INFINITI has announced the Toronto launch of INFINITI LAB, the luxury car brand’s technology accelerator program designed to grow companies focused on Internet of Things (IoT) and smart city initiatives. The Toronto program is produced in partnership with Multiplicity, a Toronto-based nonprofit that provides education and mentorship to startups. INFINITI LAB launched in Hong Kong in 2015, and this is the first time INFINITI has expanded the INFINITI LAB program into North America. It’s also the first startup accelerator launched by a car brand in Canada.
“Canada is brimming with talent and opportunity when it comes to start-ups, and INFINITI Canada is proud to help accelerate the country’s next entrepreneurial stars,” says Stephen Lester, managing director of INFINITI Canada. “Multiplicity is the ideal partner for the launch of INFINITI LAB Toronto. Parallel to INFINITI, they do not wait for change to come to them, they are the change. They drive the ideas that will make a tangible difference to our daily lives.”
Applications for INFINITI LAB Toronto are now open, and the program is open to pre-seed startups who work in IoT and smart city innovation. The program launches May 29th, and the group of selected startups will work closely with corporate and industry partners including: Techstars; OMERS Ventures; TELUS Ventures; the City of Toronto, and Fleet Company, who will provide the participants with access to technology, mentorship and education throughout the month-long program. INFINITI LAB Toronto will culminate in a demo day, with participating startups pitching to a panel of Canada’s top venture capital firms. The top team in the Toronto program will be fast-tracked into the three-month Hong Kong program, which launches in July.
“Toronto is already a global leader in technology and innovation, and a hub for emerging technology including artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things,” said John Tory, Mayor of Toronto. “We're excited to be the first city in North America chosen for the global expansion of the INFINITI LAB program, and we can't wait to see how the entrepreneurs in the program leverage connected devices to help us achieve our goal of becoming an even smarter city.”
The INFINITI LAB program has graduated two cohorts of startups in Hong Kong, including Kraftwerk, the company responsible for developing the breakthrough low cost, lightweight fuel cell; Drop.ai, the visual intelligence startup that has developed software to help cars and drones make informed decisions through contextualized video and artificial intelligence; and Dagmy Motors, which provides innovative solutions that lower the cost of electric vehicles by lowering the production cost of battery packs.
“We partnered with INFINITI to bring this program to fruition because we fully align with their focus on innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Chris Kay, co-founder, Multiplicity. “INFINITI LAB has produced two cohorts of IoT innovators in Hong Kong, and the Toronto program presents a huge opportunity for local founders who want to get noticed on the global stage.”
Startup companies from Toronto can apply now here.