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.


Flyte Studios receives $50k in funding from ODX Ventures


Editor’s Note: Hamilton’s own Flyte Studios was part of this funding announcement – way to go!


Waterloo, Ontario – Canada’s Open Data Exchange (ODX) has launched their second investment into the Ontario startup ecosystem through the ODX Ventures program. Through a planned $438,000 investment into 10 Ontario-based companies, the program aims to accelerate data-focused projects which have traditionally struggled to secure funding.

ODX Ventures is a non-repayable contribution of $50,000 that is applied to projects involving the commercialization of open data. ODX is focused on companies who use open data to create a product or service.

Ten companies out of over 80 high-quality applications were chosen to participate in the program’s second cohort, and include: Apply BoardBorealis WindSurgically Clean AirFlyteFocus21IntellizenceKnowledgehookSherpaTabnex, and Ukko Agro.

“We’ve seen huge growth in the number of Canadian companies using open data in their projects. More and more entrepreneurs are capitalizing on using open data to create better products and services. Because of this, it is imperative we support them with resources they might not otherwise have access to,” said Kevin Tuer, Managing Director, ODX. “ODX Ventures has one clear mission: get resources into the hands of those who can use it to accelerate their ideas, and ultimately help Canadian companies compete on a global stage.”

In December 2016, the first ODX Ventures cohort included $400,000 worth of investment across eight startups, and to date, has led to 26 unique contractors developing work in the open data space.

The ODX Ventures program enabled us to invest in the development of a piece of technology that we knew the market needed, but wasn’t willing to purchase until a working prototype was deployed,” said Bryan Smith, CEO of ThinkData Works, who participated in the program’s first cohort. “Open Data is a very new sector with fresh problems and solutions. ODX Venture funding allowed us to build out what we knew was needed to get large corporate clients to start investing in public data.

For more information please contact:

Samantha Clark
Manager, Public Relations, Communitech

About Open Data Exchange

ODX is a public-private-academic partnership based in Waterloo Region serving all of Canada. The initiative presents an opportunity for entrepreneurs to multi-national companies to be a global leader in the commercialization of open data. Founding partners include University of WaterlooD2L (Desire2Learn), CDMN (Canadian Digital Media Network), OpenTextand Communitech — with funds matched by the Government of Canada.


Mariner Endosurgery receives funding


HAMILTON, ON–(Marketwired – January 12, 2017) – Mariner Endosurgery, an innovative Canadian medical device company announced today the recent completion of an investment round led by several prominent medical device investors and leading laparoscopic surgeons from the Toronto – Hamilton area. Terms of the financing were not disclosed.

“We are very pleased with the strategic investors now on board with Mariner Endosurgery,” said Mitch Wilson, President & COO of Mariner Endosurgery. “Surgeons are excited about our innovative product pipeline, and today’s funding represents a significant step towards commercialization of our LaparoGuard technology. Mariner’s computer-assisted platform provides augmented visualization for surgeons during minimally invasive general, gynecological and urological surgical procedures.”

About Mariner Endosurgery Inc.

Founded in 2016, Mariner Endosurgery Inc. develops and commercializes innovative computer assisted medical devices for future-facing laparoscopic surgeries. Their platform LaparoGuard is a novel soft-tissue surgical navigation platform that augments visualization during laparoscopic surgeries, enhancing the safety profile of laparoscopic surgery to assist surgeons in delivering a superior quality of care to their patients.

Mitch Wilson


Editor’s note: The Forge is hosting a “startup story” talk by Mariner Endosurgery COO Mitch Wilson on Thurs. Jan. 26th.


Cinnos raises $2.3 million


HAMILTON, Ontario, Dec. 19, 2016 — Cinnos MCI, the Hamilton-based high-tech start-up that introduced the world’s first data centre appliance to the global market, announced today that it successfully raised over $2.3 million in equity financing from the community of angel investors in the Hamilton, Burlington and the Greater Toronto Area, as well as Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) through its Market Readiness Company Building (MRCB) program. The financing was led by the Burlington-based Angel One Investor Network, one of the most active angel groups in Canada. The funds raised will provide the capital for Cinnos to build its next generation of the Mission Critical X (MCX), and fund its global expansion.

“Our MCX brings unprecedented economic and environmental efficiencies to the $170 billion data centre industry, and we intend to use this funding to capitalize fully on our unique and proprietary technology,” said Hussam Haroun, Cinnos CEO and co-founder.

“We thought we would need to syndicate outside of Angel One to deliver the $1 million of funding Cinnos was seeking,” said Karen Grant, Executive Director of Angel One. “But by the time our due diligence was completed, our members delivered over $1 million all by themselves. I received calls from Angel One members who missed the first round, and we had strong interest from our friends at Maple Leaf Angels and York Angel Investors. Rather than leave anyone out, we went back to Cinnos and asked if they would consider increasing the round to $2 million. And they did.”

