BlackBerry, L-SPARK Launch Second Phase of StartUp Accelerator Program to Further Canadian Technology Innovation
WATERLOO and OTTAWA, Ont. – September 17, 2019 – BlackBerry Limited (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) and L-SPARK, Canada’s largest software-as-a-service accelerator, today announced a second phase of their joint accelerator program, which aims to accelerate Canadian technology startups that are focused on vehicle connected services and cloud connectivity to the vehicle.
Following the success of the first cohort, which saw seven companies build and demonstrate prototypes in device security, sensor fusion (e.g. lidar, radar, cameras and GPS), functional safety, analytics, and other autonomous vehicle related technologies, the second phase of the partnership aims to once again help small and medium-sized technology enterprises (SMEs) grow their businesses and bring new products to market using BlackBerry QNX technology.
Companies selected to join the next accelerator program will receive free licenses and training on BlackBerry QNX technology, which powers many of the world’s most mission-critical embedded systems including nuclear power plants, surgical robots, class III life-critical medical devices, autonomous & connected vehicles, trains and traffic lights – systems that are required to operate safely, securely and reliably, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, without failure.
“We’re doubling down on our partnership with L-SPARK to position Canada’s high potential SMEs as leaders in our competitive technology space,” said Grant Courville, VP, Product Management and Strategy, BlackBerry QNX. “Collaboration is the key to our collective success and we are impressed with both the quality and breadth of participants that we were able to work with as part of the first accelerator program. BlackBerry QNX’s software is the ideal platform for start-ups looking to build innovative solutions that solve real-world transportation industry issues.”
"The first cohort of the BlackBerry/L-SPARK Accelerator was a great success for everyone involved and I am excited to launch this second cohort, and with BlackBerry’s help, exceed our objectives again, while continuing to build a vibrant eco-system for BlackBerry’s industry leading technologies," said Leo Lax, Executive Managing Director at L-SPARK. "The companies in the first cohort have secured multiple engagements with key customers as a result of their participation in this program and at least two of the companies had financing close after being involved in the accelerator."
L-SPARK will turn to the expertise of the National Research Council of Canada-Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), to reach out to companies that could benefit from working with the BlackBerry QNX product group.
For more information, or to apply to the next accelerator round, visit https://www.l-spark.com/accelerator/blackberry. Applications will close on October 21, 2019.
BlackBerry (NYSE: BB; TSX: BB) is a trusted security software and services company that provides enterprises and governments with the technology they need to secure the Internet of Things. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, the company is unwavering in its commitment to safety, cybersecurity and data privacy, and leads in key areas such as artificial intelligence, endpoint security and management, encryption and embedded systems. For more information, visit BlackBerry.com and follow @BlackBerry.
L-SPARK is Canada’s leading accelerator for Software as a Service (SaaS) companies. Since the launch of their first cohort in January 2015, L-SPARK has accelerated 36 companies across Canada. With over 10,000 investors, corporate partners and startups now in their network, L-SPARK has curated a forceful Canadian tech community for participating companies to join.
BlackBerry and related trademarks, names and logos are the property of BlackBerry Limited and are registered and/or used in the U.S. and countries around the world. All other marks are the property of their respective owners. BlackBerry is not responsible for any third-party products or services.
BlackBerry Media Relations
Jacob Crompton Schreiber
BlackBerry Investor Relations