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) -POSITION HAS BEEN FILLED-



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