Recognizing the Resiliency of our SMEs during Small Business Week

Small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of our economy. As of December 2019, there were 1.23 million employer businesses in Canada. Of these, 99.8 percent were small and medium-sized businesses employing more than 10 million individuals in Canada, or almost 90% of the total private labor force.

Throughout the pandemic, SMEs have proven they are the heart of our Country’s resiliency. The Digital Supercluster is proud that over 80% of our 1000 members are small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) – with over 70% of Supercluster investment devoted to their growth. Our digital innovation projects helped SMEs retain 9000 jobs during COVID, and with over 130+ products now in development, we have grown over $1 billion in potential revenue for Canadian businesses.   

To celebrate Small Business Week, we are spotlighting Canadian SMEs that have shown an impressive amount of grit and determination on the road to economic recovery. These organizations have successfully scaled their businesses by leveraging a digital innovation ecosystem that supports faster product innovation, government and industry co-investment, IP asset development, export-led growth and strategic partnership development. Here they are:

SMEs that have scaled through global partnerships: DNAstack, Careteam and Kings Distributed Systems

DNAstack entered into global partnerships with the Global Alliance for Genomics and Health and grew 200% in the past six months, with new interest from the European market. Since joining the Supercluster DNAstack has tripled in size and revenues, and the product validation they are getting has helped them attract investment and partnership interest which will carry them through the next phase of their growth. The Autism Sharing Initiative and COVID Cloud are two examples of Supercluster projects the company is currently involved with.  

Careteam has been able to form new partnerships with future customer firms such as US-based Change Healthcare. Their COVID-19 related project, Rapid Deployment of Emergency Case Management has resulted in 4 new commercial deals, and deployment at 19 different sites supporting 3000+ high risk patients.

Kings Distributed Systems expanded operations as a result of their Looking Glass: Protecting Canadians in a Return to Community project and will grow from 25 people to 40 full time employees by the end of 2021.

SMEs that have scaled through industry and government co-investment: Terramera

Terramera has nearly doubled its workforce since 2018. They sell bio-pesticides and seed treatments to reduce the use of pesticides in agriculture, and lead a project called Precision Agriculture to Improve Crop Health.  In the fall 2019, the company raised $45 million. This project has also generated new IP for its participants: Terramera, and Sightline Innovations.

SMEs that have scaled through export-led growth: FoodX, 1Qbit, Invixium  

FoodX Technologies expanded their success to the European market, signing one of the largest grocers in France (Carrefour).  They are currently leading a project called Scaling Safe Food Delivery for Canadians, and will grow their technology team from 25 to 60 over the next eight months and add 47 people overall.

1Qbitwas able to scale the xrAI technology through the COVID-19 program and is now seeking certification from the U.S. FDA which is expected to lead to growth to meet market demand.

Invixium is participating in the HealthyAccess COVID-19 project, and has since achieved 3X revenue growth to $12M. They have commercialized their touchless biometric solution on a global scale and created 9 new IP assets.

SMEs that have scaled through strategic partnership collaboration and accelerated product innovation: BioConnect, Molecular You, Carl Data Solutions, Clarius, Change Healthcare

BioConnect deployed its Mobile Wellness Declaration solution in the fall 2020 when MaRS Discovery District’s building manager chose to implement the COVID-19 screening tool in order to meet the new mandates set out by Ontario’s Ministry of Health.

In the Personal Health Wallet project, Molecular You and the University of British Columbia (UBC) have filed to shared Patent Applications on decentralized health data workflows and novel privacy-preserving credentials exchange which allow patients to share data with researchers without revealing any information about the participating actors.

The Fresh Water Data Commons project is an example of how the Digital Supercluster has facilitated the development of IP and sharing of data by multiple parties, including Carl Data Solutions, Teck Resources, Living Lakes Canada and Genome BC, to build a platform for freshwater management, which could be exported to the world.  

The Intelligent Network for Point-of-Care Ultrasound project is an example of commercializing the academic research of UBC in echocardiography into new Imaging AI Foreground IP. The real-world training data supplied by Providence Healthcare bring this IP to the level of practical applicability. Additionally, members such as Change Healthcare and Clarius will build further IP in lung ultrasound analysis leveraging the newly developed AI algorithms to help healthcare practitioners in their efforts against COVID-19. 

To learn more about the Digital Supercluster Member Community and how you can join, click here.