Three of Sault Ste. Marie’s tech startups and future tech stars have been invited to showcase their businesses among Canada’s best and brightest minds in the technology industry at Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Discovery conference in Toronto from May 14 to 16. OCE Discovery is Canada’s premier innovation showcase which attracts more than 3,500 attendees and 500 exhibitors each year.
Heuristext, North Origin Games Inc., and Tokumei are companies are clients of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) and its YouLaunch division, a program responsible for promoting youth entrepreneurship for students and individuals ages 29 and under. This is the first time YouLaunch clients have been invited to showcase their innovations at OCE Discovery.
“Participating at OCE Discovery as an exhibitor or presenter is an honour for any technology based business, and having not just one, but three startup companies from Sault Ste. Marie representing our City in front of thousands of guests speaks volumes to the talent we have here and the exciting opportunity for growth in this sector,” said John Prgomet, Business Development Manager with the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre. “We are proud of Heuristext, North Origin Games and Tokumei and of their success thus far, and are happy to help in anyway we can through the Innovation Centre and our YouLaunch program.”
Heuristext, a Sault Ste. Marie based tech startup and for-profit social enterprise that makes online content easier for anyone to understand, is one of only five companies in Ontario invited to pitch in the Accessibility Tech Pitch Competition that focuses on accessibility and assistive technology, with a chance to win $20,000 to assist with further development of their accessibility solution. Each company will pitch their innovative product or service to the accessibility community and panel of judges, demonstrating how they are making a real difference by putting accessibility-focused innovation in their products. Heuristext is also one of 24 Ontario-based companies present at the Accessibility Innovation Showcase that focuses on improving accessibility, displaying their technology and networking with industry experts, investors, government funders, and the accessibility community.
“Being selected as one of only five companies in the province to compete in the Accessibility Tech Pitch Competition is a true honour. I am so thankful to the OCE Discovery team, especially Stacey Lines, and the ongoing support from the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre who have helped make this possible,” says Melissa Kargiannakis, Heuristext Founder and CEO, who will be located at Booth #1331 in the Accessibility Zone. “I cannot wait to connect with future users, clients, collaborators, and investors at OCE Discovery; all the while representing Sault Ste. Marie.”
North Origin Games Inc. and Tokumei will be showcasing their businesses and technology to potential investors, partners, government funders, and industry experts in the Youth Entrepreneurs Zone at OCE Discovery. North Origin Games is a Sault Ste. Marie based video game design studio focused on producing original content for the digital entertainment industry with an educational spin and Canadian twist, and Tokumei is a free, anonymous social networking platform.
“We are really hoping to network and build business relationships while at OCE Discovery because opportunities to meet others in our field is very limited in the Sault, but we’re working hard to change that. It will be a great chance to show our products on a national stage and get valued feedback to better define our brand moving forward,” says Joshua Richards, President of North Origin Games, who will be present at OCE Discovery in Booth #Y19 located in the Youth Entrepreneurs Zone.
“Kyle and I are really excited to share our software product, Tokumei: an anonymous social networking platform, with the wider audience of business professionals, investors, and engineers that will be at OCE Discovery. We believe that Tokumei can change the way people use social media, and are excited to see what the conference can bring to the table — be that criticism, investment, advertising, or anything else,” says Keefer Rourke, co-founder at Tokumei, who is located at Booth #Y17 in the Youth Entrepreneurs Zone. “We see our place at Discovery as an excellent first opportunity to branch our software into the world of business, and can’t wait to see what’s in store.”