Inaugural TELUS Technology Accelerator a resounding success
April 10, 2017
Additional technology accelerator in Western Canada announced
CALGARY, AB – Three teams participated as part of the first cohort of the TELUS Technology Accelerator Program, delivered by Innovate Calgary. A demo day on April 3 saw the teams pitch their technologies to TELUS executives, investors and high profile entrepreneurs from the community.
For the inaugural round of the accelerator, three startups, RallyEngine, MedDuck and Physio4D, were selected out of 15 applications, after a rigorous selection process. RallyEngine is a mobile-focused content publishing platform for alerting groups, rallying teams, and informing communities. MedDuck works with partners to improve healthcare outcomes through the use of mobile application solutions. Physio4D is an interactive mobile technology for guidance of physical therapy exercises at home, using animated 3D visualization and real-time suggestive feedback.
“With the advice we received, it has allowed us to pitch forward and change our focus to much larger opportunities,” shared Jaron Easterbrook, co-founder of MedDuck. “For example, prior to participating in the TELUS Technology Accelerator, we were used about 12 times per day. Now that has increased to 65-100 times per day and we have managed to grow our users by 25 per cent. We just had a presence in Calgary and now we are expanding across Canada and we have also expanded our revenue model. With our new PocketDoc app, it helps patients take ownership of their health, and connecting with and influencing users throughout the day with their decisions.”
Each participating startup was matched with mentors from TELUS, Innovate Calgary and Calgary’s innovation ecosystem. These mentors bring decades of business, technical, and entrepreneurial experience to the accelerator. Companies within the accelerator are invited to monthly, confidential peer mentoring sessions to share knowledge and provide support to one another.
Javad Sadeghi, co-founder of Physio4D, says, “The accelerator made valuable introductions for us. Our advisors helped us to convert pilots to paying customers and a path for us to roll out to the rest of Canada by the end of 2017.”
Steve Hardy of RallyEngine agrees. “The accelerator and our advisors helped us accomplish some very significant bench strength,” he says. “We submitted a proposal to a major university and did a deep dive into using SMS technology as a platform. We participated in a trade mission to New York City and we are well on our way to becoming the mobile emergency communication solution of choice for all university and college campuses in Canada.”
TELUS announced its continued support of the technology accelerator in Calgary and plans to blueprint the accelerator in other cities, starting this summer in British Columbia.
“TELUS is committed to supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Canada through a number of initiatives,” stated Ibrahim Gedeon, CTO of TELUS. “As an example, through the TELUS Technology Accelerator, we partner with organizations like Innovate Calgary to support early-stage companies in Alberta, and beyond, looking to grow their business.”
Applications for the second cohort of the TTA will be available in May at www.innovatecalgary.com. The next accelerator will begin in June and wrap up with a demo day in November.
“Innovate Calgary has quarterbacked pulling this program together, but it really is a team effort to make it a success,” says Peter Garrett, president and CEO of Innovate Calgary. “This type of program not only helps create receptor capacity of startup enterprises, but it also helps companies like TELUS fill gaps in corporate innovation plans – a true win-win for all.”