Futurpreneur Canada Announces 2015 Spin Master Innovation Fund Recipients

Spin Master Innovation Fund invests in 11 emerging Canadian businesses

TORONTO, Sept. 29, 2015 /CNW/ - Futurpreneur Canada, in partnership with leading Canadian toy company Spin Master Corp. and the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), is pleased to introduce the 2015 recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Fund. Eleven businesses were chosen through a highly competitive process that tested the viability and innovative aspects of their business plans. This year's recipients represent industries from extreme sports to online gaming, wearable fitness devices to custom fashion, and online shopping to online learning.

These 11 businesses will each receive start-up financing of up to $50,000 from Futurpreneur Canada and the BDC, and will be matched with a mentor from Futurpreneur Canada's industry-leading mentoring program. They will also visit Toronto in October to attend a two-day workshop, with networking opportunities and one-on-one coaching from Spin Master's senior executives on topics including sales and marketing, licensing, and talent management to help them propel their businesses.

"This is our fifth year partnering with Spin Master to deliver financing and mentoring to young, innovative entrepreneurs and, as always, we were blown away by the ideas, energy and strong business sense of our applicants," said Julia Deans, CEO, Futurpreneur Canada. "Since the program's inception, 42 exciting young Canadian companies have benefited from the Spin Master Innovation Fund, which is now seen as a proven way for innovative new companies to make their mark, and is a testament to the power of connecting established executive teams with up and coming business leaders."

"The success of the Spin Master Innovation Fund has allowed us to give back to young entrepreneurs all across Canada," said Ronnen Harary, President and Co-CEO, Spin Master Corp. "With the impressive recipients who have already come through the Fund, we've been so excited to see the high quality of candidates and the creativity, passion and outstanding character they've demonstrated once again this year. We look forward to coaching them and supporting their continued success."

"BDC is pleased to once again be a partner of the Spin Master Innovation Fund team with Futurpreneur Canada and Spin Master Corp.," says Steven Oliver, Assistant Vice President, Automotive Group, BDC.  "Working together, we can offer a greater number of resources to these deserving young entrepreneurs and equip them with the tools to make a difference to their growth and success."          

The 2015 recipients of the Spin Master Innovation Fund are:

Company: Aorte Fitness Gear
Entrepreneurs: Robert Omer Carriere
Location: Oakville, Ontario
Company Description: Aorte Fitness is a Canadian manufacturing company, specializing in the production of the Kinetic Resistance Apparatus, a specially designed wearable fitness device that provides users with a low impact resistance-training experience. With guided motion-resistant technology, Aorte Fitness maximizes the potential of resistance training by reducing impact and correcting form and posture.

Company: CertClean Inc.
Entrepreneurs: Jenise Lee
Location: Mississauga, Ontario
Company Description: CertClean is Canada's first and only certification for safer beauty and personal care products. Since there is no governance on the terms "organic" or "natural" within the beauty sector in Canada, consumers are often misled as entire products are labelled natural when only one or some of their ingredients are natural and the remaining ingredients consist of questionable chemicals. CertClean administers the CertClean certification so brands that manufacture products free from harmful ingredients can be instantly recognized as safer beauty and personal care products.

Company: CORE Renewable Energy Inc.
Entrepreneurs: Andrea Kraj
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Company Description: CORE Renewable Energy provides renewable energy planning tools and operation management optimization for power projects, incorporating combined renewable energy systems such as wind, solar, biomass; small to large scale storage solutions including batteries, compressed air, fuel cells, and backup diesel generators. The company has technology solutions that optimize the performance of the systems that they design or already exist, so that users can reach maximum renewable generation at the least cost while maintaining no black outs in energy supply.

Company: Creel Net
Entrepreneurs: Peter Llewellyn Greene, Alfred Tiutei Schaefer
Location: Smithers, British Columbia
Company Description: Creel Net makes fishing licencing and regulatory applications for smart phones, improving the fishing experience and providing fisheries management with important angler effort and catch data. The app includes the following capabilities: enables users to store and purchase licences on their phones; provides user friendly version of the regulations; includes a permanent catch log for enforcement purposes and a voluntary log for personal use; provides fishing tools such as water levels, charts, tide levels, and fisheries indicators. 

Company: Crik Nutrition
Entrepreneurs: Alex Drysdale
Location: Stony Mountain, Manitoba
Company Description: Crik Nutrition sells protein powder made primarily from crickets – one of the most nutritious and efficient food sources on the planet. Crik Nutrition promotes its protein powder as looking, smelling, and tasting as good - or better - than any other protein powder on the market.

Company: GamerLink Inc.
Entrepreneurs: Ryan Figueiredo & Deion Farrington
Location: Cambridge, Ontario
Company Description: GamerLink provides online gamers with a powerful, real-time matchmaking service that connects gamers of similar playstyle, personality, demographics and more. The service will support any online game, on any platform, and uses an advanced matchmaking algorithm that takes into consideration all the possible data points about a gamer. GamerLink aims to create better online gaming experiences for everyone.

