Author Archive: News Desk

TechCity innovation cluster conversation on June 1st



TechCity is a half-day conversation with leading minds that are successfully making Hamilton a smart, intelligent and innovative community. It’s an opportunity to learn about the Hamilton ecosystem and meet with local companies forging our innovative path.


From our hip and funky restaurants to our fleet of food trucks, from our monthly art crawls to our music festivals of epic proportions – we put passion behind everything we do. We create. We collaborate. We open doors. Our culture is real, making us the coolest city in Canada. It’s all part of our continual transformation. Through our grit and determination comes growth.

Join us in the heart of downtown Hamilton for a provocative conversation on what is the digital pulse of city.


Individuals, companies or partnerships that have an interest in engaging in the innovation and urban renaissance happening in Hamilton.

Those include the following:

• Innovators
• Startups
• Scale-ups


A limited number of places are available, so take the time to register yourself today at

Following the discussion, participants are invited to a networking session. The first 5-10 start-ups are invited to our Ticat box for a one-on-one with funders in the evening. More details in the POST-TOUR EVENTS.


One James Street North, 2nd Floor, McMaster University, Downtown Hamilton, Ontario.




Machine learning group continues 2018 Yelp challenge


When: Saturday May 26th 2018 from 12:00pm – 5:00pm

Where: CoMotion on King at 115 King Street East, Hamilton, ON

Organizer: Hamilton Machine Learning Group



We’ll continue working on the 2018 Yelp Challenge as a team!

We started working on the challenege in March with a group of intermediate/advanced machine learners, but newcomers to the group are still very welcome as we could use more help! This is a larger project we will likely be working on for several weeks after this event, which may include more hacakathon-esque sessions. For those interested in catching up, we have collected some great CNN and RNN intro videos which we’ll send out before the event.

Food and drink will be provided!

This is an advanced workshop for machine learners who already have exprience with basics:

  • Python 3.x installed
  • Familiarity with Pandas and Numpy
  • Familiarity with neural networks

What you can expect to learn:

  • Natural Language Processing techniques
  • Convolutional/Recurrent neural network models
  • Keras/Pytorch/Tensorflow

Nokia and Amazon invest $4.3 million in Hamilton


Nokia Corp. and Inc. will piggyback off a recent Ontario investment in autonomous-vehicle-technology to help develop a tech-demonstration facility in Hamilton showcasing urban-development innovations and the capabilities of 5G wireless networks.


Over five years, Nokia will invest $3.3-million and Amazon Web Services, or AWS, will provide $1-million worth of resources and support for its cloud-based services to Hamilton’s Innovation Factory incubator and accelerator.


Ontario became the first province to allow on-road driverless-car testing, in 2016, and has seen rapid investment in the technology as both the private and public sectors race to grab a stake in the future of connected cities. The province earmarked $80-million last year for an autonomous-vehicle innovation network. This month it said it would invest in six “regional technology development sites” – including as much as $5-million for Hamilton and the Innovation Factory.

Read the full story on The Globe and Mail.


Upverter CEO Zak Homuth talks this Wednesday


When: Wednesday May 16th 2018 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Where: CoMotion on King at 115 King St East, Hamilton, ON

Organizer: Electronics Hamilton Meetup



The Upverter Journey: From Founding to Acquisition

Zak Homuth – Upverter CEO

I started my career as an in-the-trenches Software and Electrical Engineer doing everything from building web-apps through designing telecommunications server hardware. As a result I have a tremendous amount of experience as an engineer, but I don’t do much engineering anymore. When we started Upverter I gradually transitioned into a more executive role responsible for everything from recruiting, operations, management, product design, and strategy, to investor relations. Lately I’m focused on a blend of product, business and marketing strategy, senior management and product design at Altium the company that acquired Upverter.

At Altium I report to the CEO and am working closely with the executive team to recast Upverter and EE Concierge within Altium. We’re focused on a new type of customer since the acquisition and a new type of selling than we were doing before. I’m responsible for making sure those changes propagate throughout Upverter and into our products and services. Similarly the vision for Upverter and Altium has changed now that we are working together and I’m working closely with the CEO to craft that new vision, and the resulting strategic planning that comes as a result.

Before that, I founded Upverter and lead it through multiple funding rounds and expansion, attained profitability and negotiated the acquisition by Altium.

At Upverter I played the role of the classic startup CEO. I founded the company in a student residence based on my experience working as an electrical engineer at Sandvine. I was keeper of the vision and leader of the team. I designed the initial product, raised multiple rounds of funding, and hired the initial team. I lead the company to profitability and ultimately arranged and negotiated an acquisition by Altium an established public company in our market and our largest competitor.

