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
$9 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 at entrepreneurship@UBC

Taking Canada's wireless companies global

The opportunity

Canada has a long history of global leadership in telecommunications. Maintaining this leadership in an increasingly wireless world will depend in large part on the success of hundreds of small and mid-sized homegrown companies. A critical issue for these companies is how to identify and connect with the resources, partners and opportunities that will enable them 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

CECR support enabled Wavefront to expand its services across Canada and take firms global by providing access to commercialization resources normally beyond the reach of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). These include accelerated commercialization and mentorship programs, international market linkages, and product testing, as well as affordable access to mobile device libraries across the country to help SMEs develop their products. Wavefront also connects academic researchers who have developed commercially viable innovations to suitable industry partners. Networking and hands-on learning underscore almost everything Wavefront does, whether through conferences, seminars, training camps or workshops.

Among the results

  • Over 120 new companies have been created, including Starling Minds – one of 20 B.C. start-ups launched by former Nokia employees who received support from Wavefront’s Venture Acceleration program, in partnership with Nokia.
  • Based on an independent third-party analysis, Wavefront has generated $14.50 in economic benefits for every public dollar invested in it, and produced almost $300 million in GDP across the Canadian economy. Companies interviewed during the assessment stated that Wavefront helped accelerate their time to market by four to five months, generated new streams of revenue, and helped them save money.
  • Ottawa-based Zighra worked with Wavefront, through the National Research Council of Canada’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), on a go-to-market strategy for addressing the enterprise security market with Zighra’s Adaptive Behavioural Biometrics solutions. The company is now confidently engaging a number of Fortune 500 enterprises.
  • Wavefront has introduced Sendum Wireless, a Canadian company, to mobile operators and channel partners around the world under their Global Market Entry Program. As a result of Wavefront’s market linkage introductions, Australian mobile operator Telstra has deployed Sendum’s asset monitoring solution through its Business & Enterprise portal.
  • Rogers Communications has opened the Rogers Wireless Innovation Centre and M2M Zone in Vancouver, where business customers and developers can try out the latest in machine-to-machine (M2M) technology and enterprise mobility applications.
  • Wavefront partnered with Sierra Wireless to continue raising awareness via hands-on developer training sessions. These events provide developers with the necessary knowledge and tools to rapidly develop and deploy M2M solution prototypes.
  • Wavefront has introduced over 150 Canadian SMEs to global connections through 27 market linkage trips. Independent reporting showed Wavefront helped increase foreign sales for participating companies by 38%.

Connect with Wavefront


December 20, 2016
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April 23, 2015
March 16, 2017
May 1-2, 2017
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