Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada
Government of Canada

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$19.6 million for 2011-21
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Number of partners

Partner contributions
$10.3 million

Vancouver, British Columbia

President and CEO
James Maynard James Maynard

Board chair
Peter van der Gracht Peter van der Gracht
Founding Donor and Director, e@UBC

Transforming businesses through mobile and IoT innovation

The opportunity

Canada has a long history of global leadership in telecommunications. Maintaining this leadership in an increasingly wireless world depends in large part on the success of hundreds of small and medium-sized homegrown companies. A critical issue for these companies is how to identify and connect with the resources, partners and opportunities needed to commercialize new products and services, and expand into new international markets. In 2007, Vancouver-based business accelerator Wavefront broke new ground with a suite of services that began helping companies in British Columbia. Four years later, the centre was looking to go national.

How Wavefront is seizing the opportunity

Wavefront offers services across Canada to take firms global by providing access to commercialization resources normally beyond the reach of small- and medium-sized enterprises. These include accelerated commercialization and mentorship programs, international market linkages, product testing and affordable access to mobile device libraries for product development. Wavefront also connects academic researchers who have developed commercially viable innovations with suitable industry partners. Networking and hands-on learning underscore almost everything Wavefront does, whether through conferences, seminars, training camps or workshops.

Among the results

  • Wavefront has created more than 170 new companies, many through its Venture Acceleration Program for early-stage companies. Alumni include Awesense, which deployed a smart grid analytics solution with BC Hydro to reduce power theft issues; Mobify, which created a mobile shopping platform for enterprise retailers; and Cropsense, an innovator of agriculture technology.
  • Wavefront’s usability testing services have helped organizations like Car2Go launch its first Canadian operations in Vancouver, British Columbia, and Eventbase, an event app platform, gain their first customers: The Vancouver Olympics, SXSW, Sundance Film Festival, the Cannes Film Festival and Salesforce.
  • Through its Global Market Entry Program, Wavefront has introduced more than 175 Canadian companies to global markets in 34 countries, including Sendum Wireless. As a result, Australian mobile operator Telstra has deployed Sendum’s asset monitoring solution through its Business & Enterprise portal.
  • In collaboration with VIATeC and Accelerate Okanagan, Wavefront launched the RevUp program for growth-stage companies with strong market potential. The program educates companies on sales, marketing, operations and raising capital. Twelve companies have participated in the program.

Connect with Wavefront


December 20, 2016
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January 18, 2016
April 23, 2015
Building Canada's Strengths: Information and Communications Technology (ICT)
April 17, 2014
ICT has grown faster than the overall Canadian economy over the past five years, created 32,000 jobs between 2011 and 2012, and performed 33% of all private sector research and development in 2012. Yet to remain competitive, Canada needs to connect innovative firms to sales opportunities globally, promote linkages between firms to advance business-to-business market opportunities, and leverage government investments to benefit hundreds of small and medium sized firms. Read more
Taking Canadian wireless companies global
August 1, 2013
One of the biggest challenges small and mid-sized Canadian wireless companies face today is how to identify and connect with the critical resources, partners and opportunities that will enable them to commercialize new products and services, and expand into new markets. Read more
Wavefront Helps Canadian Wireless Companies Gain Speed to Innovate and Win: RewardLoop Develops the First Transaction-based Wireless Loyalty Program
November 2, 2011
Canadians love loyalty programs but they don’t necessarily enjoy hunting for their loyalty cards at the cash register. So why not develop a loyalty program that doesn’t involve cards at all? Many Canadians carry mobile phones—what if you could find a way to use wireless technology to automatically credit loyalty points or stamps to your account? Read more
Watch Video
Wavefront Corporate Video
November 23, 2012