase the independence of the individual.

CrossWing – Markham

CrossWing is the creator of VirtualMe, a patent-pending, modular, mass-market robotics platform enabling a rich application and peripheral ecosystem.

Eightfold Technologies – Ottawa

Eightfold Technologies is the creator of the SmartChair. The goal of the ‘Smartchair’ project is to outfit power wheelchairs with a palm sized computer and several sensors to allow the chair to perform the loading in and out of vans safely and autonomously. This technology will also allow the disabled person to remotely control his/her power chair with their smartphone. They could bring the chair to where they are when they wish to get into the chair in times like after shower in the morning and also sent the chair out of the way when they get off the chair like when they wish to sit on the couch for a rest.

GestureTek Health – Toronto

GestureTek Health leads the way in gesture-control technology for the disability, hospital, mental health and education sectors. Our touch-free, motion-activated solutions for virtual reality physical therapy, multisensory stimulation and immersive play let patients (regardless of age, ability or condition) have fun in a hygienic environment and experience marked improvement in their physical and cognitive abilities.

iamsick.ca – Toronto

iamsick.ca aims to be the best Canadian same-day healthcare options destination. It is a curated listing of all ERs, Urgent care centres, Walk-in clinics, and Pharmacies in Canada. The listing is accessible via our nearest options mapping service, which has been designed for use on computers and mobile devices.

iDAPT Services – Toronto

iDAPT Services’ pioneering work is having a direct impact. From new treatments to better assistive devices, we are maximizing people’s recovery and improving quality of life. We share these discoveries with others – to help people everywhere. All patients and practitioners deserve the latest that science has to offer.

iMerciv – Toronto

iMerciv is the creator of the BuzzClip which detects obstacles within an individual’s immediate surroundings and allows them to safely navigate around those obstacles by ‘buzzing’ at different frequencies depending on the distance to the object.

Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab – Toronto

Intelligent Assistive Technology and Systems Lab has created a low-cost after-market navigation assistance system for commercial powered wheelchairs that prevents collisions, and provides feedback to the driver. It can thus be used as a permanent add-on system, or as a short-term training module that allows novice drivers to practice independently.

Komodo OpenLab – Toronto

Komodo OpenLab  has created Tecla Shield which gives access to iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch and Android devices to individuals with spinal cord injuries (quadriplegia), multiple sclerosis (MS), ALS, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, brain injury, stroke and anyone else who, due to disease or disability, finds it difficult to use a touch-screen through the use of your external switches or the driving controls of your powered wheelchair.

LegWorks – Toronto

LegWorks has created the AT-Knee, a novel and highly functional artificial knee joint for people with amputations.

MyndTec – Mississauga

MyndTech has created MyndMove, a non-invasive neurorehabilitation therapy that uses surface electrical stimulation to treat upper extremity paralysis and improve voluntary arm and hand movements such as reach and grasping.

Neuten Labs – Toronto

Neutun is novel tracking software for epileptics through smartwatches and wearables. Our technology is device agnostic, non-invasive and utilizes accessible wearables to provide a seizure tracking tool for people living with epilepsy.

Northern World Entertainment Software – Alliston

Northern World Entertainment Software is the creator of My Digital Coloring Book, It’s Coloriffic!, an educational game which plans to help teach individuals with Autism relevant computer skills on various platforms. It accomplishes this by giving users a fun filled game experience which also celebrates their achievements and assists in building a social network to inspire their families.

Sight Enhancement Systems – Ottawa

Sight Enhancement Systems designs and manufactures high quality, highly innovative and competitively priced assistive devices for people with low vision for use at home, school and work.

Top Motion and Mobility – Barrie

Top Motion and Mobility is creating mobility solutions for children suffering from mobility issues. With the creation of the KidCar, Top Motion and Mobility Inc. aims to help empower and remove the stigma for children dealing with disabilities.

Vigurus Technologies – Toronto

Vigurus Technologies is the creator of Sp1ke Ergomorphic Seating Support Surfaces, a new product that can be used to build wheelchair seats that better evenly distribute pressure.