2021 was another exceptional year for ventureLAB and our community. While we collectively continued to navigate challenging circumstances, this past year has proven it was a year of resiliency and growth.
Each year, ventureLAB recognizes innovators within our ecosystem who have delivered excellence and resilience. At this year’s Annual General Meeting, we announced our 2021 award recipients in the following categories:
The Chair of the Board Award is awarded to a prolific founder of a ventureLAB company that embodies the spirit of the ventureLAB Board Chair for the previous year. Last year’s criteria reflects board chair Paul Bradley’s leadership qualities, identified by Paul’s peers and colleagues: Tenacity; Vision; Collaboration; Optimism.
ventureLAB is happy to present the award to BluMind Co-Founder, Niraj Mathur. Blumind is a company that was selected in our first Hardware Catalyst Initiative Cohort in 2020. Since then, Niraj has grown the Blumind team, raised capital, accelerated product development, and generated significant IP.
“I am deeply honored to accept this award on behalf of the entire Blumind team,” says Niraj Mathur. “Over the last year, we have diligently executed our vision to deliver AI for everyone, everywhere by achieving critical development, customer engagement and funding milestones. In an extraordinary feat of engineering, the team developed our first prototype chip in under 6 months. We are thrilled to have our accomplishments recognized by industry leaders at ventureLAB.”
Blumind believes that to democratize AI, and for it to proliferate further, AI inferencing needs to move closer to the devices and sensors that interact with our world. To accomplish this goal, Blumind has developed a proprietary semiconductor technology that delivers unparalleled latency, power and cost for AI inference. Initially targeting smart sensors and smart devices, the goal is for the architecture to be deployed anywhere AI processing is done.
Mathurs explains “Blumind is developing game-changing semiconductor technology that will reduce power, latency and cost by orders of magnitude for Edge AI applications. We’re doing this by upending the status quo of digital computing and leveraging proprietary analog techniques to deliver unprecedented thermodynamic efficiency. We can only imagine the innovations this technology will unleash in the future. We have benefited tremendously from ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative, which has provided critical resources such as silicon design software and a world-class silicon validation lab.”
Learn more about Blumind.
ventureLAB’s Company of the Year Award is presented to a company that is leading the way through their technology or innovation, or breaking down barriers to rapidly progress and achieve significant growth. In selecting our winner, we look for funding received; revenue generated; jobs created; and diversity of gender, ethnicity, age, or other underrepresented groups (for both founder and team).
Open Ocean Robotics uses solar powered autonomous boats to provide real time information to protect our oceans by improving ship fuel efficiency, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and cracking down on illegal fishing. This data can also be used to detect and clean up oil spills, understand the ocean’s impact on climate change and our coastal communities, and safeguard the Arctic.
“We are deeply honored to receive this award,” says CEO and Co-Founder, Julie Angus. “It's a tribute to our outstanding team who continues to push boundaries advancing our solar-powered autonomous boat to perform in some of the world's toughest environments and collect data that is essential to protecting our oceans. We're very grateful to ventureLAB for their support in helping us prepare for our upcoming venture raise as well as their technical guidance for our hardware engineering team.”
Learn more about Open Ocean Robotics.
The Collaborator of the Year Award is awarded to the partner that has had a significant impact on our ecosystem in the past year. The award recipient offers invaluable support to ventureLAB and/or the companies we support to grow and scale. This award was designed to recognize and celebrate a ventureLAB partner that has made a direct impact on ventureLAB, ventureLAB-supported companies, partners or other stakeholders, and on the ecosystem as a whole.
“Synopsys is proud to be a founding partner in ventureLAB’s HCI incubator program, a collaboration that began with the program’s 2019 inception. I am honored to receive this award from ventureLAB on behalf of Synopsys,” says Mario Dorio, Area Sales Director of Synopsys. “Providing best-in-class chip design technologies and expertise to qualified companies has been very satisfying, as we have the rewarding opportunity to play an integral role in the growth and success of companies of all sizes.”
As a founding collaboration partner to the HCI program at ventureLAB, Synopsys has worked alongside other industry partners to deliver best-in-class chip design technologies and expertise to companies in the incubator program. “It’s rewarding to play a role in the HCI program’s impact in helping hardware companies in Canada get off the ground or rise to the next level,” says Dorio. “In many cases, the opportunities for these companies would not have existed were it not for ventureLAB and their focus in this area. We look forward to fostering the growth and success of more companies as we continue collaborating with ventureLAB.”
ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 4,500 jobs and raise more than $200 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets.