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Are you a Canadian tech startup with a solution that could be transformed by 5G and Mobile Edge Compute?

What is the Centech 5G Development Hub?

Created by Verizon and Centech, in collaboration with Bell Canada, the 5G Development Hub provides startups and scaleups with a unique opportunity to realize the transformative power of 5G and Mobile Edge Compute (MEC). The program will work to unlock innovation in multiple industries including manufacturing and supply chain, transportation and smart cities, and energy and utilities.


Selected startups and scaleups will have the chance to integrate their solution on Bell’s 5G network and demonstrate their innovations to two of the largest network operators in Canada and the US.

Creating a unique space for startups to unlock innovation with the power of 5G and Mobile Edge Compute.

Focus Areas

We are looking for startups with innovative B2B solutions that can leverage 5G and MEC to unlock increased capabilities. We are recruiting in the following areas:

Manufacturing & Supply Chain

5G technology will power the “factory of the future,” by allowing manufacturers to build more flexible, efficient and safer production operations. 5G will improve overall operational efficiency and quality assurance across the supply chain by enabling increased automation, robotics, augmented reality and IoT solutions.

Transportation & Smart Cities

5G is poised to have a tremendous impact on the future of transportation. From logistics and delivery to autonomous vehicle testing and implementation, 5G will provide near real-time visibility and system control for transportation systems across the world.

Energy & Utilities

5G technology will help reimagine how to more efficiently manage energy production, transmission, distribution and usage, as well as the next wave of mining and smart grid features. Critical utility infrastructure will benefit from 5G's speed, power and throughput, leading to a smart Distributed Energy Resources and new and flexible energy ecosystems.

Why participate in the Centech 5G Development Hub?

Selected participants will get to innovate on Bell’s 5G network and Mobile Edge Compute (MEC) at Centech, creating new use cases and realizing the power of 5G on their solutions.

By participating in the 5G Development Hub, selected startups and scalable companies will be provided an exclusive opportunity to demonstrate the benefits of incorporating 5G and MEC into their technologies and services. Participants will have a unique opportunity to work alongside with network experts from Bell as well as business leaders from Verizon’s New Business Incubation team, housing industry experts in the areas of location technology, robotics, industrial IoT, energy management and other emergent technologies.

Access to Bell’s 5G network and technical expertise

  • Technical expertise to support you as you test and integrate 5G into your products and services
  • Access to testing on Bell’s commercial 5G network, MEC, and various devices

Business development and growth strategy

  • Mentoring from Centech on go-to-market, fundraising strategies and commercial pitch deck review
  • Access to related expertise from Centech's leading industry, technology, and 5G partners

Building
5G-ready
products

  • Develop applications that use 5G and MEC to enable new product capabilities
  • Opportunity to present 5G-integrated products to teams from Verizon and Bell

In addition to these advantages, the program also provides:

  • Co-working space at Centech during the program
  • Investment and/or partnership opportunities through the Centech ecosystem

Follow us for the latest news about the program!

Selection Criteria

  • You are a startup or a scalable company incorporated in Canada
  • Your product is commercialized or ready for commercialization in one of the designated focus areas
  • You are already considering integrating 5G and MEC into your product or service
  • You are available for technical integration at Centech’s Montreal-based testbed between August and October, 2022

Timeline

2022

May 18

Applications now open!

2022

June 29

Application deadline

2022

July 13-15

Finalists notified

2022

July 18-29

Finalist interviews

2022

August 1

Selected startups announced

2022

August

Onboarding into the program

2022

September-October

Testing of the solution in Montreal

2022

November

Innovation Showcase

Important information

1. Selection Process

Each startup must express interest by completing the short application form. Relevant companies will be invited to an informational session to learn about the program, meet the 5G Program partners and ask questions. A detailed application will be required for startups to provide information about their company, 5G integration goals and technical requirements. The first round of selections will take place in early July (the choice will be made based on the information and documentation provided by each candidate). Selected first round participants will receive an email inviting them to the final interview via a video call.