I’ll tell the story of how that all came to pass, why we started Upverter, the good the bad, the ugly. As well as a demo of the Upverter design tool and how you can use it.


Hamilton awarded autonomous vehicle funding


TORONTO, May 2, 2018 – Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is pleased to announce that on behalf of the Ontario government we are accelerating innovative connected, and autonomous vehicle (C/AV) technologies, talent and capacity by providing funding to six Regional Technology Development Sites (RTDS) across the province as part of the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) project.

AVIN builds upon Ontario’s position as a globally-leading automotive manufacturing and supply jurisdiction and the large cluster of information and communication technology (ICT) companies operating in the province, allowing Ontario to reinforce its position as a North American leader in transformative automotive technologies, as well as transportation systems and supporting infrastructure.

“Innovative technologies push the envelope and that’s the goal of the AVIN — bridging state-of-the-art technology, advanced manufacturing, and talent to ensure Ontario’s small- and medium-sized enterprises fuel the evolution of automotive and smart mobility solutions while bringing improvements and efficiencies to Ontario’s transportation systems and the infrastructure that supports them,” said Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, OCE. “Ontario Centres of Excellence is proud to have a hand in delivering this Ontario government initiative as we work with industry, academia and other stakeholders to improve the way we get around, and position this province as a global leader in connected and automated vehicle technology.”

The creation of the six Regional Technology Development Sites (RTDS) will support and enable small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop, prototype, test and validate new technologies, access specialized equipment, and obtain technical and business advice.

“One of Ontario’s greatest innovation strengths is the vast range of expertise we have to offer, driven by our diverse economy and extensive university and college system,” said Reza Moridi, Minister of Research, Innovation and Science. “These six Regional Technology Development Sites harness our unique innovation talents across the province and will spur collaboration and discovery to enhance Ontario’s position as a leader in the next generation of mobility technologies.”

Each site will support the development of new technologies and will have a unique focus area:

  • Durham Region — human machine interface (HMI) and user experience. Partners: Spark Centre (part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs) in collaboration with the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT), UOIT’s Automotive Centre of Excellence (ACE), Durham College and the Region of Durham.
  • Hamilton Region — multimodal and integrated mobility. Partners: Innovation Factory (part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs) in collaboration with McMaster University, Mohawk College and the City of Hamilton.
  • Ottawa Region — vehicular networks and communications. Partners: Invest Ottawa (part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs) in collaboration with Carleton University, University of Ottawa, Algonquin College and the City of Ottawa.
  • Southwestern Ontario Region (London and Windsor) — vehicle cybersecurity and cross-border technologies. Partners: Windsor Essex Economic Development Corporation (WEEDC) and London Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) in collaboration with University of Windsor, University of Western Ontario, Fanshawe College, St. Clair College, City of Windsor, City of London and WETech Alliance and Tech Alliance (both part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs).
  • Toronto Region — artificial intelligence for connected and autonomous vehicles Partners: MaRS Discovery District (part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs) in collaboration with the University of Toronto, Ryerson University and York University.
  • Waterloo Region — high-definition (HD) mapping and localization. Partners: Communitech (part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs) in collaboration with the University of Waterloo, Waterloo Region Economic Development Corporation and Canada’s Open Data Exchange.

Funded by the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science, the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth and the Ministry of Transportation, AVIN brings together industry, academia and government to capitalize on the economic opportunities of connected and autonomous vehicles (C/AV), while supporting the province’s transportation systems and infrastructure in adapting to these emerging technologies.

“Long-term success in the global economy requires leading in the disruptive technologies that are revolutionizing the way we live, work and travel,” said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Economic Development and Growth. “That’s what the Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network does — it weaves together Ontario’s unique talents in automotive, high-tech and advanced manufacturing. The regional sites bring that collaboration to a new level as we zero-in on the specific technological advances the global mobility industry is looking for.”

In partnership with the province, OCE is administering the investment of $80 million over five years in AVIN, which comprises: Six Regional Technology Development Sites (up to $5M each); Demonstration Zone ($5M); AV Research and Development Partnership Fund ($30M); Talent Development Program ($5M); and, Central Hub ($10M).

“The potential of connected and automated vehicle technologies is enormous: reduced congestion; cleaner air; safer roads,” said Kathryn McGarry, Minister of Transportation. “Ontario saw the possibilities and moved quickly, back in 2016 becoming the first Canadian province to permit on-road testing of automated vehicles. Today is another example of our proactive approach to keep Ontario at the forefront of innovation that promotes emerging vehicles and transportation technologies.”

