Quebec City Dubuc Motors eco sports car takes on Tesla

Dubuc Motors is creating a new generation of luxurious and eco-friendly supercars. The company’s first car, the Tomahawk, will revolutionize the car industry as the first all-electric 2+2 sports car with a long range. Dubuc Motors’ innovators, robust technical team and seamless software unite to make the American automotive industry rule the roads again.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?
The company was co-founded by Mike Kakogiannakis and Mario Dubuc, beginning market research and product design on the Tomahawk in 2004. Built out of a passion for cars, Dubuc Motors aims to build a car that is green, beautiful, luxurious and comfortable for many different build models. Mario’s extensive engineering experience leads the Tomahawk to be built more like a machine than a car. As such, the company has advisors that specialize in tech and entrepreneurship rather than seasoned auto industry veterans.

How are you being financed?
Dubuc Motors has been fully self-funded to date. Pending the approval of our Title IV filing with the SEC, our Testing The Waters (TTW) StartEngine campaign will go live and we will begin our equity raise. The TTW campaign has raised more than $6 million in reservations and we look forward to working with our community to debut the Tomahawk in 2018.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?
Time is the most precious commodity in life and also our biggest obstacle moving ahead. We intend to start production in 2018, so every minute counts!

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?
Having engaged and worked with colleges and universities on projects in the past, we have the privilege of building good relationships with many and are often recommended the brightest minds right out of college. We are fortunate to gather talented people who are passionate in our space and love our product. We also receive a great number of CV’s and presentations.

Who is your biggest competition?
Rather than competitors, we see ourselves as completing the current Tesla line. We offer more range with a sports car design and offer comfortable seating for drivers up to 6’5″ which is uncommon for a sports car. Other 2+2 seater sports cars don’t have an eco-friendly component, which makes the Tomahawk truly unique.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?
Being in the automotive space – more precisely the luxury car industry – we expect to generate millions of dollars in revenue selling our Tomahawk sports car. The retail price is in the hundreds of thousands of dollars and we anticipate the demand will be phenomenal.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project?
Don’t take advice from someone you’re not willing to trade places with. As entrepreneurs, we get caught up in this world of over populated information and it’s crucial to discern and evaluate the valuable intel. We constantly strive to learn from titans in all industries and study their habits more so today than ever before.


Want to reserve your car?  Reserve it here:

Toronto Exact Imaging, micro ultrasound system, secures CDN $21.5m in funding

Exact Imaging secures CDN $21.5 Million in financing to support the commercialization of Its new disruptive ExactVu™ Micro-Ultrasound for prostate imaging and biopsy.

Exact Imaging, the world’s leader in high resolution micro-ultrasound systems enabling real-time imaging and biopsy guidance for the prostate, announced it has secured CDN $21.5 million in a Series C investment to commercialize its ExactVu™ micro-ultrasound system. The financing, which closed late in 2016, was co-led by Lumira Capital (Toronto, ON) and Vesalius Biocapital (Luxembourg) with participation from numerous new investors including PMV (Participatiemaatschappij Vlaanderen) (Brussels, Belgium) and strong support from existing investors including iGan Partners/Rowanwood Ventures (Toronto, ON).

Watch Dr. Gregg Eure, M.D., F.A.C.S. Urology of Virginia talk about Exact Imaging micro-ultrasound system:

The company intends to use the funds to commercialize its ExactVu™ micro-ultrasound system.

The company has also just recently got FDO approval:

“This has been a great few weeks with the receipt of our 510(k) clearance and the announcement of our CE approval just two weeks ago,” says Randy AuCoin, Exact Imaging’s President and CEO. “These important regulatory approvals will allow our commercial team to start fulfilling the pent-up demand for the ExactVu micro-ultrasound system. The era of blind, unguided biopsies is coming to an end and urologists are searching for new tools that leverage break-through technologies, familiar workflows and allow them to benefit from improved imaging resolution to target their prostate biopsies. Our platform is such a solution – it images in real-time, it is located in the urologist’s office, and it is ultrasound-based. Most important, it allows for the guidance of both systematic and targeted biopsies due to its exquisite resolution”.