2. Application Evaluation

The jury will include members of the Verizon and Centech teams and an expert evaluator from Bell Canada.

3. Program Structure

This 3-month program is an individual startup coaching program focused on technological compliance validation and new business model development. All participants will have access to technical resources for testing and tech expert assistance (on request). Participants will also have three group meetings (one per month), and weekly check-in meetings with a business coach selected by the Centech team. You will need 1-2 hours per week to achieve your objectives, which will be established in partnership with the Centech team at the beginning of the program. During the testing phase, participant participation may be more intense (from 5 to 14 days, depending on test progress and metrics).

4. Online or in Person

The 5G Development Hub, located in Montreal, Quebec, is part of the Centech incubator campus. The testing will take place on Bell’s 5G network with Mobile Edge Compute at Centech. In addition to the onsite testing period (5 to 14 days), there will also be individual and group meetings during the program when online attendance is possible. Senior leadership and product specialists must be physically present in Montreal during the Innovation Showcase in mid-November in order to present solutions and progress.

5. Why Does Verizon Want to Collaborate With Canadian Startups?

Canada has a robust entrepreneurial ecosystem with exciting emerging technologies. Verizon sees an extraordinary opportunity to encourage this diverse market of entrepreneurs to leverage the capabilities of 5G and edge computing to help create the products and ecosystems of the future. The goal of working with Centech is to create a unique space for startups in industries that are ripe for disruption.

6. IP Transfer

By participating in the program, the companies are not required to give away any rights to their IP. All test work done during the program will be covered by an NDA between Centech, Verizon, Bell and the participant.

7. Equity and Expenses

This program is 100% equity-free. Participants do not have to pay any fee to be part of the program. Some traveling expenses for participant companies outside Montreal will be covered by Centech and the program partners

8. Tech Requirements for Tests

Testing is a critical component of our program. We’ll verify the compatibility between your solution/product, your needs and the available 5G infrastructure provided by Bell Canada before the beginning of the program, to ensure that all tests can be completed between September and November 2022.

9. Confidentiality

Participants will be required to execute a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement that contains key terms and conditions governing any potential disclosure of confidential, proprietary and sensitive information in connection with participating in the 5G Program.

About Centech

Centech is a world-class business incubator and non-profit organization based in Montreal, which welcomes innovative technology projects that meet the needs of the industry, market and society.

From concept to commercialization, Centech supports deep tech companies and projects with a strong potential for growth within a bold, collaborative and passionate ecosystem.

The Collision Lab, Centech’s open innovation hub, helps guide large corporations towards their open innovation goals by offering personalized support that will allow them to collaborate with tech startups and university expertise.

Contact Us

Program Manager:
Maria Bilash maria.bilash@centech.co
Strategic Partnerships:
Julian Lucchesi julian.lucchesi@centech.co
Communications:
Geneviève Lacoursière genevieve.lacoursiere@centech.co

About Verizon

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE, Nasdaq: VZ) was formed on June 30, 2000, and is one of the world’s leading providers of technology and communications services. Headquartered in New York City and with a presence around the world, Verizon generated revenues of $133.6 billion in 2021. The company offers data, video and voice services and solutions on its award-winning networks and platforms, delivering on customers’ demand for mobility, reliable network connectivity, security and control.

About Bell Canada

Leveraging the power of our world-class wireless and fibre networks, BCE delivers a wide range of service innovations to consumers, businesses and government customers across Canada including LTE Advanced, Fibe Internet and TV, Wireless Home Internet, cloud and data hosting, IP voice and collaboration, Connected Cars, Smart Cities and Internet of Things.

Bell Media operates the country’s top media brands, such as CTV, V, TSN, RDS, Crave, Noovo and iHeartRadio, and is a leading investor in Canadian content creation, including local television and radio news, sports and entertainment programming, and other original TV and film productions.