Durham College students win big at Ontario Technological Skills Competition

Durham College students win big at Ontario Technological Skills Competition

by Jillian Follert, durhamregion.com  Several Durham College students recently won big at the largest skilled trades competition in Canada. The Ontario Technological Skills Competition gave students a chance to face off against the best of the best in more than 60 skill areas. Durham College student Adam Leadbetter, 23, scored a gold medal in the Industrial Mechanic Millwright category. “I was pretty pumped, I was ecstatic,” he says. “This is awesome to put on your resume.” His section of the competition involved designing and building a cascading pneumatic circuit on a short timeline. It may sound daunting to those who aren’t familiar with his trade, but Mr. Leadbetter says using the skills learned through his apprenticeship, made it “pretty straight forward.” This year’s competition in Waterloo saw more than 2,100 elementary, secondary and post-secondary students compete in front of 20,000 spectators. (Click Here to read the full...
Spark Innovation Centre and City of Oshawa Announce The Loft

Spark Innovation Centre and City of Oshawa Announce The Loft

Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre in partnership with City of Oshawa is pleased to announce the official Grand Opening of The Loft, a 90 seat start-up incubation space located at 21 Simcoe Street South in Downtown Oshawa. The Loft is a new ecosystem where innovative entrepreneurs and partners can collaborate with Spark Centre in a truly unique environment. The open concept co-working space allows start-up businesses the opportunity to expand their network and connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and business leaders. City of Oshawa has committed $150,000 over five years to help encourage the advancement of entrepreneurship and innovation in Downtown Oshawa. This funding has allowed Spark Centre to expand office space to The Loft and offer more advisory and business support to clients on a daily basis. “The City of Oshawa is thrilled with the opening of The Loft. This is a wonderful opportunity for our innovative and technology based entrepreneurs to explore a unique way of conducting business,” said Councillor John Aker, Chair of the Development Services Committee. “I encourage all our innovative entrepreneurs and partners to take advantage of this newly open 90 seat start-up incubation space and together we will continue to grow our amazing community.” “Opening The Loft is another great milestone and achievement for Spark Centre,” says Dennis Croft, President & CEO of Spark Innovation Centre. “The City of Oshawa’s insight into setting a strong Downtown strategy for entrepreneurship has been a major driver in creating the ecosystem here at The Loft. I am confident that their ongoing focus on entrepreneurship and innovation will continue to expand in the downtown...
Applications are Open for Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program!

Applications are Open for Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program!

What is Thrive? Thrive is a startup accelerator that offers a hybrid of incubation and acceleration services. Co-locate with the Spark Centre team and other tech startups to achieve a faster market entry with advisory and operational support services. We are looking for… Compelling business ventures with innovative technology focus Rapidly scalable, large market opportunity Strong, committed and coachable team Willingness to work day to day with the Spark team. Applications will be opened for each four month term, based on capacity. Applications will be assessed on team capability, attitude and commitment, ability to execute, strength of innovation, and potential to generate revenue and raise capital. Thrive Cohort 2 will commence the first week of June 2015. Applications close Monday May 25th. Click Here to...
GM Canada Engineering Centre in Oshawa to focus on the Connected Car and Green Technology

GM Canada Engineering Centre in Oshawa to focus on the Connected Car and Green Technology

GM Canada president and managing director Steve Carlisle announced today that GM’s Canadian Engineering Centre is growing into an innovation hub for the “connected car” and green technologies, two areas of growing importance for automotive customers and the future of the auto sector. The Oshawa-based centre is now hiring for the addition of more than 100 software and controls engineers to support a new mandate related to “connected car” systems, environmental and urban mobility solutions. GM Canada manages approximately $190 million research and development work per year with a wide range of leading Canadian suppliers and universities.  Work at the GM Canada Engineering Centre in Oshawa and its cold-weather testing facility in Kapuskasing, Ontario is helping to make the automobile more connected and environmentally sustainable.  These activities include the development of new software and active controls that allow customers to take advantage of high-speed data links between automobiles and mobile networks. “Connected car” technologies are enabling an exciting range of new safety, environmental and infotainment applications. Innovation at the Canadian Engineering Centre also focuses on the use of alternative fuels, light-weight and advanced materials which help improve fuel economy and offer customers new and more sustainable technology solutions. Steve Carlisle, president and managing director, GM Canada said, “We have long been proud of GM Canada’s unique capability in Canada to design and engineer future products for our customers and our solid portfolio of patents and project breakthroughs,” said Carlisle. “We are making this investment because we see an opportunity to take advantage of a wealth of talent in mobile technologies, software and advanced automotive engineering available in Canada’s leading...
Tiko 3D Raises $3.3 CDN Million on Kickstarter

Tiko 3D Raises $3.3 CDN Million on Kickstarter

Spark Innovation Centre would like to congratulate Thrive Accelerator Program client, Tiko 3D on becoming fully funded through Kickstarter, with a significant raise of $2.95 million USD, with over 16,000 backers. In just three hours, Tiko hit their $100,000 goal and continued to climb over the 30 day campaign. Tiko 3D is the creators of an affordable, elegant, and easy to use 3D Printer. The Tiko team is bringing delta printing technology to the masses in a user-friendly, affordable desktop device. Since they launched their campaign, Tiko 3D has taken the tech world by storm, being globally featured and recognized on Readwrite, Gizmag, CNet, Geeky Gadgets, and Your Tech Report. Tiko 3D became a Spark Centre client in March 2014. In the beginning stages, Spark worked with the company on legal and manufacturing strategies. In August 2014, they applied to Spark Centre’s Ignite Start-up Competition, and in the end Tiko 3D was announced as the General Entrepreneur winner, awarded $25,000 to use towards their business. Since that time, Tiko 3D has entered Spark Centre’s Thrive Accelerator Program which offers strategic advisory and business support services to achieve a faster market commercialization. “Spark Centre is an awesome support network that takes tech savvy entrepreneurs and gives them a foundation upon which they can grow their company,” says Matt Gajkowski, Founder & CEO of Tiko 3D. “Working with Spark Centre has helped us go from prototype to product to a viable business.” “The Tiko team is a winner!” said Dennis Croft, President & CEO of Spark Innovation Centre. “They are committed to launching a high quality product for an affordable price, and proved it...