Partnerships and Innovation

Office of Partnerships and Innovation
Office of Partnerships and Innovation

Queen’s Growth Accelerator helps Rillea Technologies see the forest for the trees

Sometimes when you start a new business it’s easy to get so wrapped up in the day-to-day details that it’s hard to see the forest for the trees – or the opportunities for all the distractions. Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation's new Growth Accelerator helped Rillea Technologies do just that.

Founders of Rillea Technologies, Lisa and Rob Hallsworth

Lisa and Rob Hallsworth have been building Rillea Technologies for the past four years. Today the company’s clients include 45 organizations and 115 workplaces, with thousands of employees, who depend on Rillea Tech’s SDS RiskAssist. This customizable, web-based platform lets managers, supervisors and workers access hazard and safe handling information about the chemicals they work with via desktop or mobile devices. A valuable safety measure in businesses that use hundreds of different chemicals, some potentially toxic.

The challenge, says Lisa, is that “when you’re running a business every day, you’re busy and it’s not easy to take a step back.” A chance to be part of the new Growth Accelerator program seemed like a great opportunity to do that.

“The program really helped me solidify what my goals are and how we want to take it [Rillea Tech] forward. And it helped our entire team solidify those goals,” Lisa says. Speaking of Stiletto, the company that designed and ran the program, “They were great to work with. Very organized. They were very agile at adjusting the agenda based on the needs of the participants.”

Rob and Lisa’s time in the three-month Accelerator helped them clarify how to capitalize on a potential opportunity in front of them that they just didn’t know how to approach.

One particularly novel aspect of the program looks at data. Startups may not be aware of it, but they are constantly collecting it – and it may have a value, to them or others.

“In the process of growing and working with our customers, we’ve gained a lot of data,” Rob says. “What we got through the program was the knowledge of how that data can be used. Data can be used as leading indicators for incidents and illnesses within workplaces. Leading indicators help employers to eliminate hazards before incidents and illnesses occur. As well, when these leading indicators are amassed across a sector, policy makers can use the data to take action, such as to offer education about specific hazards. This makes our workplaces and communities safer and more environmentally friendly.” Data is how Rillea Tech is helping clients advance their United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

“Yes, it was hard,” says Lisa about juggling the program and Rillea Tech. “And yes, it took a lot of time. But we are in a better place today for it."


The Wings/Growth Acceleration program was made possible with support from the Government of Canada to Queen’s University through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario and the Scale-up Platform Project which is led by Invest Ottawa in eastern Ontario and by Queen’s in the Kingston region.