Canadian tech group seeks to accelerate development of secure ‘internet of things’

Telus will provide the main funding for the project

Leo Lax, executive managing director of L-Spark speaks at a SaaS Showcase event in Ottawa in this undated handout photo. Telus Corp., BlackBerry Ltd. and two Ottawa-based partners are looking for a select number of innovative early-stage Canadian companies that can tap into the growing demand for “internet of things” technology. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, L-Spark)

Telus Corp., BlackBerry Ltd. and two Ottawa-based partners are looking for a select number of innovative early-stage Canadian companies that can tap into the growing demand for “internet of things” technology.

The internet of things, or IoT, can include consumer devices such as wearable fitness trackers or industrial applications such as vast arrays of sensors that monitor anything from highway traffic to agricultural crops.

Telus will provide the main funding for the project, co-ordinated and hosted by an Ottawa-based accelerator called L-Spark.

The Vancouver-based telecom company will also provide access to a LTE-M wireless network that’s configured to efficiently connect internet-connected devices.

READ MORE: How parents can deal with internet hoaxes

“The networks that have been implemented today, particularly in the wireless area, have been originally designed to carry voice or data or video. But these (IoT) devices do not require that much bandwidth,” L-Spark’s Leo Lax said.

He said the IoT accelerator will give participants a software tool kit and opportunity to create applications, software or products that can do something on the new IoT platform that could not be done before, within four months.

“Four months is lightning speed,” Lax said in a phone interview.

The four companies chosen to participate in the project, won’t receive any money from the accelerator’s partners.

“They have to be self-sustaining. …They are investing their time and effort in order to build new capabilities that would not be possible without engaging with this new platform that is being brought to the market.”

The entrepreneurs chosen for the project will also have access to business mentors and technical expertise from BlackBerry of Waterloo, Ont. and Ottawa-based Solace, in addition to Telus and L-Spark.

The accelerator partners expect to visit Waterloo, Toronto, Montreal, Fredericton, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver in coming months as part of their selection process.

Lax said that a typical startup, acting alone, would require three to five years to get a prototype product or service ready for the world to see.

“If the accelerator is doing its job right, you can do it in six months to a year for the same journey.”

Telus chief technology officer Ibrahim Gedeon wasn’t available Wednesday but said in a statement that the company wants to foster “a thriving and secure IoT ecosystem in Canada” that can address a domestic or global market.

Lax estimates the CEOs of the four startup companies will be in their mid-30s or older, given the skills required, and they’ll have teams of five to 15 people or larger, and three to five years or more as a business.

The accelerator partners are open to applications from all over Canada but they will narrow the field to 10 or 15 before selecting the final four participants.

“Success will be if three out of the four companies are able to be able to build a product on top of this platform, and successfully demonstrate it. If all four of them do it, I think we’re walking on water.”

David Paddon, The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Stuck in the muck in a stolen truck

Oceanside RCMP nab suspect after call from Errington logging contractor

Oceanside RCMP: ‘Steal from cars, go behind bars’

Man in custody after pair of vehicles broken into in French Creek; officer breaks ankle during arrest

Travel back to the Middle Ages at Errington Medieval Faire

Heartwood Home Learners will transform hall on May 4

Large ‘problematic’ tree removed from Qualicum Beach golf course

Lombardy Poplar tree taken down by town, member upset

SD69 students set new mark at Skills BC event

Three elementary schools reach medal podium

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

VIDEO: B.C.’s waving granny gets incredible send-off from school kids

Tinney Davidson has been waving at students on their way to school for over 11 years, but is moving in a month

Struggling B.C. adoption agency elects new board that intends to keep it open

The previous board announced that Choices would close May 31

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read