Simon Foster of Chatter Research joins Spark Centre to kick off Startup Grind Durham Region!

Spark Centre Announces Launch of Startup Grind Durham Region

A Collaboration to support entrepreneurs, innovation and technology

OSHAWA, ON (June 19, 2017) – Spark Centre is pleased to announce the launch of Startup Grind in Durham Region. Startup Grind and Spark Centre will join together to help strengthen entrepreneurial efforts and activities in Durham Region through monthly events that will teach, inspire, and connect local entrepreneurs.

The inaugural Startup Grind Durham Region event will feature guest speaker, Simon Foster, CEO of Chatter Research on Thursday July 6th at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, this month’s Event Partner (

Simon Foster, is a digital business builder with 15 years management experience at leading digital media companies and has a strong entrepreneurial spirit that supports achieving aggressive business targets. With a deep knowledge base that includes content and product development, he is now the founder and CEO of Chatter Research, a real-time customer feedback company backed by US and Canadian venture capital.

“I couldn’t be more thrilled to have Simon kick off our Startup Grind Durham Region chapter”, said Spark Centre CEO, Sherry Colbourne. “Simon is the personification of the innovative spirit that lives in Durham Region and guests of our inaugural event will be inspired by his journey.”

For more information or to purchase tickets visit:

About Startup Grind: Startup Grind ( is a global entrepreneurial community made up of 400,000 entrepreneurs in 200 cities and 85 countries around the world. Founded by Derek Anderson in Silicon Valley, Startup Grind educates, inspires and connects entrepreneurs around the globe.

Startup Grind is powered by Google for Entrepreneurs and features successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies.

About Spark Centre: Spark Commercialization and Innovation Centre is one of eighteen not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centres (RICs) that form part of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). The centre works to improve competitiveness and visibility of Durham Region and Northumberland County as a world-class innovation cluster. For more information on Spark Centre, please visit




Download the official press release: here


For more information, please contact:

Andrew Kritiotis

Spark Centre


Executive Funding Program by MaRS!

Embedded Executive Funding helps place a C-level or other senior-level executive with an Ontario-based technology venture to help achieve their next growth milestone.

Ventures can receive up to $50,000 toward the cost of the Embedded Executive’s salary. Each recipient will also be required to contribute $15,000 cash (or 30% of amount requested) over the program’s six-month period.


This program is best suited for novel Ontario-based tech ventures in a later discovery stage or approaching validation and efficiency stage of development.


Full program information can be found at

MaRS Discovery District’s 2017 Studio Y Fellowship

The MaRS Discovery District’s Studio Y Fellowship brings ambitious young professionals together at MaRS to learn and innovate around the theme of systems leadership.

Applications are now open for the MaRS Discovery District’s Studio Y Fellowship for the 2017-2018 cohort.

Studio Y is a part-time, flexible, and funded fellowship focused on teaching Systems Leadership to young professionals. We develop the skills and competencies required for today’s workforce.

Studio Y is a program that invests in research, technology, and thought leadership in order to harness the leadership potential of Ontario’s young professionals. The Fellowship features experiential learning to inspire innovation, and to address complex challenges within our four areas of learning:

  • Health
  • Energy and The Environment
  • Finance and Commerce
  • Work and Learning

Studio Y will help unleash your inner potential, unlock your creative impulses, and equip you to explore. Most importantly, you will join a community, and alumni network comprised of driven Systems Leaders that will offer support and encouragement.

Fellows will be given the coaching, curriculum, and resources to tackle these challenges and emerge as Systems Leaders.

If you are a young professional interested in pursuing Systems Leadership at the MaRS Discovery District, reside in Ontario, and are 29 years of age and under, apply to the Studio Y Fellowship by June 28th at

We’re hiring!