For more information, please visit:

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.
OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario’s global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario’s industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario’s Innovation Agenda as a member of the province’s Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs.

Media Contact:
Andrew Robertson
Manager, Media Relations
t: 416.861.1092 x 1092


BrĂĽha launches Promoter


Hamilton, ON., – April 30, 2018 – Local event technology startup Brüha launches Promoter, the world’s first solution that connects Event Organizers to local event Promoters who directly help them sell more tickets for a commission on every sale. Promoter is the latest feature integrated into the company’s event registration platform.

Since the company’s inception, Brüha’s focus has been around building community, and helping organizers solve their biggest issue today- low attendance at their events. “It’s evident there is a huge problem” says Graeme Davis, CEO of Brüha. “Ticket sales are averaging around forty percent for small to medium sized events, and just over fifty percent for larger events and festivals. The impacts are substantial as a large number of tickets are going unsold each year, and many local businesses are losing money which oftentimes results in them closing shop”.

Promoter is a new, exciting and innovative way for Event Organizers to extend their reach by leveraging networks of the promoters who are often well-connected. And for the Promoters, it is a way to earn money from selling tickets, connect with their local community and enjoy local events at a discounted rate- among many other benefits. Already, the company has seen an influx of sign-ups from bloggers, local businesses and individuals interested in becoming Promoters.

If you’re wondering how this new Promoter feature works, it’s actually quite simple. After listing their event with Brüha, Event Organizers have the ability to search through a list of active Promoters, vett each one personally based on interest and bios, set the commission structure on each ticket, and then send Promoters a request to hire them directly through the platform. Once Promoter(s) receive and accept the hiring request, it’s time to start selling tickets.

“Organizers are always looking for new and effective ways to make their event successful, Promoter makes this achievable” says Brüha’s Head of Growth, Kristian Borghesan. “We’re also providing a way for Promoters to earn cash for promoting local events and supporting the local economy. It’s a win-win situation.”

To learn more about BrĂĽha Promoter, visit

-Create Events. Sell More Tickets-


About BrĂĽha:

BrĂĽha is a Canadian-based event ticketing platform changing the way Event Organizers interact with their local community and manage their events. BrĂĽha is innovating the event industry with BrĂĽha Promoter.

Media Contact:

Kristian Borghesan

Co-Founder, Head of Growth & Marketing


The Big DiF on May 10th


When: Thursday May 10th 2018 from 6:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park at 175 Longwood Road South, Hamilton, ON

Organizer: Innovation Factory (@itbeginswithIF)



Please join iF on Thursday, May 10, 2018 for The Big DiF!

The Big DiF is Innovation Factory’s annual open house and client showcase.

The aim is to bring together the Hamilton community (and Hamilton supporters) to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation in our city, as well as recognize our partners who help make what we do at iF possible. We also use this as an opportunity to recognize one person who goes above and beyond for the community – an award we call the Mark Chamberlain DiFizen of the Year Award.

Join us for an evening of celebration! Network with our ecosystem and meet some of our up-and-coming innovators!

About Innovation Factory

Innovation Factory is a not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre, located in Hamilton, ON. We are committed to connecting and enabling active collaboration between the city’s communities of science, business, government, academia and finance to accelerate the innovation process and amplify economic and social impact of key new ideas and discoveries. Funded by the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), we are focused on strengthening the next generation of wealth and jobs generators.

Your entry to this event constitutes implied consent to be photographed and to have those photos published.


Talk on creating a WordCamp talk this Thursday


When: Thursday April 26th 2018 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm

Where: CoMotion on King at 115 King St East, Hamilton, ON

Organizer: Hamilton WordPress Meetup



This is a workshop for anyone who is thinking about speaking at WordPress events, such as WordPress Meetups and WordCamps. During this hands-on session, we’ll look at what has stopped you from speaking in the past — and explore how to move past your fears. We will discuss some common myths about public speaking, different talk formats, and we will focus on finding your areas of expertise (yes, you have areas of expertise!). We will brainstorm topics you can talk about at a WordCamp or other event.

Each participant will come out of the workshop with a WordCamp or Meetup talk idea — and more confidence to submit it.

The main purpose is to encourage those in underrepresented groups (LGBTQ+, Persons with Disabilities, Women in Tech, etc.) to submit talks and have our WordCamp and other events more representative of a community. While this meetup is targeted at these groups, it is open to anyone who needs help in coming up with a topic for their talk, a title and a pitch.

We’ll hopefully explore the actual talk specifics at a later date, but the deadline for WordCamp Hamilton’s Speaker Submissions is May 1, 2018!

