Canada’s first printable and flexible electronics Startup of the Year
Kitchener-Waterloo’s NanoCnet takes home the hardware at CPES2017
OTTAWA—May 29, 2017—The Canadian Printable Electronics Industry Association (CPEIA – www.cpeia-acei.ca) has presented its first Startup of the Year award at CPES2017, Canada’s premier conference and trade show exhibition for printable, flexible and wearable electronics.
The award presentation capped off the final day of CPES2017, in which a panel representing six Canadian financing organizations and programs for startups and SMEs, led by CPEIA financing partner the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), heard pitches from four finalist startups.
Winning startup NanoCnet Ltd. (http://nanocnet.com) has manufactured a transparent conductive film using silver nanowires so thin that they are invisible to the human eye. This stable silver nanostructure has set a new standard for cost, durability and flexibility, making it a promising option for thin solar cells, printed and flexible electronics, touch screens and smart windows. Compared to typical silver nanowire, the synthesis process for NanoCnet’s nanomaterial is faster and can occur at room temperature – essential for low-cost manufacturing.
The team behind the company includes co-founders Dr. Hadi Hosseinzadeh Khaligh (CEO) and Dr. Ehsan Mazbanrad (COO), with the support of technical advisor and investor Dr. Kaamaran Raahemifar of Ryerson University.
Judges scored each startup based on the market potential of the product/application, the soundness of the business plan and the viability of the business to generate wealth and jobs for the Canadian economy.
“The judges faced a difficult challenge – these four startups did a fantastic job developing and presenting their pitches and we see a bright future for all of them,” said Peter Kallai, President and CEO of the CPEIA. “As part of this program, the CPEIA will continue to provide support to all our finalists, with introductions to customers and partners, assistance with accessing financing and securing mentorship from seasoned industry leaders.”
The four finalists were coached and mentored over a six-week period by Kallai through his Keystep Growth & Finance consultancy, and Kirk Irving, Business Centre Manager at the BDC. Irving presented the award to NanoCnet.
The other startup finalists were:
Acquire Industries Ltd. (http://acquireindustries.com): This Toronto-based startup is the first in Canada to offer novel electronic alternatives to snowmelt that are cost-effective and scalable for residential, municipal and commercial applications, using nanotechnology and molecular engineering.
Formi 3DP Inc. (https://formi3dp.com): This London, ON-based startup has created a new generation of photopolymers – polymer resins that are cured by ultraviolet light. These offer new levels of functionality, precision and resolution for 3D printing of multi-functional objects.
Wibicom Inc. (http://wibicom.com): This Montreal-based startup is the first company to commercialize the photovoltaic/solar antenna and patent its design. Its products ensure smart energy usage, enabling long lifetime device autonomy and battery-less solutions.
In addition to BDC’s Kirk Irving, the judges included:
- Francois Gougeon, Chemist and Senior Manager for The Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit program at Service OptiPrint
- Andrew Sinclair, Technology Executive and Commercialization Mentor at NSERC – the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
- Jason MacFarlane, Head of Advanced Manufacturing and Venture Services at Toronto’s MaRS Discovery District
- Stanley Ossias, Regional Director of The National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP)
- David Smith, Manager of Screening and Evaluation at Sustainable Development Technology Canada
All these programs have invested in the past in CPEIA member companies, from startup to well-established, and understand the needs of this industry sector.
CPES2017 ran from May 24-26 at Centennial College’s new Conference Centre in Toronto. Please visit www.CPES2017.ca to learn more.
To obtain photos or to arrange interviews with any of the finalists or judges, please contact Leo Valiquette at the CPEIA at the coordinates below.
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