Summer Student – Client Services Assistant (Part time)



Spark Centre is a non-profit organization that provides free advisory services to early stage or growing innovation and technology companies in Durham Region and Northumberland County. Executive coaching, functional advisory, co-location, incubation and day-to-day operational support are just a few of the free services available. To learn more about Spark Centre, please visit:



You are a team player, driven, and detail-oriented. You love working in a fast-paced environment and are comfortable in an open concept co-working work setting.  Working with the Client Services team, the Client Services Assistant is responsible for document management projects, invoice management, and assisting in other projects focused on clients.



  • Understanding the business life of an entrepreneur
  • Start up Business Life Cycle
  • Business launch and operations
  • Regional Innovation Centre operations
  • Computer skills
  • Presentation skills
  • Project Management skills



  • Assist in organizing and executing workshops and events
  • Support clients as necessary
  • Organize monthly client network meetings
  • Office supply management
  • Projects as assigned




  • First, second, third year Post Secondary student in technology or business program
  • Strong working knowledge of MS Office
  • Ability to communicate clearly, concisely, and effectively
  • High degree of initiative, organization and time management skills with strong attention to detail
  • Positive attitude, flexible, and self-motivated
  • Ability to grasp tasks quickly, a willingness to learn and take initiatives when necessary
  • Highly developed organizational skills with the ability to prioritize and handle multiple tasks at once


Compensation: Hourly Rate: $15 per hour

Required hours per week: 30-40

Duration: June 12, 2017 to August 25, 2017

Reports to:  Operations Analyst


Please send resume and cover letter to Michelle Shurland-Jadoo at by Friday June 09th, 2017

Client Profile: Health Yourself

Health Information doesn’t have to be… medicinal
by Health Yourself


The founder of Health Yourself Guide believes healthcare information doesn’t have to be… medicinal.

Jenn Sunnerton is a former Discovery Channel producer and is bringing entertainment to healthcare.

Health Yourself Guide is trying to beat this ‘medicinal’ tone out of healthcare communications. It creates video infotainment that helps patients understand their situation and also guides them through preventative practices in a way that doesn’t make them sick. Or should we say, more ill.

The idea started when the founder, Jenn Sunnerton, was back in her childhood trying to help her mother get settled after her double bypass.  Sitting in front of a table full of new medications and sifting through a few dry pamphlets, Sunnerton knew there had to be a better way.

This wasn’t her first healthcare tango with her mom. In addition to heart disease, Sunnerton’s mom is a two-time breast cancer survivor, had two hip replacements, a knee replacement, angioplasty, type two diabetes, a hernia, and an annual battle with bronchitis.

Even through the care in the hospital was excellent, each time they lived the gaps in communications in her road to recovery.

There was little time to put the right support in place, and even less time to discuss lifestyle changes that could prevent or lessen the effects of chronic disease management.

This story is not uncommon. Three out of five Canadians over 20 years of age have a chronic health condition. Four out of five Canadians are at risk.  In the year 2000, six major chronic diseases cost Canada $31 billion in direct healthcare costs, and $64 billion in indirect costs from labour productivity lost.

Health Yourself Guide is the answer to the ever-growing communications gap in the healthcare system between the hospital and home. Its aim is to educate and empower patients in bite sized videos through their website and on social media. They partner with healthcare providers as sponsors to bring patients free content that alleviates the strain on the health care system.

The long-term goal is to reduce hospital readmissions, lessen the overhead costs of in hospital programming, improve overall health with preventative education and increase patient engagement in their path to recovery.

Knowing that 70% of all online queries are now videos, Health Yourself uses video to combine patient storytelling, doctor interviews, and preventative care tips and tricks.  The company pulls in talent from the broadcast world to create videos people actually want to watch and through targeted social media marketing, gets the messaging in front of the perfect audience.

Health Yourself has already secured one hospital to take on a video series about Type Two Diabetes, but they are looking for sponsors for each niche in healthcare. Their next goal is to secure a partner to pilot a video series of gated content providing a video ‘prescription’ as an alternative to patients that can’t physically get to the hospital for day to day physio or educational programs.

For more information about Health Yourself Guide go to



Embedded Executive Funding Program by MaRS

Applications for the MaRS Embedded Executive program are now open and close on June 29th!

Embedded Executive Funding helps place a C-level or other senior-level executive with an Ontario-based technology venture to support achieving their next growth milestone.

Ventures can receive up to $50,000 toward the cost of the Embedded Executive’s salary. Each recipient will also be required to contribute $15,000 cash (or 30% of amount requested) over the program’s six-month period.

This program is best suited for novel Ontario-based tech ventures in a later discovery stage or approaching validation and efficiency stage of development.

Embedded Executive is funded through the Business Acceleration Program (BAP) to support entrepreneurs of the ONE network. BAP is funded by the Government of Ontario, and delivered and managed by MaRS.


We’re hiring!


The Client Services Associate supports the Client Services organization and the CEO in an administrative role to ensure that the Client Services operations run smoothly, organized and efficient, ensuring our clients experience is held to an exceptionally high standard.

You are an organized individual with the ability to multitask and prioritize. You have previous customer service and administrative experience and you approach every day with a positive, cheerful attitude.


Client Services (approximately 75% of workload)

  • Client Administration
  • Client information collections & admin
  • Scheduling of initial meeting
  • New Client Referrals (incoming and outgoing)
  • Filing and document management
  • Reception for Thrive clients and Spark Centre
  • Phone system management
  • Physical reception
  • Calendar administration
  • Thrive administrative activities
  • Timesheet process administration
  • CRM administration – ensuring client records are accurate and up to date
  • Support client bookkeeping by acting as liaison between clients and financial advisors
  • Assist and support “Thrive” – Spark Centre’s high-potential start-up client program
  • Assist and support “Catalyst” – Spark Centre’s scaling client program
  • Assist and support “Expert Network” – Spark Centre’s client services provider program
  • Assist and support the Ignite Program – Spark Centre’s annual start-up competition

Executive Assistant (approximately 25% of workload)

  • Calendar administration for CEO
  • Phone system management
  • Bank deposits, mail runs, etc.
  • General office administration like filing, archiving, and office supply ordering
  • Key organizational contact for CEO


  • Two (2) or more years’ experience within a fast paced office
  • Experience in a customer-facing role
  • College diploma in Administration, Communications, or equivalent work experience
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
  • Experience working with a CRM software


  • Excellent attention to detail and a willingness to learn
  • Friendly, enthusiastic personality – customer service focused
  • Ability to work independently and in a team environment
  • Ability to grasp tasks quickly and take initiative when necessary
  • Sense of humour and practices discretion
  • Ability to effectively prioritize and manage time effectively
  • Ability to multi task in a fast paced environment
  • Ability to work in a collaborative/shared working environment


  • Bilingualism (French-English) an asset


  • We are a “start-up” culture, an organization that is fast-paced, with an open office design and concept
  • Our high performance setting will provide the opportunity for you to gain valuable experience, long-term development and career growth
  • Our “get it done” belief has you involved in our off-hour events and activities, supporting our operational needs – We are a highly driven, motivated and passionate team that works and plays hard

If you are a dynamic, energetic, dedicated and a motivated individual and want to become a core member of our team, we want to hear from you!

We thank all interested candidates, however, only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Job Type: Full-time

Required education:

  • Bachelor’s

Required experience:

  • Executive Assistant: 3 years
  • CRM Software: 2 years
  • client administration: 3 years

Required language:

  • French


Apply today!

Client Update: Roster Point


In February 2016 Bryan Brant started to have his new website, Roster Point developed. The sites main purpose was to bring hockey players that weren’t quite good enough to be drafted together with junior teams from the Tier 2 level and down.  The goal was to see more players having a chance to play junior hockey at some level of the game.

Since February 2016 the business has made a couple of pivots and has grown to become the only site of its kind.  In January 2017 Bryan was looking for a way to rank the players in the database so teams would be able to quickly find the right skilled players for their teams.  What he ended up finding was a company called CVS Sports Analytics.  CVS had been ranking players for the NHL Draft since 2006 and in 2010 they started to rank 15 year old players for the Junior Drafts as well. The unique thing about CVS is they only use 100% Predictive Analytics to rank players. Contrary to the industry norm that still uses the Eye Test to scout and rank players, CVS was producing more accurate rankings year after year than any other company.

