Design Engineering

7 Cdn. ventures in first cohort of mobility hub

By DE Staff   

Materials General Medical Mars Mobility Unlimited Hub Toyota

William Chernicoff, Head of Research & Innovation at the Toyota Mobility Foundation. MaRS Discovery District and the Toyota Mobility Foundation today announced the 7 Canadian startups selected to participate in the Mobility Unlimited Hub inaugural cohort in Toronto. (Credit: CNW Group/MaRS Discovery District)

MaRS Discovery District and the Toyota Mobility Foundation have announced the seven Canadian start-ups in the Mobility Unlimited Hub‘s inaugural cohort in Toronto. These ventures are poised to revolutionize personal mobility and bring innovative solutions to market.

 

Cohort participants

The Mobility Unlimited Hub will work to foster innovation by offering a path to successful commercialization, serving as a bridge from early-stage success to the mass market, providing a range of resources including marketing and public relations support, funding opportunities and avenues for collaboration.

  • AWL-Electricity: A Quebec-based start-up designing the world’s first autonomous and wireless charging station for motorized mobility aids and the micro-mobility sector. This solution increases user autonomy and integrates into public and commercial spaces without the need for human intervention.
  • Axtion Independence Mobility Inc.: A Nova Scotia-based start-up that developed the RAYMEX Lift, a portable, personal mobility device designed to assist with everyday activities, fall prevention, and recovery.
  • Braze Mobility Inc.: An Ontario-based start-up offers the world’s first blind spot sensors for wheelchairs, providing audio, visual, and vibration alerts to help users avoid obstacles. This solution enhances safety and confidence for wheelchair users by preventing accidents and injuries.
  • Cheelcare: An Ontario-based start-up that designs advanced mobility solutions, including power add-ons and complex rehab wheelchairs, to enhance mobility and independence for individuals with disabilities. Their products feature intuitive controls, customizable settings, and robust specifications for improved quality of life.
  • Deaf AI: An Ontario-based start-up aims to make society and the digital world more inclusive for Deaf people by providing AI-based real-time voice-to-sign language interpretation. This initiative enhances public and digital accessibility for people with hearing loss.
  • Seleste Innovations Inc.: A Western Canada-based start-up that develops smart glasses specifically designed to assist the blind and visually impaired, enhancing their navigation and interaction with the environment.
  • Trexo Robotics Inc.: An Ontario-based start-up developing wearable robotic exoskeletons for children with mobility disabilities, enabling them to walk independently. Their Robotic Gait Trainer transforms lives by making walking accessible for children across the world.

After receiving more than 50 applications from across the country, MaRS and Toyota Mobility Foundation, along with their advisory committee, have chosen seven promising start-ups, all of which have at least one member from their management team identifying with underserved groups (persons with disability; BIPOC; female, non-binary, gender neutral; 2SLGBTQ+ community).

Advertisement

“It’s inspiring to see such strong interest from startups eager to tackle pressing mobility challenges showcasing the Canadian spirit of innovation and determination to create impactful solutions,” said Alison Nankivell, CEO of the MaRS Discovery District. “We are thrilled to help the Mobility Unlimited Hub cohort accelerate their innovations and bring transformative mobility solutions to market through our partnership with the Toyota Mobility Foundation.”

According to StatsCan’s 2022 Canadian Survey on Disability, 27 per cent of Canadians aged 15 years and older—around eight million people—had one or more disabilities that limited their daily activities. Additionally, 30 per cent of people with disabilities in Canada report unmet needs for assistive devices, highlighting the critical role of initiatives like the Mobility Unlimited Hub.

“By supporting the further development and growth of active mobility technologies, we aim to help bring people-centered solutions to those who need them most, while also positioning this market as one worth investing in,” said William Chernicoff, head of research and innovation at the Toyota Mobility Foundation.

The Toyota Mobility Foundation envisions establishing a network of Hubs around the world, each dedicated to addressing local mobility challenges while contributing to a global movement towards inclusive mobility solutions.

The Mobility Unlimited Hub is launched with the support of several community members, including Access to Success, ClusterBridge, George Brown College, Global Startups, Linamar iHub, KITE UHN, Sheridan College, Sixty Degree Capital, Toronto Global, Ontario Home Health, University of Toronto, and Woven Capital.

Advertisement

Stories continue below

Print this page

Related Stories