“The Market Readiness Company Building program is designed to assist companies like Cinnos scale up, and advance their early-stage commercialization efforts,” said Dr. Tom Corr, OCE’s President and CEO. “Companies like Cinnos illustrate how the programs at OCE can help innovators capitalize on Ontario’s first-class academic institutions, and support local innovation in the global marketplace through strategic investment at critical stages in their growth.”

“This is a watershed event for the innovation ecosystem in the Hamilton region. I was really impressed by Karen’s professionalism and her fantastic due diligence team,” said Dr. Lotfi Belkhir, Chairman of the Board of Cinnos, and Associate Professor at the W Booth School of Engineering Practice & Technology at McMaster University. “What fills me with pride is the visionary leadership of Hussam Haroun, and how he was able to translate the learning experience he received from our Master’s in Engineering, Entrepreneurship and Innovation (MEEI) at the W Booth into one of the most promising start-ups in the Greater Toronto Area.”


About Cinnos

Cinnos has developed and commercialized the world’s first data centre appliance that enables immediate deployment and a pay-as-you-grow model for data centre providers. Furthermore, thanks to its proprietary modular design, The Cinnos Smart MCX™ enables immediate deployment of data centres for a fraction of the cost of traditional mission critical facilities (MCF), hence accelerating revenues and bringing dramatically higher ROI to our customers as compared with the traditional construction-based MCF. Founded by Hussam Haroun in June 2015 following his graduation from McMaster MEEI program, Cinnos achieved breakeven in less than twelve (12) months of operations. For more information, please visit

Cinnos Media Contact:
Brook Azezew
t: 416.270.7807


About Angel One Investor Network

Angel One Network Inc. is a not-for-profit organization with 90+ high net worth members who live, work or have strong interests in Southern Ontario. In the 5 years since Angel One’s inception, its members have invested over $22 million in 84 rounds into 52 companies. In 2016 alone, Angel One members have invested $4.36 million into 10 companies as of October 15, 2016. Angel One members have also realized success from three successful exits that delivered a blended annualized return of 69%.

Angel One Media Contact:
Karen Grant
T: 905.308.4969


About Ontario Centres of Excellence

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 Excellence (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.

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


Hangry awarded $125,000 OCE grant



Lion’s Lair alumnus and Forge company Hangry has been awarded $125,000 from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) through the government-funded Market Readiness Customer Creation Program (MRCC).

Hangry is a mobile app that allows students to “skip the line” by pre-ordering and paying for food on campus. Hangry is fully integrated with on-campus food services and student meal plans at 8 Canadian post-secondary institutions, allowing food services to improve the student experience and increase sales.

In addition to winning the MRCC grant, Hangry has recently been accepted into the L-SPARK Fall 2016 Accelerator program!


iLunch Hamilton: Specialized Financing Models for the Digital Media Industry

ilunch (1)


iLunch Hamilton: Specialized Financing Models for the Digital Media Industry

March 2, 2016
Innovation Factory (175 Longwood Road South, #101a, Hamilton)
Register free below

iLunch is a monthly lunch-and-learn series that provides skills development and networking to interactive digital media producers and those in other sectors wishing to learn more or collaborate with IDM creators.

Each session includes lunch, a panel discussion, Q&A and networking time. Please note that the doors open for this iLunch at 12:00pm.

iLunch Hamilton Session Details

Wondering how to access specialized financing for IDM? Find out how IDM production companies are combining funding options from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Export Development Canada (EDC) and the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC).

To bring this fascinating ecosystem to life, Shane Lee of BDC, Shannon McLuhan of EDC and Tanya Lahiri of RBC will be sharing case studies for both early stage companies and more mature ones. Moderated by Mark Edwards of Edwards PC, Creative Law, this is a must-attend event for any IDM producer looking to grow their business; whether you’re still looking forward to revenue or already established with business deals inside and outside of Canada!

Mark Edwards of Edwards PC, Creative Law

•Tanya Lahiri – Senior Relationship Manager, Media & Entertainment, Royal Bank of Canada
•Shannon McLuhan – Senior Account Manager, Small Business Solutions, Export Development Canada
•Shane Lee – Account Manager, Acquisition, Business Development Bank of Canada


12:00-12:30pm: Arrivals + Lunch

12:30-1:30pm: Panelist discussion

1:30-2:00pm: Q & A

Register here:

Angel One Founders and Funders Celebration 2015



When: Thursday June 18th 2015 from 7:00pm to 10:00pm

Where: DeGroote School of Business: Ron Joyce Centre @ 4350 South Service Rd Burlington, Ontario

Organizer: Angel One



Please join Angel One Network for its third annual Founders and Funders Celebration. The evening is an opportunity to meet with and learn more about Angel One’s members and their investee companies. Come out and help us celebrate the winners of the Pauli Awards for Founder of the Year, Funder of the Year and Contributor of the Year!

As Angel One’s only event open to the public, we hope you will join us for this celebration of partnership and entrepreneurial spirit.

Our program includes:

7:00pm: The Great Hall Opens for Registration and Networking

8:00pm: Auditorium: Formal Program and Pauli Awards Ceremony

9:00pm: The Great Hall: Networking and Investee Showcase

10:00pm: Thank you for joining us and safe drive home!

We look forward to seeing you at this event! To attend, you must register below.

You are more than welcome to bring guests. We would ask that they register separately so please share this invitation with them.

If you know of anyone else that would be interested, please share with them too!

Parking is free! Carpooling is always a great idea!


Dragon of Legends live on Square Enix Indie Collective



For the past year Thrive Games have been working without any external funding in The Forge on a digital media project called Dragon of Legends, and now have a fantastic opportunity to bring their product and company to the next level – but need your help to do so.

Earlier this year, Thrive got in contact with the world renown developer and publisher, Square Enix, and learned about a pre-crowdfunding platform that they host known as the Square Enix Indie Collective. Pitches are submitted to their website and the community is asked to vote if they would or wouldn’t support a project on a crowdfunding service. This portion of the service is free, but if a project receives a substantial amount of votes and interest at this stage the publisher may offer up their PR contacts and mailing lists to further support the project through a crowdfunding campaign for 5% of the net gains.

Why is this so important?

This platform has had several success stories for several retro inspired games similar in style to what Thrive is working on, and some of their most successful games are from studios based in Toronto.

Halcyon 6 – 187k

Moon Hunters – 178k

Tokyo Dark – 130k+

The concept for the Collective platform is quite new, and there have only been a handful of success stories so far. Currently there are no other products with the amount of features and quality that Thrive brings to the table, so it is the ideal time to release something on their service before the platform gets oversaturated or considered passe by the public.

Thrive released their pitch page on May 25, and the voting period will last for 28-days. They are already one of the most popular projects on the site, but now need your help to secure that top spot – proving to the publisher that they are truly worth supporting!

Click on the link below and vote, comment, and help spread the word!


Interactive Ontario OIDMTC Post-budget Townhall



In this year’s provincial budget, the government released changes to the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit. Please join us at an important townhall meeting on May 28 to discuss these changes, which include updated eligibility requirements. As well, the OMDC will offer initial information about the renewed Interactive Digital Media Fund.

Due to overwhelming demand for Interactive Ontario (IO) OIDMTC Post-budget Townhall, they have added a webinar option. Webinar participants will be able to follow along with the presentations and submit questions to the moderator.

In this year’s provincial budget, the government released changes to the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit. The townhall will discuss these changes, which include updated eligibility requirements. As well, the OMDC will offer initial information about the renewed Interactive Digital Media Fund.

OIDMTC Post-Budget Townhall

May 28, 2015

333 Bay Street
Toronto, ON M5H 2S5 – 46th Floor

tickets sold out

Webinar: 5:00-6:30pm

Register here for your free webinar ticket
(details on how to access the webinar will be sent to registrants next week).…

Guest speakers:

Jennifer Blitz, Director of Tax Credits and Financing
Programs – OMDC

Kristine Murphy, Director, Industry Development –

Co-hosted by Interactive Ontario (IO) in partnership with KPMG, CMPA


i-ON Regions Niagara-Hamilton


Join Interactive Ontario on February 12th at Keyframe Digital in St. Catharines as we bring i-ON Regions, a free one-day seminar focused on IDM tax credits and special funding programs, to your neighbourhood. Limited seating available.

Whether creating video games, transmedia, e‑Learning, web series, mobile content or other IDM products, the challenge of obtaining financing is by far the most common barrier to the growth of Ontario’s IDM companies. Are you aware of the tax incentives that are available such as the Ontario Interactive Digital Media Tax Credit (OIDMTC) at a rate of up to 40% and the Federal Scientific Research & Experimental Development Tax Credit (SR&ED) at a rate of up to 35%? Is your company taking advantage of these incentives?

At the second session, explore the various funding programs available to interactive media companies and learn tips and tricks that will ensure you’re submitting an air-tight application. Program administrators from the Ontario Media Development Corporation, the Canada Media Fund and the Bell Fund will be on hand to offer advice.

Join us for an in-depth and interactive discussion and analysis of these financing options, including the types of activities that they are intended to support and the impact it can have on your business.


Event Format:

  • 9:30am – 10:00 am – Networking Breakfast
  • 10:00am to 11:30 am – "Tax Credits IDM Creators Can’t Afford to Ignore" Panel with Q&A
  • 11:30am to 12:00 pm – Networking Coffee Break
  • 12:00pm to 1:30 pm – Funding Information Session
  • 1:30pm to 2:30 pm – Networking Lunch

Presenting Partners

Event Partners

Interactive Ontario (IO) is a not-for-profit industry trade organization committed to the growth of the Ontario interactive digital content industry. To this end IO is an industry advocate within Ontario and nationally as a founding member of the Canadian Interactive Alliance /Alliance interactive canadienne (CIAIC).

IO represents over 290 interactive digital media companies covering a range of sectors including: e-Learning, video/online games, mobile, television, and social media. IO also works with many interactive digital media stakeholders including those working in marketing, law, accounting services, research and academia.