The team from Nvest was among the U of T startups showcasing innovative technologies at the OCE event (photo by Stephanie Lennox)

Startup world: U of T entrepreneurs take their companies to OCE Discovery conference

University of Toronto entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors showed off their startups at the Ontario Centres of Excellence Discovery conference April 27 and 28 – making connections and sharing best practices for Toronto-based companies in the global economy.

“It was a great opportunity to really see the full impact of U of T on the provincial landscape,” said Karen Sievewright of U of T’s Banting & Best Centre for Innovation & Entrepreneurship. “Every corner I turned there was a U of T innovator or organization or entrepreneur and a lot of the featured technologies and successes – I’d say the majority – were also associated with U of T.”

Mario Grech of the department of computer science said the event was a great opportunity to showcase the department’s new entrepreneurship accelerator known as DCSIL to partners in industry, academia, government and the investment community.

“We want to work with the brightest and most disruptive innovators whatever the source and OCE Discovery is the place to tell that inclusive story,” Grech said.

Over the two days, more than 50 members of U of T’s entrepreneurship and accelerator community took part in the conference, said Sievewright.

“It was really good to see what our influence is on the province and the innovation economy of the province. A lot of our companies like ChipCare were being claimed by other organizations which again is flattering because it’s a testament to the amount of activity we have going on.”

For U of T startup Lunanos, the annual event is a must-attend, said Scott McAuley.

"Discovery always provides an opportunity to see the breadth of new companies being developed in Ontario. Lunanos has greatly benefited from a variety of OCE programs and Discovery provides a chance for us to network with academia, government and industry all under one roof."

Among the U of T startups featured at the OCE Discovery Conference were:

With peanut allergies on the rise, this startup wants to eliminate the anxiety felt by those affected and ensure that peanut and other allergen residues are properly removed from surfaces. AllergenFree is developing a gentle product that removes trace peanut allergens from tables and other surfaces, making restaurant tables, desks and other public places safe.

Blue J Legal
This team is developing a virtual tax-law advisor.

This startup is developing a social media platform where users annotate images.

Echofos Medical
This startup is developing a diagnostic tool that utilizes sound waves to detect tumour cells in a patient's blood sample. 

This startup is developing a system of corporate vehicle fleets using fuel cells.

ICE3 Power Technologies Inc.
This startup is developing a universal charger for portable devices.
This company's app instantly shows the nearest healthcare options - including hours and contact information for nearby clinics, pharmacies and hospitals through a smartphone and online platform that simplifies the search for same-day health care.

Lunanos Inc.
This startup seeks to reduce incidence of hospital-acquired infections with a reusable sticker that changes colour to show when it’s recently been disinfected


Mapian Mobile Technology Inc.
A platform to crowd-source community news.

Helping surgeons transform technology ideas into simple and affordable medical devices for communities around the world through engineering and product development services.

Nvest Inc.
Nvest combines stock recommendations with a platform for user comments, a “like”-style endorsement button and other social feedback options to assess a recommender’s reputation and consistency.

Onyx Motion Inc.
This free Android-wear smartphone app is made for basketball enthusiasts looking to track and improve their shot. SWISH records the shot and offers tips on focus, technique and more, with information sourced from real coaches.

Pueblo Science
Science literacy startup that recently celebrated its fifth anniversary and its newly designated charity status.

Sense Intelligent Inc.
A non-invasive, cost affordable and intuitive technology to help the hard-of-hearing.

Sojourn Labs
Sojourn Labs is developing a hybrid car-bike and other transportation solutions that focus on healthy, green and convenient vehicles for urban life.

Sound Options Tinnitus Treatments
Improving life for those with tinnitus.

Syncadian Inc.
Helping travellers and shift workers manage fatigue.

Brianna Goldberg writes about entrepreneurship and produces The Cities Podcast for U of T News.

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