Toronto MakerKids startup empowering kids to do big things

MakerKids is the #1 kids workshop in Toronto. Thousands of kids have taken our STEM programs in Coding, Robotics and Minecraft. Our Camps, After-School & Weekend Programs and Birthday Parties empower children to be creators, not just consumers.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Jenn Turliuk is the CEO of MakerKids. Jenn had a transformative and empowering moment when she coded a website at 12 years old that received thousands of views. This propelled her take on more challenges and give her self-confidence. Jenn then continued her studies as an adult at NASA’s Singularity University where she studied how to connect education and exponential technologies.

Jenn’s career highlights include doing marketing and PR for the Matterform 3D Scanner crowdfunding campaign (which raised over $471K – the most-funded Indiegogo campaign outside the US), helping build a 3D printer for a music video, launching an SMS-based disaster relief project during Hurricane Sandy, being selected as a Startup Chile entrepreneur (as part of a program run by the Government of Chile to foster entrepreneurship locally), creating her own self-education program which involved being 1 of the top 6 finalists in a competition to shadow Dave McClure of 500 Startups, leading the Canadian launch of Tide Pods (P&G’s biggest launch in 27 years), running Canada’s largest business plan competition (the Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition), writing one of Forbes Greatest Hits articles and doing a TEDx talk in Spanish.

MakerKids is designed and created by industry professionals and makers (NASA’s Singularity University graduate, engineers, entrepreneurs, teachers and speakers from Queen’s University). Our instructors come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including music, theatre, 3D design, game design and engineering. What all instructors have in common is the love for teaching!
How are you being financed?

We have programs and camps throughout the year. We also teach our programs offsite at many schools.

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

There are many perspectives about technology and many about children, media and digital technology. When kids should go online? How much screen time? We realize that many kids are already introduced to video games, computers and phones before they come to MakerKids. Our goal at MakerKids is to encourage kids to use technology positively, effectively and wisely. Technology can do a lot of good and people can do a lot of good – that is one of the values we push. There is apprehension about the new digital world (for adults and kids) and we this is a concern we have considered.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

Our staff come from a variety of backgrounds. We search many sources and industries to find the best fit. Experience teaching and working with kids is key. We have created premium training over the years to teach our new instructors our approach to teaching, coding, robotics and Minecraft.

See video of instructors at MakerKids:

Who is your biggest competition?

Coding and kids STEM programs are a growing industry and new. The landscape is always changing and there is much space for all of us to grow. The more kids reached, skills learned, and positive change that can happen are wins for us.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

We have been in Toronto for over 6 years and we are always looking to grow and expand. This may be in the form of additional locations and school programs.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

Technology, which affects STEM education, is always changing. This means we always stay current, move quickly and be well versed with emerging technology. We were the first and largest makerspace for kids and have unique programs you can’t find anywhere else. This is a big success for us by propelling the maker movement here in Canada and abroad further.


15 Amazing Look Inside Photos from Tech Offices around Canada

Companies like , Facebook, Shopify , Google and Hootsuite are moving, opening offices across Canada in cities such as Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal and employing thousands of tech professionals.

Here is a quick glance into some of them:











Tech Startup Conference RESOLVE TO came to Toronto in January 2017

UPDATED This even has already happened. Here is what you missed:

This coming January, the team behind Montreal Startupfest is launching ResolveTO in Toronto. An event held in Canada’s largest city, combining Startupfest’s unique vibe with the latest enterprise thinking. The event will bring together the best of young startups and large organizations, for a look at innovation, disruption and emerging markets. Next year, let’s resolve to transform ourselves, and business as we know it, in the face of radical, constant change on a global stage.


With ResolveTO’s focus on startup growth, acquisition, and business development, we’ll look at how early-stage companies can dance with incumbents and giants. We’ll look at scaling, acquisition, and enterprise partnerships. We’ll contrast the slow, deliberate growth of predictable business models with the reckless, often unregulated scaling of new ones.

Agenda for the conference:

See more / buy tickets:

Toronto / San Francisco startup SnapEDA making it easy to build hardware

SnapEDA is a parts library for circuit board design. We provide digital content — similar to blueprints — that help designers bring products to life quickly. Our library is used by tens of thousands of hardware designers, from small shops to engineers at household names like Samsung.

SnapEDA is building the canonical library for circuit board design that every hardware designer will use. By providing ready-to-use building blocks for design, our library shaves days off product development time, allowing designers to focus on optimization and innovation. Tens of thousands of engineers worldwide rely on SnapEDA to design faster, whether they’re making smartwatches, drones, or robots.

Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

As an Electrical Engineer who wanted this product to exist, Natasha Baker (founder) decided to delve deeply into learning software a few years after graduating to get it off the ground. Once she did that, she recruited other engineers and computer scientists to take it to the next level. Team is now consist of 6 electrical engineers and a designer.

How are you being financed?

The company was initially self-funded, but we have since raised funding from investors.

Natasha Baker and SnapEDA team

Who is your biggest competition?

Our biggest competitor in “not invented here syndrome”. Traditionally designers have made their own digital content for circuit board design, right down to the generic bits and pieces. The hardware world has not yet embraced the modular, open source approach that software development has. And for good reason — unlike software, circuit boards exist is the real world, which makes errors very costly and time-consuming to resolve. However, once designers use SnapEDA and see its unique approach to verification, they don’t switch back to their old ways of doing things.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

With this project being Natasha Baker’s first startup, she has learned that startups have a lot of ups and downs. Think of it like a sine wave. Learn methods of bouncing back into the positive and you’ll be unstoppable!

Startup moved from Toronto to San Francisco

You were based in Toronto before but now you have moved to San Francisco – why is that? 

The company was started in Toronto. Both Natasha Baker and our product manager Mike Tang graduated from the University of Toronto from the Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) program. In the early days, the strategy was to recruit interns from local schools, including the Computer Science program at U of T, Computer Engineering at Waterloo and several designers from the New Media joint program between Centennial College and the University of Toronto. These students helped us bring things to life on a lean budget, and learned a ton in the process. To this day, we still consider them a part of our team, even if they have gone off to work on their own projects or in completely different industries.

Once we got into Y Combinator, we moved the company to the Bay Area for now because this is where a lot of semiconductor and electronic design software companies are based.


Montreal startup Flystro makes it easier to film using drones

Flystro is an online marketplace connecting companies with drone pilots everywhere for aerial filming services. using Flystro, companies from different industries like real estate, construction or events, can easily find a drone pilot and be sure they are receiving the best price and product.

Real estate drone video:



Who started the company? Do you / team members have tech background?

Flystro was launched by two co-founders: Bassam Rhou (CEO) who is an aerospace engineer and a MBA graduate with 8 years of experience in aerospace industry, and Marwan Benyoussef (CTO) who is a software engineer with ten years of experience in major software projects. Both co-founders shared the same passion for drones and decided to work together to build a platform to disrupt the aerial filming industry.

How are you being financed?

Flystro was initially bootstrapped by the co-founders. Later, Flystro received funding from various sources like Futurpreneur Canada. Start-Up Chile and Fondation Montreal Inc.
Flystro was graduated from the Founder Institute Montreal (2015), Start-Up Chile (2016) and National Bank of Canada – HEC Accelerator (2016).

What do you think will be / is a big obstacle to overcome?

A big obstacle to overcome will be the drone regulations. Currently there are many restrictions in operating drones for commercial purposes. However, the government authorities in various countries are working on new regulations that will remove several restrictions without impacting the public safety.

How do you go about finding good developers / IT guys for your company?

We found that the best way to find good developers or designers is networking. Several startups recruiting events are organized from time to time where entrepreneurs can find highly skilled individuals who are looking to work with a startup.
Another good way to find motivated skilled IT guys is to use websites like Angelist or f6s which offer a big database of highly skilled potential candidates.

Who is your biggest competition?

We were the first in Canada to launch a marketplace for drone filming services. Currently, most of our competitors are few early stage startups that are mainly in US. We are differentiating ourselves by offering added value features and by helping drone pilots to have their certifications. For example, we are offering free templates to apply to Transport Canada for aspiring drone pilots in Canada.

How are you intending on taking your company to million dollars in revenues? In what markets?

Currently we are operating mainly in North America for industries like real estate and events. We are planning to expand geographically to other promising markets like Europe and South America and to be more present in some industries like inspection and infrastructures.

What is the big lesson you’ve learned (success or failure) with this project.

The biggest lesson I have learned is the importance of keeping the focus. Entrepreneurs are always tempted by opportunities that can move them in too many directions at the same time. As entrepreneur, you have always to ask yourself if any action you plan to do is in line with your vision and strategy. If the response is no don’t do it!