Announcing the 2023 Winners of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund

December 19, 2023
Community news
ventureLAB News
York Region

To encourage innovation and cultivate diversity and inclusion, ventureLAB, in partnership with York Region, is proud to announce the recipients of the 2023 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund, dedicated to supporting non-profit organizations that encourage innovation among underrepresented communities and SMEs that catalyze the evolution of Cleantech and Agri-Tech Innovation in the region. 

Steam 1: Non-Profit Organizations

In recognition of cultivating an inclusive community, stream 1 of the 2023 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund awards $10,000 of funding to two non-profit organizations leading initiatives that promote, support, or enhance entrepreneurship or innovation for underrepresented communities operating in York Region and beyond. 

We are pleased to announce the recipients of stream 1 of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund:

Aurora Chamber of Commerce

The Aurora Chamber of Commerce is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to fostering business growth and prosperity in the town of Aurora, Ontario. It serves as a vital hub for local businesses, providing support, networking opportunities, and advocacy. The Chamber actively promotes economic development, collaboration, and community engagement, enhancing the local business environment. With a strong focus on empowering and connecting businesses, it offers a range of resources, programs, and events, enabling members to thrive and contribute to the overall economic success of Aurora. The Aurora Chamber of Commerce plays a pivotal role in championing the interests and collective voice of the local business community.

Impact Zero Corp

Impact Zero Corp is a non-profit focused on innovation in the circular economy. Launched by Impact Zero Corp, the Impact Zero Circular Innovation Accelerator is designed to help circular economy entrepreneurs bring their ideas to life.  This accelerator is a 12+ week program matching entrepreneurs with a business leadership coach, helping founders validate, test, and achieve proof-of-concept for their ideas. Of the businesses Impact Zero Corp supported, 70% have been women-owned and 40% have been youth-owned, with an 80% success rate of businesses that launch a pilot with Impact Zero AND keep operating 6 months after leaving our program.

Stream 2: Small Businesses or Entrepreneurs Developing Agri-tech and Cleantech Solutions

This year, ventureLAB is proud to emphasize the importance of York Region as Canada’s second-largest tech hub and fourth-largest food and beverage processing hub. The second stream of the Entrepreneurship Innovation Fund dedicates grants to highlight York Region’s growing urban centers and the mix of players spanning the entire Agri-food value chain. 

To acknowledge the evolution in the Agri-Tech and Cleantech industries, Stream Two of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund awards $10,000 to 7 York Region-based startups and organizations to stimulate, promote, and encourage more entrepreneurship and innovation in Agri-Tech and/or Cleantech sectors by opening more doors to capital.

We are pleased to announce the recipients of stream 2 of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund:

Cattle Scan

Cattle Scan is revolutionizing commercial cattle monitoring, right in York Region by reshaping practices with an innovative system that tracks vital livestock data. They have proprietary technology to provide farmers unprecedented insights into the well-being, reproduction, productivity, and nutrition of individual cattle as well as the whole herd. 

Their mission focuses on an advanced, tech-driven system that monitors key health parameters in livestock. Using a battery-operated sensor positioned in a cow's rumen (the 'bolus'), our system offers real-time biometric assessments. Armed with this information, farmers spot trends, assess performance, and accurately gauge health, enabling optimization of water resources, fine-tuning nutrition and herd management. The outcome is manifold: improved production, healthier animals, extended lifespans, and a reduced environmental footprint.


VCycene Inc. is a clean-tech company headquartered in Markham. VCycene stands at the forefront of tackling substantial environmental challenges, with a particular focus on kitchen waste. The company is deeply committed to not only addressing the waste problem but also enhancing the overall value of our environment. Their innovative system presents a groundbreaking and sustainable solution to the prevalent issue of organic food waste in kitchens. The LILA Composter is notably energy-efficient compared to conventional methods and requires no air filtration maintenance, reducing secondary resource use. 

VCycene’s flagship product, the Lila composter, is an autonomous electronic kitchen device that turns all types of kitchen food waste into high-quality fertilizer within 7 days. The product uses our own proprietary aerobic decomposition process and is built through a novel design of mechatronic systems to speed the composting process without compromising quality.


SCOOTY is an e-scooter rental company. They are currently developing the SCOOTY Micromobility API to integrate into public/private transit systems globally, that want to offer carbon-free multimodal commuting options between the first, middle and last mile.  With approximately 160,000 kilometres ridden, SCOOTY has been able to offset approximately 27 tonnes of CO2, an astounding 85% reduction in emissions replacing the need for short-distance car trips commuting to local transit hubs.


Renergy Technologies' product is an AI and IOT-driven Enterprise Asset Management platform that lets enterprises plan, manage and optimize their physical assets (typically equipment) for improved equipment reliability leading to improved energy efficiency, revenues, team collaboration and customer satisfaction. In terms of differentiation, Renergt is a great fit for a customer with a spread real estate portfolio such as a grocery store or Quick serve restaurant chain, enabling customers to do the following at a distributed portfolio of stores: a) Perform better equipment maintenance and improve energy efficiency by up to 15%. b) Reduce HVAC expenses by up to 25%.

Connected Sensors

Founded in 2019, Connected Sensors has developed a suite of innovative products and solutions specifically designed to save landlords money and help them boost their Net Operating Income (NOI) by monitoring water consumption and leaks using our smart water technology systems. Connected Sensors is revolutionizing how landlords manage and monitor their water expenses.


KROP develops indoor, automated, aeroponic plant farms that aim to bring local, sustainable, and affordable produce to everyone, everywhere. KROP is focused on the continual development of proprietary technology while supplying the B2B market with a new standard for greens. KROP currently services restaurants in the Greater Toronto Area with micro-greens and leafy greens. 


WeavAir offers a continuous data-driven solution composed of multi-sensor IoT devices that measure 20 different metrics and predictive software to measure and enable fast & accurate decisions to prevent food spoilage and waste in food, water and energy. WeavAir helps operators save up to 30% of operation and maintenance costs, save up to 60% of energy, and make better decisions to control the spread of airborne contaminants and infection while reducing liability and downtime. 

Congratulations to all the winners of the 2023 Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund. We look forward to witnessing your growth and impact in the York Region tech ecosystem!

About York Region

York Region is Canada’s second-largest tech hub, home to a mosaic of cultures including 47% of residents born outside of Canada, home to Canada’s most ethnically diverse community (City of Markham) with more than 120 different spoken languages and over 230 distinct ethnic origins.

About ventureLAB

ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 5,000 jobs and raise more than $340 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets. 

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