Peace Incubator start-ups display progress and promise

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

The heartbeat of the Kindred Credit Union Centre for Peace Advancement’s work is mobilizing impactful, collaborative social innovation efforts to advance peace. Participants in the Centre’s Epp Peace Incubator program pair their expertise with the Incubator’s support to catapult their ventures to new heights.

Three of the Centre’s current Incubator start-ups, Lunaria Solutions, GeoMate, and Panic, Anxiety, + Stress Support (PASS) have a history of consistently leveraging the program’s resources and connections to grow their businesses. Over the past couple of months, each of these start-ups has received external affirmation for their progress and promise. Here is an update on the recent successes of these Incubator ventures.

Cassie Myers, founder and CEO of Lunaria,a venture providing businesses with diversity and inclusion solutions, recently participated in the first ever SheBoot bootcamp, hosted by Invest Ottawa. This opportunity culminated in a pitch competition with 200, 000 dollars available in prize money. Lunaria was crowned Crowd Favourite at the event, awarding her the chance to meet with the Ottawa Angel Network. Cassie Myers is a leader in her field, having also spoken recently on a panel at Ada’s List Conf—a gathering for female tech entrepreneurs. Lunaria is persistent in its efforts to bring awareness to important issues in the workplace, developing relevant Education Units and thought-provoking blog posts.

An artificial intelligence start-up improving local travel safety,GeoMate is garnering the interest of organizations a bit closer to home—in the Waterloo Region innovation ecosystem. GeoMate was awarded up to $50,000 in funding through its AVIN (Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network) Waterloo Ventures at Communitech program. As one of ten companies chosen for the program’s second cohort, this funding will allow them to develop their products even further. Additionally, GeoMate was recognized for their leadership in the geospatial technology sector, winning the TECTERRA Award for start-up of the year. GeoMate, operated by CEO Dr. Amin Gharebaghi and CTO Dr. Nastaran Saberi, is a mapping service that will continue to increase accessibility and foster safer cities.

PASS, founded by academic and advocate Tina Chan, is another social enterprise tapping into noteworthy program opportunities. PASS’ mission is to improve access, add urgency, and spark change in the field of mental health, known for their flagship “first aid for mental health” PASS Kit. Tina Chan was a participant in Rhyze Ventures, a program for women entrepreneurs, which ended with a pitch competition. Chan made it to the competition finals, competing alongside eight other entrepreneurial endeavors. Additionally, Chan was recently named the recipient of the 2020 Faculty of Applied Health Sciences Young Alumni Award. With the recent release of PASS Cards for Screen Time, Chan is innovating and making her mark in the field of well-being.

Centre for Peace Advancement Director, Paul Heidebrecht, is eager to watch Incubator participants grow even more to advance peace in new ways: “As these social entrepreneurs continue to move the needle on pressing issues of justice and peace, it is an honour that the Centre for Peace Advancement can play a role in their journeys.”