ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative is Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), this competitive program enables tech companies building foundational technologies in transformative sectors like AI, clean tech, IoT, and beyond, to accelerate their time to market in a sector that normally incurs lengthy entry and scale times. The Hardware Catalyst enables the creation of transformative technologies that will power the products of tomorrow — including healthcare technology, consumer electronics, telecommunications, smart energy, connected transportation, and more.
Quickly growing its reputation as Canada’s Hardware Hub, the Hardware Catalyst enables ventures to become competitive players in the global semiconductor industry — an industry that generates $7 trillion in economic activity and creates 4.89 indirect new jobs for every one semiconductor job.
Indirect jobs are created for every 1 semiconductor job created
in total GDP created by the semiconductor industry
Increase in chip equipment spending in 2020
Denis Jacques, President & CEO, Keysight Technologies Canada Inc.
John Tryhub, Vice President, Wind Shape Technology Inc.
Nic Boileau, President & CEO, Ekidna Sensing
Patricia Copeland, President, Humantec Inc.
Brendan Crowley, Co-Founder & CEO, Micromensio Inc.
Mario Dorio, Director, North America Sales, Synopsys
“The Hardware Catalyst Initiative team has been an invaluable resource throughout our journey. The ventureLAB advisors are always available to share the wealth of their experience, and it has been fantastic working with them this past year. I would highly recommend the program to any hardware company looking to scale their business.”
Joseph Ma, CEO, Bionic-i Inc.
John Gosson, Founder & CTO, Blumind.ai
Canada is a leader for creating and scaling IP-rich semiconductor and hardware companies and a magnet for home-grown and global talent. Our location is based in York Region, Canada’s second-largest tech cluster, home to an ecosystem of global tech leaders, homegrown leaders, and 400+ global multinational companies. More than 4,300 tech companies that employ over 60,000 people call York Region home, the highest concentration of tech workers in Ontario’s Innovation Corridor. The importance of the Hardware Catalyst is significant: it enables the creation of a tech cluster of companies, here in Canada, to become global competitors for the $7 trillion global semiconductor market.
We’ve built a team and network that leverages decades of industry experience in building IP-rich companies and commercializing transformational products, to give unbiased support to founders in this program. They get access to our growing global network and comprehensive support services.
We understand that hardware founders experience unique challenges and have a finite amount of capital and time to bring their vision to reality. The Hardware Catalyst Initiative is a competitive program that is offered at no cost and no equity requirement to eligible companies. The Hardware Catalyst Initiative provides direct resources to accelerate commercialization at scale through our initiatives focused on four pillars: raising capital, retaining talent, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition.
April 15 – May 17, 2021: Application period for HCI Cohort 3*
May – June 2021: Evaluation period for HCI Cohort 3
July 15, 2021: All candidates will be notiﬁed of their application status
August 2021: Program starts
*Applications are now closed.
The Hardware Catalyst Initiative continues to grow every year, and it is part of our vision to create a globally recognized hub in commercializing breakthrough products and growth companies on a global scale with a focus on hardware and enterprise software. It currently includes a dynamic community of 16 startup companies and a growing global network of emerging and industry leaders that include engineers, developers, manufacturers, and founders.
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Weavair: Weavair is an end-to-end solution for air distribution systems that prevents the spread of contamination and infection, while reducing operational and maintenance costs.
SmartComm Technologies: SCTech is a company that specializes in Wireless Baseband hardware IP and firmware for IoT.
Scope Photonics: Scope builds tunable lenses that bring high quality optical zoom to a compact form factor, for use in smartphone cameras, depth sensors, microscopes, and more.
Qoherent: Qoherent helps engineers harness the power of machine learning and quantum computing through a platform created to rapidly design, prototype, and deploy machine learning solutions for RF communications design problems.
Braze Mobility: Braze Mobility provides an affordable navigation solution for wheelchair users through intuitive audio, visual and vibration alerts to the wheelchair driver.
Hyivy Health: Hyivy Health creates the first intelligent and holistic pelvic rehabilitation device for women experiencing symptoms from pelvic cancers and diseases with their modular device.
Urban Stalk: Urban Stalk Inc. is an agri-science based organization with the core mission to reduce food insecurity for at risk and urban populations along with reduce the negative environmental impacts that originate from agricultural activity
Enertics: Enertics provides an early health monitoring, diagnostics and predictive maintenance solution of electrical assets, used by industrial and utility customers, with a goal to maximize their life and to minimize the unplanned downtime and associated costs.
Bionic-i: A hardware biotechnology company focused on augmenting vision and combating blindness with a surgically implantable breakthrough device that can treat and monitor a genetic disease.
BluMind.AI: A fabless semiconductor start-up with deep expertise in AI, semiconductor and automotive technologies, applying unique analog concepts to machine learning inferencing to dramatically lower power consumption and latency.
Cyberworks Robotics: A developer of Autonomous Self-Driving Software for non-automotive vehicles.
Ekidna Sensing: Ekidna sensing provides rapid, simple to operate, and on-demand cannabinoid testing for the growing cannabis industry, solving a pressing need for simplified testing.
Humantec Inc.: Manufactures and markets the Menopod, a handheld electronic cooling device for women suffering from hot flashes brought on by menopause.
Micromensio: Micromensio is a fabless semiconductor company with a unique, portable, platform bio/chemical sensing solution.
Tartan AI: A hardware/firmware company targeting optimizations for machine learning workloads, offering processing elements and transparent memory compression technologies.
The growing global network of ventureLAB Hardware Catalyst Initiative partners recognizes the unique opportunity and role for Canada as a valuable player in the global semiconductor supply chain. It demonstrates a unique public-private partnership that has both local and global impacts.
The Advisory Board for the Hardware Catalyst Initiative helps shape our long-term strategy to secure Canada’s position as a global leader in creating and commercializing semiconductor and hardware-related technologies and pioneering innovations.
Past President and Co-founder, Chipworks
President, Coreus Technologies Inc.
Director, US-Asia Technology Management Center and Adjunct Professor, Stanford University
Senior Vice President, Innovation, Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA)
Contact our HCI team at email@example.com.