ventureLAB announces new participants, broadening Canada’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative

May 11, 2021

Applications for ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative, Cohort 3, and 2021 Pitch Competition are now open. This year, companies can apply for both opportunities under the same form. Learn more here

MARKHAM, Ontario – May 11, 2021 — Today, ventureLAB announced new participants in its Hardware Catalyst Initiative, Canada’s only lab and incubator for hardware and semiconductor companies. The announcement comes on the heels of an additional $4.7 million investment made by the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) on March 5, bringing the total government investment to $9.7 million. The new participants signal the growing importance of Canada’s hardware and semiconductor industry, as demand for chips and sensors continues to surge, causing global shortages and production disruptions.

Joining the Hardware Catalyst’s growing partner network are:

  • Dell Canada, one of the world’s leading technology companies that helps organizations and individuals build their digital future and transform how they work, live and play;
  • Dassault Systèmes, who provides business and people with collaborative virtual environments to imagine sustainable innovations; and 
  • NeuronicWorks, a top Canadian engineering design house, helps companies develop innovative engineering solutions for their businesses and new products that reflect the realities and future of technological progress.

The three new participants join a global network of experts and industry leaders, including Silicon Catalyst, TSMC, Arm, and Nuvia. Together with founding partners AMD, Synopsys, and others, Hardware Catalyst Initiative partners have committed over $15 million in resources, equipment, expertise, and mentorship for the participating companies. 

“The global partner network of the Hardware Catalyst Initiative in combination with our team’s deep experience as leaders and entrepreneurs in this sector demonstrates the importance of our state-of-the-art lab for hardware and semiconductor companies in Canada and around the world,” said Melissa Chee, President and CEO, ventureLAB. “As technologies become smarter and more advanced, there is a significantly heightened demand for hardware and semiconductor solutions, and this demand is impacting the global production and supply of consumer electronics, automobiles, and a range of other crucial technologies that are a must for the new innovation economy.” 

Globally, the semiconductor industry is part of a $7-trillion market that drives technology development and innovation in next-generation products like electric vehicles, robotics in precision agriculture, and 5G communication in mobiles devices. The industry is also a major driver of employment and economic recovery, generating nearly five new technology jobs for every one semiconductor job created.

“These new partnerships are great news for ventureLAB and for Canadian businesses. The global demand for microchips has provided an opportunity for Canada’s hardware and semiconductor industry to grow and expand. Our government’s investment in ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI) is a testament to our commitment to supporting the success of Canadian businesses and the growth of our economy. With the help of the HCI, businesses in the industry are well-positioned for a sustainable economic recovery and competitive future.” – The Honourable Mary Ng, Minister of Small Business, Export Promotion and International Trade and MP for Markham-Thornhill 

Canada has a valuable and integral role to play in the global semiconductor supply chain. As a nation, Canada has gained significant momentum as a leader in the global semiconductor and tech ecosystem through the Hardware Catalyst Initiative. Together with its growing network, the Hardware Catalyst Initiative is accelerating commercialization and time to market for Canadian companies who will benefit from this surging chip demand as global leaders in this priority sector for Canada and leading nations around the world. 

“Entrepreneurship is in our DNA at Dell Canada, so supporting emerging innovations and startups in Canada is a natural fit for us,” said Pam Pelletier, Canada Sales Leader and Country Manager, Dell Canada. “Semiconductors are vital to many products that are essential to pandemic response, such as IT systems for vaccine deployment, digital learning for students and teachers, and work from home solutions across Canada. The data center lab will feature end-to-end technology solutions from Dell Canada ranging from PCs to servers and storage. This will help ventureLAB’s customers tap into some of the best and brightest talent in Canada, who are building our products of tomorrow.”


To learn more about the Hardware Catalyst Initiative, visit




About Hardware Catalyst Initiative

ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative is Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products, enabling the creation of transformative technologies that will power our products of tomorrow — including healthcare technology, consumer electronics, telecommunications, smart energy, connected transportation, and more. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Hardware Catalyst helps tech companies accelerate their time to market in a sector that normally incurs lengthy entry and scale times, enabling Canadian hardware and semiconductor companies to grow and scale locally, and compete globally.


About ventureLAB

ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 4,000 jobs and raise over $200 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets.


About FedDev Ontario

For nearly 12 years, FedDev Ontario has actively worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. The Agency has delivered impressive results, which can be seen in southern Ontario businesses that are creating innovative technologies, improving their productivity, growing their revenues, and in the economic advancement of communities across the region.



Justine Kintanar

VP, External Relations and Communications, ventureLAB


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