Today Roster Point is promoting the highly skilled players that CVS identifies to the highest levels of junior hockey. “What this is creating is a magnet type of effect” say Brant “the more we promote the higher skilled players the more players we’re having signing up” which has been the businesses nemesis since they launch in mid-2016. “We suffered from the Chicken and the Egg syndrome for quite a while but we really got into a grove and started to attract players when we got 3 interns from the Sports Management Program at Durham College” said Brant “the students were instrumental in growing the player database to over 1500 player contacts in 3 months.”

The business is starting to see a number of teams sign up for paid subscriptions now which is the financial blood line for the company. More and more players continue to sign up. Players are getting the benefits of the promotion and are getting drafted because of the help they receive from Roster Point. It’s just a matter of time before the flood gates open and more teams see the value in having a Roster Point Subscription.

Visit Roster Point at

Call or email Bryan Brant if you have any questions about the project (905) 424-5869

Workshop: The Path to Profit

Event Schedule:

6:00 – 6:30 Networking & Pizza

6:30 – 7:30 Workshop

7:30 – 8:00 Q&A


Do you ever find yourself wondering:

  • my bank balance says I have $25,000 but I know I wrote some cheques, how much do I really have?
  • Money is slipping through my fingers but how much of it is applicable to my business idea versus my personal life?
  • I found a great government grant program but they need financials, where do I start?
  • What is the financial health of my business? Am I really making money?

This workshop will help all entrepreneurs whether pre-revenue or revenue generating, investor funded or not understand the importance of:

  • tracking your business expenditures from inception
  • why bank reconciliations matter
  • and how these things put you on THE PATH TO PROFIT

AND we will give you the tools to make it all happen easily!


For most entrepreneurs’ when these issues or concerns come up they are often solved reactively rather then proactively. In “The Path To Profit” workshop Finance Without Borders Inc.(FWB) will provide entrepreneurs with the necessary tools to proactively manage their financial health. The workshop will focus on easy, time saving solutions that will provide financial statements and allow entrepreneurs to track their spending effectively. The workshop will also explain profitability and explain which costs are worth tracking but are often overlooked.

FWB has partnered with XERO; XERO is a cost effective cloud based accounting tool with many add-on software partners that allow a small business to grow into a full ERP system as needed. This software will be available at a 50% discount for 12 months for Spark Centre Client’s who register by May 12th. Discount Code: SPARK50 

Come hang out at the event and learn more. We have fun SWAG giveaways for all attendees!


About the Presenter:

Dorothy Zubel, CPA, CMA – Director of Finance

Dorothy is a key member of the Finance Without Borders (FWB) team as an Accountant and Finance Professional who brings over 10 years of progressive experience. Dorothy is FWB’s system’s guru having been an integral part of many system implementations. Her greatest strength is finding creative solutions to meet the needs of clients and stakeholders. Dorothy focuses on the complete structure of the organization, including, accounting system stability, implementing internal processes and controls, as well as improving monthly reporting, annual budgeting and future forecasting.


Spark Centre at OCE Discovery 2017!

Spark Centre at OCE Discovery 2017!

Spark Centre is a proud sponsor of OCE Discovery and we enjoy participating each year, showcasing 8 of our awesome clients.

We look forward to participating once again this year on May 15th and 16th to showcase these amazing Spark Centre clients: CrossPlatform Cloud Technologies Inc.Dash MDHenlen Hexyoo Scientific Inc.IFTechSound Options Tinnitus TreatmentsWeTraqZambah

Discovery is Canada’s leading innovation-to-commercialization conference. Hosted by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Discovery brings together key players from industry, academia, government and the investment community, as well as entrepreneurs and students to pursue collaboration opportunities. For more information on Discovery, click here.