2018 GSXL graduation group

KINGSTON, DECEMBER 18, 2018 – Nine startups were selected in September 2018 to participate in the GrindSpaceXL-Kingston accelerator program at Queen’s Innovation Park. Twelve weeks later, nine companies graduated from the program, making this year our largest cohort graduation yet.

The nine companies that completed the accelerator program, made significant progress in validating target customers and identifying initial go-to-market strategies.

“My product has so many applications that at first, I wanted to pursue all of them – and I fully intend to, in time. The GrindSpaceXL program really helped me to focus on strategically targeting my first market and devising a pricing strategy to get my first customers. Now is the time to implement all of my lessons and I feel more confident in doing that,” says Robert Carriere, CEO of Aorte Fitness.

“In addition to the great content in the weekly sessions, one of the key benefits I see in the program is learning from the other participants. No matter their product or age, I think our diverse cohort learned a lot from working with each other. The cohesive group that we formed throughout the twelve weeks helped to keep us accountable to the course work and offered another perspective on our ventures,” says John Garofalo of JIC Design (PRISM Systems). “I want to thank everyone involved including the Queen’s Partnerships and Innovation, all the guest speakers, and especially Elza and Andrew for all the great work and information they provided!

The graduating companies include:

Aorte Fitness – a kinetic resistance apparatus that has applications including use by the fitness and defence industries.

AquaSwift –a water analytics company primarily focused on providing rural households and water organizations an effective way to track and monitor their water via sensor technology.

BizSkills Academy – a virtual start-up accelerator which delivers training programs to early-stage entrepreneurs, connects them to experts, mentors and helps them access seed funding.

FanSaves – a digital platform that helps increase sponsorship sales and visibility for junior and professional sports teams while growing fan engagement 365 days a year.

JIC Design –a software platform for sharing of student data across school boards, colleges and schools to improve dual credit and e-learning registration processes for educational institutions.

Meta Innovation Technologies – a multi-platform interactive educational software solution that overcomes the competency gap of new hires and provides on-demand knowledge for continuing professional development.

Phoenix Armour – a composite ballistic armour that is lightweight, breathable, cool, flexible and able to fit virtually any body shape or form and provides unprecedented protection from ballistics, shrapnel, fragments and explosive blasts.

StayBillety – an online accommodation service, connecting like-minded guests and hosts. StayBillety pairs a home sharing model with interests, events and activities.

Tune n’ Tone – an exercise device that supports the building of core strength and can be used by people with limited mobility.

“We are very pleased to see all nine companies graduate from GrindSpaceXL this year. The chemistry and engagement between the ventures was the highest we have seen, which is a testament to the calibre of this year’s ventures,” says Rick Boswell, Assistant Director with Innovation Park - Acceleration Programs and Incubation Facilities in the Queen’s Office of Partnerships and Innovation.

About GrindSpaceXL:

GrindSpaceXL is a key element in the suite of programs and services offered by Queen’s University, Launch Lab, and Southeastern Ontario Angel Network under the InnovationXL banner. Supported by the National Research Council-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), InnovationXL forms part of a broader collaboration with Invest Ottawa and L-SPARK, a B2B SaaS accelerator, to strengthen the regional innovation ecosystem and accelerate the growth of high-potential startups and SMEs in Eastern Ontario.

For more information about GrindspaceXL or Innovation Park (945 Princess Street), please email Amanda Gilbert at amanda.gilbert@queensu.ca.