L-SPARK, a new Ottawa-based business accelerator, has opened its application process and will be accepting its first entrepreneurs at its launch later this year. L-SPARK is a partnership between Wesley Clover, Invest Ottawa, and Terry Matthews.
New Incubator and Accelerator “L-SPARK” Launches
September 2nd, 2014, OTTAWA – Ottawa is officially home to a new Incubator and Accelerator, with plans to bring the world’s brightest minds in Enterprise Software to the nation’s capital. L-SPARK, a partnership between Wesley Clover International and Invest Ottawa, opened the application process to its first Accelerator session this morning.
“Unlike many other Incubators and Accelerators, our sessions are unique because we focus solely on entrepreneurs who have a concept or product designed for existing and emerging enterprises, such as companies migrating to the cloud, companies using the software as a service (SaaS) business model and companies exploiting the move to virtualization in all aspects of running their business,” says Leo Lax, Managing Director, L-SPARK.
L-SPARK is also unique in that it builds businesses rather than just enabling them. L-SPARK does not provide a one-time injection of money accompanied by a three or four month sprint. In fact, its Accelerator, for example, is nine months long and actually allows for up to $360,000 in funding injections. This provides the startups with the capital they need to push their products further, and it validates L-SPARK’s commitment to creating stand-alone companies that truly appeal to institutional investors by the time they graduate from the Accelerator.
“Ottawa has a lot of talented entrepreneurs building Enterprise Software, and I think L-SPARK is just what they’ve been waiting for. This Accelerator and Incubator is going to provide them with expertise and mentorship from corporations and investors all over the region. L-SPARK is truly going to fuel the creation of next-generation Enterprise Software companies, and continue building Ottawa’s reputation as a hotbed for innovation,” says Harley Finkelstein, CPO of Shopify, and an advisor at L-SPARK.
L-SPARK management will leverage their extensive experience and contacts to bring together a powerful team of mentors, business advisors, and, ultimately, sector-focused venture capital firms and angel investors. L-SPARK will also look to exploit the longstanding reputation of technological innovation and talent in the Eastern Ontario region to attract local and remote participants to its Accelerator.
“Eastern Ontario has a tradition of technology entrepreneurship and an established ecosystem that includes leading corporations in the Enterprise Software industry as well as a thriving talent pool from local academic institutions. L-SPARK will provide a world-class Incubator and Accelerator to leverage this environment, and provide unparalleled mentorship,” says Bruce Lazenby, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa.
Following the Accelerator application process, the top candidates will be selected by an experienced committee and brought to Ottawa in October, where they will present their ideas at a “Pitchfest” to battle it out for one of the six spots available.
“L-SPARK is a Canadian venture focused on supporting and growing technology companies in the ICT sector with young entrepreneurs and seasoned mentors. I am delighted to put my support behind the venture which will drive new Incubator and Accelerator programs,” says Terry Matthews, Chairman, Wesley Clover International. “The programs have unique attributes to lever links with partner executives and companies. The links lead to new businesses driven by known client requirements. I feel sure that L-SPARK will generate many successful technology companies in our society and play a key role in the Canadian entrepreneurial landscape. I am very pleased to be a partner in the L-SPARK venture.”
L-SPARK’s first Incubator session is set to launch later this year.
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.