Company: Hearshot Inc.
Entrepreneurs: Sebastian Koper, Bart Lipski
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Company Description: Hearshot is a company founded with the purpose of marrying the worlds of technology, wearables, and extreme sports to improve the ability of users to communicate and interact with the environment around them. Its first product, to be released in 2016, is a wearable communication device that can be used in harsh conditions and in areas without any mobile or WiFi reception. 

Company: Hexa Foods
Entrepreneurs: Philippe Poirier, Mathieu Poirier, Paul Shenouda
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Company Description: Hexa Foods creates tasty, healthy and sustainable foods made with insects. The company's first product is BugBites: dog treats made with cricket flour and fresh fruits and vegetables. Hexa Foods uses insects because they can significantly increase the diversity of the world's current food system and help solve global food insecurity, while using limited natural resources in a much smarter way. Replacing a 40g bag of dog treats made with beef with a bag of BugBites dog treats saves an amount of water equivalent to more than 200 water bottles.

Company: Kube Innovation Inc.
Entrepreneurs: Frédérik Marcil and Juan Antonio Contreras
Location: Montréal, Quebec
Company Description: Kube Innovation is revolutionizing the dental industry with disruptive new technology. There is no measuring tool on the market that allows professionals to objectively quantify the average biting force that a patient can apply. The measurement of the biting force generated by Kube Innovation's device is used by denturists, dentists and physiotherapists, enabling them to provide an optimized solution for their patients. Kube has a multi-disciplinary team of young engineers and industrial designers more than ready to lead the next medical revolution.

Company: LlamaZOO Interactive Inc.
Entrepreneurs: Charles T. Lavigne and Kevin Oke
Location: Victoria, British Columbia
Company Description: LlamaZOO is developing a software platform for educational markets; the platform utilizes 3D visualization and borrows concepts from cognitive neuroscience to improve learning and teaching. The first application for the platform is helping veterinary students learn and master anatomy, using 3D models of animals built from MRI and CT scans. The platform also provides educators with deep analytics into how students are performing and progressing, providing insight into self-directed studies.

Company: Nathon Kong Tailleur <Tailor2Go>
Entrepreneurs: Nathon Kong
Location: Montreal, Quebec
Company Description: Nathon Kong Tailleur <Tailor2Go> aims to set a new standard for the convenient shopping experience by offering custom made cloth at a client's work place. It brings a solar-powered truck configured with a 3D scanner, allowing it to get 360-degree measurements of a customer's body in under five seconds. Customers can feel the fabric and design anything in less than 10 minutes. Fit guaranteed and delivered in 3-4 weeks. The service is enhanced with an e-commerce platform, allowing customer to design and re-order without hassle, and balances the speed and convenience of online shopping with the tactility and rapport of traditional retailing.

About Futurpreneur Canada
Futurpreneur Canada (formerly the Canadian Youth Business Foundation, or CYBF) has been fueling the entrepreneurial passions of Canada's young enterprise for nearly two decades. We are the only national, non-profit organization that provides financing, mentoring and support tools to aspiring business owners aged 18-39. Our internationally recognized mentoring program hand matches young entrepreneurs with a business expert from a network of more than 2,700 volunteer mentors. Futurpreneur Canada is a founding member of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs' Alliance, the Canadian member of Youth Business International, and the Canadian host of Global Entrepreneurship Week. www.futurpreneur.ca. Facebook: Futurpreneur Twitter: @Futurpreneur

About Spin Master Corp
Spin Master (TSX:TOY) is a leading global children's entertainment company that creates, designs, manufactures and markets a diversified portfolio of innovative toys, games, products and entertainment properties. Spin Master is best known for award-winning brands including Bakugan Battle Brawlers™, Air Hogs®, Spin Master Games™ and the 2015 Toy of the Year, Zoomer™ Dino. Since 2005, Spin Master has received 58 TIA Toy of The Year (TOTY) nominations with 14 wins across a variety of product categories. Spin Master has been recognized with 11 TOTY nominations for Innovative Toy of the Year, more than any of its competitors. Spin Master is among a limited number of companies that not only develop and produce global entertainment properties, characters and content, but also monetize that content through the creation, sale and licensing of products. To date, Spin Master has produced five television series, including the 2007 hit series Bakugan and its current hit PAW Patrol, which is broadcast in over 160 countries and territories globally. Spin Master employs over 850 people globally with offices in Canada, United States, France, Italy, United Kingdom, Bratislava, Germany, Holland, Mexico, China, Hong Kong and Japan.

About BDC
BDC is the only bank dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs. With more than 100 business centres and over 32,000 clients across Canada, it offers loans, investments and advisory services. BDC's purpose is to support Canadian entrepreneurship with a focus on small and medium-sized businesses. To learn more, visit www.bdc.ca.

SOURCE Futurpreneur Canada

For further information: For interview opportunities and media inquiries, please contact: Meghan Paton, Futurpreneur Canada, 416-408-2923 x 2207, mpaton@futurpreneur.ca


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