From Artificial Intelligence and connected objects to bots, Bluetooth and RFIDs – the demand for IoT technology is increasing more than ever in Canada, according to a report from IDC.

Beta Kit reported that with the costs of connected devices going down, around 50% of mid to large Canadian businesses adopted or intend to adopt at least one IoT solution between 2016 and 2017.

And even though the United States seems to be leading the pack, there are many factors indicating that Canada is right behind it. According to last year’s report from Brookfield Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship:

  • The tech sector was directly responsible for $117 billion or 7.1 percent of Canada’s economic output, greater than that of the finance and insurance industry.
  • 864,000 Canadians were employed in the tech sector, which made up 5.6 percent of Canada’s total employment.
  • At over $9.1 billion, the tech sector was by far the largest private sector investor in research and development.
  • The tech sector was also comprised of nearly 71,000 firms that year, representing 6.1 percent of all Canadian businesses.
  • Tech sector employees earned approximately $67,000 a year, compared to the national average of nearly $48,000.

The scenario is definitely promising. Whether you’re a startup looking to disrupt an industry or an established company looking into generating more revenue, there are endless reasons to invest in the Internet of Things (IoT), especially in mobile. Canada is already seen as a leader in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, and companies like Google and Uber are already aware of the opportunities: as we mentioned in our past blog post, they’re heavily investing in their own AI hubs in Toronto.

According to Jennifer Sewell, Product Marketing Manager at mnubo, “IoT and AI have positioned Canada as an innovative hot bed. But more importantly, it is opening the door for entrepreneurs. With access to resources and skilled workers, entrepreneurs are encouraged to keep their business local.” 

As a mobile app development agency, we like to stay informed and keep our eyes open to emerging technologies. That’s why we love benchmark and made a list of the Canadian Internet of Things (IoT) app startups we should all keep an eye on.

Ready to get inspired?

Toronto IoT App Startup #1: EcoBee

According to the team:
“The Toronto-based company introduced the world’s first Wi-Fi enabled smart thermostat across North America in 2007. Since then, ecobee has enabled hundreds of thousands of consumers to control their home comfort anytime, anywhere using their smartphone, tablet or computer. Because half of a home’s energy use comes from heating and cooling, ecobee is one of the best investments a homeowner can make. It has proven to deliver a return on investment within approx. 1 year, saving 23% (avg.) on your heating and cooling bills, without sacrificing comfort.”

City: Toronto, ON
Size: 201-500 employees
 | Angel List Profile

Toronto IoT App Startup #2: Flybits

According to the team: “Flybits is changing the mobile paradigm by creating context-aware software that can sense and adapt to who you are, where you are, and what you’re doing. Our platform enables consumer-focused enterprises to deploy and manage mobile experiences that deliver targeted content and services. While we are focused on mobile today, our vision extends as far as wearables, smart devices, embedded technology and emerging Internet of Everything trends.”

City: Toronto
Size: 11- 50
Website | Angel List Profile

According to the team:
“Modern modular approach to ‘hyperlocal micro-farming’ (TM) for the urban dweller. Modgarden is a vegetable growing unit that allows users to grow a variety of plants from leafy greens, herbs, microgreens and some root vegetables. The system uses a soil based approach to maintain the organic-ness of the produce. This approach significantly expands the universe of vegetables that can grow in Modgarden, given the variant planter depths. Further versatility is accomplished with adjustable shelves and stackability of units. The solution is meant to be pragmatic to achieve a significant portion of the dinner plate increasingly supplanting the grocery store. Feature wise the system has App functionality for monitoring, guidance and maintenance with a community forum where users interact compare (and trade with those within “Tinder” radius). There are cloud and IoT aspects that will grow as the product takes hold.”

City: Toronto
Size: 11- 50
Website | Angel List Profile

Toronto IoT Startup #4: Open Channel

According to the team: “Simple Ecosystem Management – From API to UI, OpenChannel provides everything you need to create and manage your partner directory or plugin marketplaces on the app store. Our API and customizable UI templates give you full control over your developer and end user experience. Create your own “app types” and custom workflows across web, mobile, desktop, wearables, IoT and even virtual reality! By eliminating internal development, unexpected delays, ongoing support and maintenance, your marketplace will be and running in days or weeks, not months or years – getting you to market 10X faster and 90% more cost-effectively. Our focus on the marketplace, developer and ecosystem needs means you can focus on building a world-class ecosystem. Improving documentation, technical support and program design are the front lines for you and your team, and now you can be there.

City: Toronto
Size: 11- 50
Website | Angel List Profile

Greater Toronto Area IoT App Startup #5: Alert Labs

According to the team: “Alert Labs’ Insight series protects our customers’ properties by gathering and analyzing real-time data using attractive, reliable, and easy-to-install IoT hardware and software.  Sensors can be installed by anyone in less than 2 minutes, and then they are on the alert for water leaks, floods, power issues, and more. Alert Labs monitors your water usage, power, heating/cooling, temperature, humidity, sump pump, and water softener. Customers receive real-time alerts to their smartphones for emergency events (e.g. a flood) and gain insight with long-term big data analytics (i.e. escalating water use or inefficient equipment) in order to avoid damage to their properties and to save money, hassle, and natural resources. Sensors are cellular, so no Wi-Fi is required. Battery back-up ensures sensors continue to monitor during a power outage.

City: Kitchener (Greater Toronto Area)
Size: 11- 50
Website | Angel List Profile

Toronto IoT App Startup #6: Knitt Labs

According to the team: Knitt is an Internet of Things (IoT) hardware and software platform that tracks, measures and monitors electricity consumption at an outlet and switch level. Knitt’s hardware is Wi-Fi enabled and can be used as an outlet of any kind, a switch, at the breaker level and even as a power bar. Knitt’s software is where the data is accessed and can be viewed historically and in real-time. The software also enables households and businesses to remotely control, schedule and set smart rules for when things turn on or off. Smart rules are trigger-based rules like ambient temperature, humidity, light, sound level, and much more. This is made possible by our environment sensor that we created to integrate with the Knitt platform. Knitt is also smart, it has machine learning algorithms built into it that learns the way we consume electricity. It helps us automatically manage our usage better, which reduces energy waste, in turn saving us money and helping the environment.

City: Toronto
Website | Angel List Profile

Toronto IoT App Startup #7: Ubiquilux

According to the team: “Customers have been using simple switches on a daily basis all their lives. We augment these ubiquitous interfaces in a way which keeps the “old” way of using the switch but adds patented features enabled by the GestureSense™ and ActiveSaver technology.

Our first product (shipping now) is an “augmented” gesture controlled and actively energy saving dimmer switch, followed by a family of smart lighting products including connected switches. Our e-Motion switch can be described as:

Capable — As good or better than high end dimmers, works with LED lights
Convenient — Use with or without having to touch it
Sanitary — Touchless feature stops spread of dirt and germs
Novel — Unique aesthetic design
Smart — Reacts to its environment”

City: Toronto
Size: 1 – 10
Website | Angel List Profile

Did we miss any? Did you agree with this list?
Don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know what you think!

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Guarana Technologies develops best-of-class mobile apps for smartphones, tablets and wearable devices. We develop your app ideas, make them smart and sexy, code them and launch them. Native iOS and Android app development.


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