You do NOT have to have any experience in public speaking. This workshop is for all levels of experience.

**This workshop is for you if:**

* You’ve thought about speaking at Meetup or WordCamp but haven’t been able to think of a topic
* You think you don’t know anything worth speaking about


* Why speak at WordPress events?
* Dispelling some myths about speakers/speaking
* Coming up with topics and choosing one
* Practice giving a short talk


* The venue has an elevator, and single stall washrooms for non-binary genders.
* Please do not wear scents. Many people are allergic to them.


Digital Transformation and the Intelligent Community seminar this Thursday


When: Thursday April 26th 2018 from 11:30am to 1:00pm

Where: Hamilton Technology Centre at 7 Innovation Drive, Dundas, ON

Organizer: Net Access (@NetAccessInc)




This seminar will explore what it means to be an intelligent community and how it will impact business for those working and living in Hamilton and the surrounding region.

Hamilton has been named to the Intelligent Community Forum’s Top7 intelligent communities in the world. Canada boasts 36 communities that have achieved one of the Intelligent Community Forum’s designations. Most will be likely competitors in Infrastructure Canada’s “Smart Cities Challenge” which is a pan-Canadian competition open to communities of all sizes, including municipalities, regional governments and Indigenous communities. In fact, cities and communities around the world are undergoing digital transformations that are affecting the ways we live, work, and play.

SPEAKER BIO – ROB McCANN, President of the Hamilton Technology Centre.

Rob McCann is the founder of Clearcable Networks and the President of the Hamilton Technology Centre. Rob represents Clearcable as an inaugural board member of The Intelligent Community Forum Canada, a member of the Seneca College Communications Advisory Committee, and previously has served as a Director with the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers Ontario Chapter, a contributor to the CRTC Interconnection Steering Committee, and a frequent keynote speaker at the Canadian Cable System Alliance, Canadian Independent Telephone Association, and National Cable Telephone Cooperative annual trade shows.

Rob’s active projects include work with ICF recognized Intelligent Communities by chairing the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Digital Infrastructure Working Group and providing technical insight to Sarnia’s Bluewater Regional Network. He was named the Canadian Independent Telephone Association’s 2016 Supplier of the Year and holds degrees in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and Economics from McMaster University.


GoWrench Auto raises $525,000


HAMILTON, ON, April 19, 2018 /CNW/ – Today, GoWrench Auto has announced a new funding raise of $525,000 CDN. Based in Hamilton, Ontario, GoWrench is a mobile automotive maintenance service that sends fully-vetted and certified mechanics directly to the customer, instead of the other way around.

GoWrench is currently available in over 45 cities across Canada, predominantly in Ontario and British Columbia. Key markets include Hamilton, Toronto, Ottawa, Kitchener-Waterloo, Vancouver, Burnaby, Langley, and more. The raise will be used by GoWrench to scale-up operations, onboard mechanics, and develop on its B2B and consumer-facing platform.

“GoWrench is shaking up the auto maintenance industry and this raise is a testament to how many people support our vision and crave a change in this space,” said Josh Lombardo-Bottema, CEO and founder of GoWrench. “What started out as a spur-of-the-moment idea when my vehicle broke down has resulted in saving people time. With this funding, we’re incredibly excited to get the opportunity to offer our service to more consumers across Canada.”

Notable GoWrench investors include: Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE); Good News Ventures; Lindsay Adamson, an executive sales and mindset coach; and Sameer Kochhar, the founder of password storage company Last Pass.

“Through the Market Readiness Program, OCE funds companies like GoWrench to assist with early-stage commercialization and growth,” said Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence. “The Customer Creation stream of the Market Readiness Program is designed to support companies looking to increase their customer base, and we are thrilled to see GoWrench do this by successfully disrupting in the automotive space.”

“At Good News Ventures, we back true grit entrepreneurs who are passionate, visionary and determined,” added Marat Mukhamedyarov, Managing Partner, Good News Ventures. “Josh has such qualities and we are excited to be on board with him to disrupt the automotive industry.”

GoWrench provides its fully-vetted, certified mechanics more autonomy when it comes to workflow and scheduling. GoWrench’s mechanics have more flexibility, more independence and more freedom to take on projects that they are interested in.

For more information or to use GoWrench, please visit

About GoWrench Auto

Based in Hamilton GoWrench Auto is a mobile automotive maintenance service that was started in early 2015. Customers request the service they need via the GoWrench platform and after receiving a quote, they can proceed with booking an appointment time for mechanics to complete the job.