Queen's Gazette | Queen's University

Search form

Eight high potential companies selected for GrindSpaceXL

The 2017 GrindSpaceXL-Kingston cohort, gathered at Innovation Park (Supplied Photo)

A tool for employee productivity and engagement, custom sleep masks for those with sleep apnea, and a mobile marketing platform which showcases local businesses are just some of the ventures which will be participating in the GrindSpaceXL-Kingston program at Queen’s Innovation Park this fall. Eight companies in total were selected following a two-step application process including a competitive pitch to a panel involving industry technical advisors, mentors, and entrepreneurs in August.

Included in this cohort are three businesses which launched out of the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) program this year, including DreamAgain, Spectra Plasmonics, and Your Mobility Innovations. Mero Technologies, another participant in GrindSpaceXL, also participated in the acceleration program qYourVenture. 

“Queen’s University is delighted to continue providing leadership of the GrindSpaceXL program in Kingston, which will accelerate the development of innovative startups from campus and across the region,” says Jim Banting, Assistant Vice-Principal (Partnerships and Innovation). “Having already graduated approximately 50 companies, the program has earned a strong reputation, and attracts many quality applicants from the region and beyond. The Office of Partnerships and Innovation team looks forward to helping accelerate the growth of this year’s companies and to retaining them in the region.”

The Fall 2017 cohort:
Airbrowz – A mobile marketing platform showcasing local businesses
Appoon Corporation – All in one tool for employee productivity and employee engagement
BidSettle Inc. – Online legal services and automated procedures
CutlerKeys – Expanding musical keyboard possibilities for all performers
DreamAgain – Custom sleep apnea masks for a better sleep
Mero Technologies – Tools giving predictive insights to cleaners and property managers
Spectra Plasmonics – Ultra-sensitive detection of contaminants in liquids
Your Mobility Innovations – Adjustable assistive devices for the elderly and persons with disabilities.

The cohort-based GrindSpaceXL program offers early-stage ventures the opportunity to engage with other motivated entrepreneurs while working on deliverables laid out in a personalized development plan based on a needs assessment. During their time in the program, participants will receive a wide variety of support from the Queen’s Office of Partnerships and Innovation, the Queen’s Business Law Clinic, Launch Lab, and Kingston-based accounting firm Secker Ross and Perry LLP.

Once the bootcamp is complete, participating companies are still able to connect with all of the same services such as Launch Lab, the Office of Partnerships and Innovation, and the Queen’s Business Law Clinic. They can connect virtually or become a client within Innovation Park’s physical incubation space. Additionally, some of the bootcamp graduates will have the opportunity to pitch their business to the Southeastern Ontario Angel Network, while one founder who demonstrates having made significant progress in advancing his or her company’s goals during the 2017 program will have the opportunity to attend a multi-day management program, offered by Queen’s Executive Education at Smith School of Business, in recognition of his or her growth.

GrindSpaceXL is one of the feature programs in the suite of services offered by the Queen’s Office of Partnerships and Innovation, Launch Lab, and the Southeastern Ontario Angel Network under the InnovationXL banner. Supported by the National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program, InnovationXL forms part of a broader collaboration with Invest Ottawa and L-SPARK, an incubator and accelerator for businesses creating software-as-a-service products for other businesses. Together, these three groups work to strengthen the regional innovation ecosystem in Eastern Ontario.

The GrindSpaceXL program officially begins on September 19 and will run until early December. This is the fifth cohort taking place in Kingston.

For more information about the GrindSpaceXL program, please visit: www.GrindSpaceXL.com.