Announcing the 7th Cohort of the Hardware Catalyst Initiative

February 5, 2024
ventureLAB News

We are thrilled to announce the launch of the seventh cohort of ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative. This competitive program is designed to propel the development of hardware and semiconductor-focused innovations, empowering Canadian companies to thrive, expand, and shape the technologies of the future.

As Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products, ventureLAB's Hardware Catalyst Initiative fosters the creation of innovative technologies spanning healthcare, automobility, green energy and beyond. With funding from the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, this initiative accelerates time-to-market for tech startups and enables Canadian companies to grow locally and compete globally through four pillars: raising capital, retaining talent, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition.

The selection process for cohort 7 was highly competitive, including a rigorous bootcamp to ensure the selected companies were primed for success in the hardware industry, which is notoriously known for long lead times for product validation and securing investment. 

As the largest cohort to date, cohort 7 is composed of companies developing innovations in medtech and life sciences, automobility, advanced material and manufacturing, Cleantech, Digital Media and ICT, Mining, and First Responder Tech that offer exceptional hardware products and services. This expansion not only underscores the program's growth but also serves as a testament to the growing hardtech industry in Canada.

Let’s welcome the below companies in the newest Hardware Catalyst Initiative cohort:


6Harmonics delivers rugged and reliable 5G edge compute & communications systems to operate mining equipment and systems on existing above-ground and underground wired and wireless communications networks.

ApoSys Technologies Inc

ApoSys provides comprehensive predictive maintenance and data-driven decision support across railway networks. They build train mounted measurement units that use LiDAR track imaging, GPS location, local weather data, and  AI/ML algorithms to provide a networked autonomous  system.

CellEdge Networks Inc.

CellEdge Networks provides a plug-and-play private 5G solution through the combination of cloud-based open source 5G core network and unlicensed/shared radio spectrum delivering affordable, scalable, and reliable private 5G coverage solutions to underserved areas like rural communities, industrial parks, office buildings, and school campuses.


CleanBands is a hand hygiene compliance system that helps food service workers, and their employers ensure that the food safety and operational standards are followed. Wristbands log every hand hygiene event, and display a colour to indicate handwashing status.

Digitho Technologies Inc

Digitho Technologies is developing a programmable photomask to be used in semiconductor foundries to uniquely identify each chip on each wafer to provide chip level traceability and serialization. This will minimize semiconductor-related mass recalls, and enable traceability of chip source.


Drinkable has developed an accurate, affordable, and easy to use consumer handheld testing device for drinking water. It detects 11 common harmful contaminants which account for the vast majority of risk in groundwater.


ecologicca provides a hardware product that tracks the environment and uses hydroxyl technology to change the molecular composition of indoor air to reduce inflammation in the body. They are currently selling to hotels for the sleep improvement of guests.

Hada Medtech Inc

Hada Medtech is developing a smart video laryngoscope that provides high-flow oxygenation/ventilation and drug delivery through the blade at the same time that intubation occurs. This decreases the risk of hypoxia and allocates more time for resuscitation efforts.

Hygienic Echo

Hygienic Echo provides a comprehensive hand hygiene solution for infection prevention in hospitals and beyond to keep staff, patients and caregivers safe. The system of wearable badges and intelligent sensors provides discreet reminders to wash hands at appropriate locations and intervals, and tracks compliance. 

JRAS Medical Inc. (DBA JVPLabs)

JRAS Medical Inc. has launched  clinical trials for a medical device designed to  provide at-home monitoring of JVP of Congestive Heart Failure to help patients reduce the length of their hospital stay, help medical professionals inform discharge planning and reduce the high readmission rates associated with heart failure through improved hospital and at-home monitoring.

Kimia Analytics

Kimia Analytics developed the first compact, transportable, triple-quad ICP mass spectrometer, which enables rapid, ultra-sensitive, real-time process monitoring and field testing of water quality and semiconductor manufacturing.

Longan Vision Corp

Longan Vision produces a helmet-mounted AR device that provides visual enhancements with thermal information directly to the eyes of first responders while keeping their hands free to help complete life-saving tasks, and live streaming video back to a command terminal by using the 4G/5G network.

LoopX Innovation Inc.

LoopX is developing and piloting vehicle-agnostic safety and autonomous control units for heavy mining equipment. Currently commercializing: A collision avoidance system, an advanced driver assistance system, and a semi/fully autonomous driving system. 

Quanta Vici Inc

Quanta Vici successfully launched smart heated garments for work or recreation on Kickstarter but switched to B2B as sports clothing brands sought to launch smart garments but did not have capability.

Quantum Bolt Technologies Inc.

Quantum Bolt is developing a laparoscopic surgical tool to determine adequate blood perfusion levels at the anastomotic site. This device will provide accurate measurements with higher confidence intervals in determining perfusion levels at point-of-care. 

TransPod Inc.

TransPod is a Toronto-based company developing an electric, ultra-high-speed passenger and freight transportation system, a hyperloop-like system capable of top speeds greater than 1,000km/h. The next phase of their $18B US infrastructure project involves  building out their TransPod Line to connect the cities of Calgary and Edmonton.

Wearatec Inc

Wearatec is reshaping the luxury watch industry by seamlessly integratinge smart features into luxury watch straps, like a smart bio-sensing module that fits snugly into the watch buckle or straps, and a MasterCard-certified Contactless Payment Micro Antenna for contactless payment.

wetraQ Inc

WeTraq has developed smart insoles that track mobility, gait, and activity levels, enabling early detection of mobility issues or falls. Caregivers and healthcare providers can intervene promptly, reducing the risk of serious injuries and improving overall well-being. 

rEnergy Technologies Inc

rEnergy provides a SaaS software/hardware solution to monitor power consumption, to help property managers increase revenue by reducing costs and leveraging government incentives. 

About Hardware Catalyst Initiative

ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative is Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products, enabling the creation of transformative technologies that will power our products of tomorrow. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Hardware Catalyst helps tech companies accelerate their time to market in a sector that normally incurs lengthy entry and scale times, enabling Canadian hardware and semiconductor companies to grow and scale locally, and compete globally.

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 $350 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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