Home » Tech News
Innovation Cluster Launches “Electric City Talks”, a Speaker Series Featuring Global Disruptors in Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship - 2019-11-04
The Innovation Cluster is launching a new high-energy speaker series that will bring global disruptors to Peterborough and the Kawarthas, called Electric City Talks. The launch of this series will be November 19, 2019 with a lineup of popular guests throughout 2020.
The Innovation Cluster has been known for bringing notable speakers to the region, including Michelle Romanow, Johnny Cupcakes and Nicole Verkindt. These events have all sold out in record time and this event series is expected to do the same.
“As the region grows as an entrepreneurial hub, we have seen a clear need to bring in global disruptors,” says John Gillis, President and CEO of the Innovation Cluster. “Entrepreneurs and innovators are going to be blown away by the incredible talent and speakers that we’ve secured for this new series. It’s been designed to motivate attendees like they’ve never been before, and is set to be the most impactful innovation and tech events in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.”
The confirmed lineup includes well known innovators such as Robert H. Lane, Craig Kielburger and Jason Wight, with more exciting speakers to be announced!
“An Evening With Robert H. Lane” is the official event launch and will kick off during Global Entrepreneurship Week. Lane is a Canadian innovator, seasoned business executive formerly of Commodore International, General Electric, NORTEL and NEDCO. Commodore International was one of the world’s largest personal computer manufacturers, with the world’s best-selling desktop computer, the Commodore 64.
Coming in May, humanitarian, activist and social entrepreneur, Craig Kielburger is best known as the co-founder of WE, a charity helping to lift more than one million people out of poverty, by engaging with over 3.5 million young change-makers. Kielburger has been growing this initiative since being inspired at age 12.
January speaker Jason Wight, Director of Engineering at Pickering Nuclear Generating Station, Ontario Power Generation, is passionate about leadership and innovation. Jason created an innovation accelerator, called ‘X-LAB’, with the goal to create an environment that encourages and fosters creative thinking across OPG, drive the development of out-of-the-box solutions, engage and attract employees.
Networking is an essential piece for local entrepreneurs, students and business leaders. Trent University, Fleming College and highschool students are all encouraged to attend these events. In addition to inspiring and educating attendees, time will be allocated for potential connections to be made with the keynote speakers.
The date and location for the following event, featuring Jason Wight, will be announced at the launch event.
Local Digital Startup Launches Mobile App to Help Users Explore Southern Ontario’s Environments - 2019-10-29
Peterborough startup BiosphereGPS has launched a mobile app of the same name that encourages users to get away from the daily grind of urban environments and explore the ecosystems around them. The Beta version of the app has officially launched on the App Store.
Jordan Ahee founded BiosphereGPS in 2018, after years of focusing on the environmental sector. Ahee graduated Trent University’s Environmental & Life Sciences Program, worked at the Otonabee Region Conservation Authority as an Environmental Technician, Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters as an Invasive Species Specialist and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry in the Science and Research Branch as a Spatial Ecologist.
Now, Ahee wants to promote others to explore the Southern Ontario environments he has spent years researching.
The app’s mapping feature shows the distribution of 10 different environment types across Southern Ontario, including Agriculture, Broadleaf, Coniferous, Mixedwood, Shrubland, Grassland, Barren, Urban, Wetland and Water. BiosphereGPS provides a complete view of the landscapes users plan to visit, to help them pick ideal places to explore.
“We spend hours every day staring at our smartphones, swiping through feeds designed to keep us hooked – BiosphereGPS is headed in the opposite direction,” says Ahee. “I think smartphones can have a huge positive influence on people’s lives. This is a Beta version that we will build on in the coming months. For example, we are currently updating the app so it handles dark mode.”
Not only does the app encourage users to explore nature with maps, it also provides interactive features. Users can take photos in their environment to be rewarded with a series of outdoor exploration awards, from bronze, to silver and gold rankings.
The entrepreneur joined the Innovation Cluster in 2018 to build the mobile app, working out of the Cluster’s downtown incubator as a full-time digital client.
“Peterborough and the Kawarthas is the perfect place for the BiosphereGPS app to be launched,” says John Gillis, President & CEO of the Innovation Cluster. “With countless trails, rivers and forests in the area, the community will be able to take advantage of the outdoors while supporting a local digital startup.”
The app can be used as a way to reduce stress, increase energy, and improve moods. According to a study in the International Journal of Environmental Health Research, a mere 20 minutes outside each day leads to a 64 per cent increase in life satisfaction.
Ahee hopes people across Southern Ontario will test the Beta App and give feedback on what new features should be added.
“We are seeking seed stage investment, which will help to develop a pipeline of new features and expand into new markets across North America,” says Ahee.
Winners of $500 Announced For Top Aspiring Entrepreneurs That Pitched Their Business Ideas at Pitch It! - 2019-10-23
Two teams came out on top to win a total of $500 cash for their innovative business ideas in the fifth annual Pitch It! competition held at the VentureNorth Building on the evening of October 22, 2019. Hosted by FastStart Peterborough, 13 student groups from Trent University and Fleming College competed for the prizes.
In the Dragon’s Den-style pitch competition, the winners are:
Paper Planter Project – 1st place $350
Compostable planting containers as educational modules to teach children through experiential learning about gardening, growing their own food, sustainability, and patience.
- Joao Broges, Oanh Ho & Vanessa Mathieu
Eco-Care Project – 2nd place $150
Providing lawn care services in an eco-friendly way through reducing traditional gas engines and using electrical technologies.
- Shane Willis & Tanner
Judges included Rhonda Keenan, President and CEO, Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development; Yves LaFortune, Executive Director, Peterborough Region Angel Network and John Gillis, President and CEO, Innovation Cluster – Peterborough and the Kawarthas.
“This annual event is a great opportunity for any local aspiring entrepreneur attending Trent or Fleming to get out of their comfort zone and practice pitching a business idea,” says Braden Clark, Innovation Specialist at the Innovation Cluster.
Many participants from previous Pitch It! competitions have applied to enter the Innovation Cluster incubator and FastStart programming.
- Electric City Talk Launches With Global Disruptor Robert H. Lane
- Paper Plant Project Wins Fifth Annual Cubs’ Lair Entrepreneurship Competition
- Announcing Top Aspiring Entrepreneur Finalists for Annual Cubs’ Lair Competition
- Innovation Cluster Launches “Electric City Talks”, a Speaker Series Featuring Global Disruptors in Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship
- Local Digital Startup Launches Mobile App to Help Users Explore Southern Ontario’s Environments