Success Story 1 - Tapplock Corp. - Gain access to powerful Supply Chain in China
Tapplock is a security technology firm in the IoT industry. In 2015, it introduced the world's first smart fingerprint padlock. At the event of TechTO, Tapplock got to know the Sci Innovation Centre aiming for entrepreneurs. At that time, Tapplock was thinking about where to select manufacturers for its prototype and production. Considering China as the world factory and Shenzhen specializing in electronic elements and devices supply, Michael Wang, one of the Co-Founders of Tapplock, thought it would be a good opportunity to explore Shenzhen, China and decided to register for the Competition. Because of its business acumen, and well-prepared presentation by Michael, Tapplock gained the First Cash-Prize in the Toronto Competition and was qualified to participate in the Industrial Finals in Shenzhen on the Final day, 18th March 2017. With the help of Sci Innovation Centre, Tapplock finalized its raw-material suppliers and manufacturers in Shenzhen, China. During the Finals in Shenzhen, Michael visited their factories and was convinced that it would be secured and cost-saving to put production in Shenzhen. Now Tapplock products are sold on many of the major e-commerce platforms, such as Amazon, eBay, Staples.
Interview with Michael, Co-Founder and CEO of Tapplock
"It's a top-level competition that was organized professionally. The judges were experienced veterans of various industries and provided insightful advice. The complimentary pitch training session with mentors was helpful. It shed light on what VCs see in a pitch and how to tactically present to grab their attention. I also got to meet fantastic entrepreneurs from Toronto and around the world, and having driven, resourceful and fun people around is one of the best assets to have. Apart from the prize-money, we were also introduced to VCs and industry experts who gave us invaluable guidance on supply chain in China. The event was covered by many mainstream media, which gave Tapplock great exposure and coverage. I was genuinely impressed."
Success Story 2 - FlexCap Energy - Decided to setup a permanent office in China
FlexCap Energy, second place winner of Sci Innovation Competition, is committed in delivering flexible, top performance, high quality, lightweight energy storage solutions for its customers. It develops and manufactures small-scale flexible thin-film supercapacitors and alkaline batteries. For FlexCap, it was never about the cash prizes only. It was about networking, learning and improving its product strategies, which it has been able to achieve with the Competition. The organizer, Sci Innovation Centre, spent a lot of time and effort in organizing business networking, pitch practice sessions, and other events that allowed participants to be better informed with regards to their market landscape and potential collaborators. Participants were also able to form close relationships with several companies from the sessions, benefiting them in strengthening their product offerings as well as expanding their customer networks. Sci Innovation Centre has been actively helping participating companies not only during the Competition, but also after the Competition with business-related tasks and recommendations. FlexCap was invited to Shenzhen after the Competition to visit the potential sites for establishing a new entity in Shenzhen with better reach into the China's technology market. The introduction visit was exceptionally helpful for them to decide where to locate their commercialization platform in China.
Interview with Nazanin Khalili, Technical Director of FlexCap
"The competition was organized extremely well and the judging panel was also professional and fair. I've had the pleasure in interacting with many people like myself in the start-up business, as well as established entrepreneurs with great experience and exceptional expertise in their fields. It was a great learning experience for all the teams in shaping their pitch, investor presentations, as well as business proposals. I've been lucky to be selected to participate in the final competition and it was a great experience in that I was not only representing my company, but also the start-up ecosystem of Canada as a whole. It was an exceptional rewarding experience for me.
Success Story 3 - BOCO Technology Inc. - Reach new partnerships in China
BOCO Technology Inc. is a world leader in the commercial development of chitin nanowhiskers, and delivers all the benefits of traditional nanotechnology without health and environmental drawbacks. Although it's a leader in its industry, it is not well known by common people. That's why Aaron Guan, the General Manager of BOCO, decided to participate in the Sci Innovation Competition. BOCO, 3rd prize winner, made its way to participate in the Industrial Finals in Shenzhen. After the Competition, Aaron has got the impression that China in general and Shenzhen in particular take innovation and entrepreneurship very seriously. This is clearly evident from the budgets and resources the Competition put forward to ensure everything run as smoothly as possible both in Canada and in China. The most unforgettable part was how the organizers were able to bring together thousands of projects all over the world under one roof, and still provide the individual attention and advice directly relevant to each participant. The organizer directly connects BOCO with investors and most importantly provide them with the platform to showcase their work.
Interview with Aaron Guan General Manager, BOCO Technology Inc.
"My key takeaway here is that China in general and Shenzhen in particular takes innovation and entrepreneurship very seriously. This is clearly evident from the budget and resources they have put forward to ensure the competition is run as smoothly as possible both in Canada and in China. What impressed me the most is how they were able to bring together thousands of projects all over the world under one roof, and still provide the individual attention and advice directly relevant to each participant/project. They focus on a few key areas such as clean tech, IT, biomedical sector and materials & advanced manufacturing. They were able to find industry experts to act as coaches for the founders, they were able to directly connect us with investors and funding sources applicable to the startups, and most importantly providing us with the platform to showcase our work. In this day and age, China is not a market that any company should miss. This Innovation & Entrepreneurship International Competition is a fantastic bridge for Canadian companies to understand the Chinese market and the resources available to help them get there. BOCO has already benefited from our participation. We have built a number of partnerships in China as a result and we have already drafted plans to expand our operation to China. There are many resources that Canadian companies can tap into in China, be it funding, policy or infrastructure support. And a market of 1.4 Billion people is not to be missed. Sci Innovation Center would be a great partner for Canadian startups to start with, and the prize money from the competition doesn't hurt either."
Success Story 4 - Conavi medical -- Raise C$2M in 3 months
Conavi was founded in 2007 by a team of doctors and researchers at Sunnybrook Hospital, which is a large research hospital in Toronto, Canada. It is now a commercial stage company. Their products have been cleared by the FDA, and is currently being sold in North America. We have distribution agreements with large, publicly traded partners in China and Japan. Conavi Medical has built an advanced manufacturing facility that is ISO certified. It has access to world-class infrastructure through an ongoing research and commercial relationship with Sunnybrook Hospital. Sunnybrook, as a strategic has one of the leading global centers for conducting research in image guidance. This has allowed Conavi to not only build a large patent portfolio, but also acquire specialized expertise in manufacturing miniaturized, high-frequency ultrasound and optics. Conavi Medical won a silver prize in the Biology & Life Sciences sector. Not only was it awarded C$140K as a prize but it also attracted over C$2M in investment within 3 months. Its innovation technology to help endoscopic surgeons caught the attention of investors world-wide.
Interview with Stefano E. Picone, CFO, Conavi Media Inc.
Our goal is to achieve $75 mil USD in revenues by 2020, which represents less than 10% of the current market.In order to achieve this, we anticipate needing an additional $25 mil USD in financing over the next 36 months, and the major use of proceeds will be to scale sales and manufacturing.Beyond our first two products, we have a rich product pipeline including technologies applicable to procedures other than cardiology, however, our near-term focus is the commercial success of our Foresight ICE and Novasight Hybrid system. We are intent on building a world-class medical device company, and we are grateful and appreciative for the support of all our partners, including Sci Innovation Centre and the competition, for their help to date.