Argentum Electronics wants to be the backbone for smart buildings by providing both data and power over a single connection. A new $250,000 investment from the N100 Evolution program in Ontario’s Northumberland County, is helping make that dream a reality.

Traditional building systems such as lighting and heating are being transformed through new smart and connected control technologies. Argentum’s products provide both electrical power and Internet connectivity to these devices through a single cable while enabling building managers to understand what is happening across their buildings in real-time through cloud-based analytics and control systems.

“This investment will support our product development and allow us to iterate on our demo units to make them ready for commercialization,” said Bolis Ibrahim, founder of Argentum Electronics. “This will put us in an investable position and propel us to a place where we can do a seed round or a series A.”

As an alumnus of the Techno2018 summer entrepreneurship training program, Ibrahim has pivoted the company significantly. The company entered the program with a focus on the solar industry but was not able to get traction when they approached potential customers. After mentorship from the Impact Centre team, the company has worked hard to reach out to customers across the smart buildings and power over Ethernet markets to truly understand their needs.

“It has been exciting to follow Argentum and Bolis’s evolution in understanding the markets that their technology can serve,” said Leo Mui, manager of entrepreneurship initiatives at the Impact Centre. “This investment highlights the incredible work he has done to connect with customers in a rapidly evolving market.”

Argentum’s win also highlights the opportunities for collaboration between urban and ex-urban organizations. The strong hardware focus and manufacturing capability in Northumberland and the incredible fundamental discoveries from academic institutions across Toronto provide a platform to create and support companies developing groundbreaking products. The company is based in the Ryerson Clean Energy Zone, which also provides support and space for the company to create their prototypes.

Organized by the Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC), the N100 competition brought 44 startups from across Ontario to Cobourg to compete for the $250,000 investment. Eight semi-finalists were selected to attend the N100 Pitch School followed by the N100 Pitch Contest in September. Four finalists were then selected to pitch to the Northumberland CFDC’s Board of Directors with the final announcement made on January 15, 2019. The CFDC program is supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

“We partnered with the Impact Centre with the support of FedDev Ontario to increase the flow and exchange of ideas, investments and opportunities eastward from the GTA,” said John Hayden, Venture Catalyst at Northumberland CFDC. “Through N100 in Northumberland, RC100 in Renfrew, and beyond, the team from the Impact Centre is inspiring action and strengthening the chain of innovation across Eastern Ontario.”