On July 6, INFINITI LAB Toronto announced that SmartTones had been fast-tracked to INFINITI’s Global Accelerator program, taking place in Hong Kong this September.
INFINITI LAB Toronto is a Smart Cities and Internet of Things (IoT) accelerator driven by premium car brand INFINITI Motor Company, while SmartTones is a Canadian-based start-up that operates a platform that can accurately measure broadcast audiences in real-time.
Brisk Synergies, an automated video analytics solution that helps transportation authorities to identify traffic patterns and avoid road safety problems, has also been invited to pitch for entry to the global program.
At the event, each of this year’s nine participating startups pitched their businesses to a panel of investors, including Adam Paterson, Managing Director of INFINITI Canada, Darren Plested, Head of Business Development at INFINITI LAB, Alain Ballu, President of Nissan Canada Financial Services, Brian Kobus, Partner at OMERS Ventures and Jean-Christophe Lebarre, Innovation and Partnerships Director at Alliance Ventures.
The announcement follows the release of a new report from INFINITI LAB Toronto, focusing on Canadians’ expectations of smart city and automotive technologies. The report found that 66 per cent of Canadians are most looking forward to the cost savings associated with smart cities, while 57 per cent are optimistic about enhanced safety. Furthermore, 50 per cent, are excited for the decreased environmental impact as a result of innovative smart city solutions. When it came to new automotive technology in particular, the report found that 29 per cent of Canadians believe increased road safety will be the main benefit.
“The report reinforced our decision to select SmartTones to progress to our global accelerator. SmartTones demonstrated its product has the potential to connect and enhance communications while empowering individuals with tailored experiences saving time and money. The upcoming Hong Kong program will support to accelerate its success,” said Adam Paterson, Managing Director of INFINITI Canada. “We wish the best of luck to each of the startups and founders that participated in the 2018 cohort as they continue to develop cutting edge solutions designed to make our cities smarter and the lives of those around us easier.”
As a participant in INFINITI LAB’s three-month global program in Hong Kong, SmartTones will receive further mentorship opportunities across the full business spectrum as well as the opportunity to connect with Asia’s investors. The global program places a critical focus on its’ startups’ growth and includes one-on-one mentorship from INFINITI’s executive team and experts in brand, digital, product and network transformation. The Hong Kong program will welcome its fourth cohort in September of this year.
“I’m thrilled that SmartTones was given the opportunity to move on to the INFINITI LAB Hong Kong accelerator,” said Daryl Hemingway, CEO and Founder of SmartTones Media. “The Toronto LAB has been an incredible opportunity for us and we believe that Canadians are eager for more meaningful and rewarding ways to interact with the brands they love and trust. I look forward to learning from and collaborating with the INFINITI global team and to bringing that innovation and expertise back to Canada.”