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BlackBerry, L-SPARK Celebrate First Accelerator Cohort Success

Meet the seven automotive startups looking to transform the industry with vehicles that offer better sensing & decision making, improved threat detection and personalized e-identities

On Tuesday at the Ottawa L5 test facilities, BlackBerry and L-SPARK, Canada’s leading software-as-a-service accelerator, held a ‘demo day’ to showcase the success of the first seven companies to take part in the company’s joint start-up incubator program. With an impressive range of technological innovation on display showing what can be achieved in just six months of intensive mentoring and development, we also took the occasion to double down on our partnership and will be launching a new search for start-ups to participate in Phase Two of our accelerator program in the coming months.

Launched this past September with the aim of helping small and medium-sized technology enterprises (SMEs) grow their businesses and bring new products to market using BlackBerry QNX technology, over a period of six months, BlackBerry helped each of the select companies research and develop autonomous vehicle product prototypes in areas such as robotics, cybersecurity, sensor fusion (e.g. lidar, radar, cameras and GPS), functional safety, analytics and Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning.

Powered by BlackBerry QNX technology, meet the seven companies looking to help shape the future of the auto industry and the new products they’ve built to enhance the driving experience –

  • MARTELLO (Ottawa, Ontario): Network and IT management software provider who use hardware and advanced network algorithms to offer vehicles a reliable connection – their proof of concept built using BlackBerry QNX software is a first step to making sure spotty cell coverage doesn’t impact future drivers and passengers.
  • KYBERSECURITY (Montreal, Quebec): KyberSecurity uses innovative concepts to combat a wide range of persistent and sophisticated cybersecurity attacks. KyberSecurity ensures that Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) are protected from cyberattacks that could potentially have fatal consequences.
  • EVOLVED VEHICLE ENVIRONMENTS (Ottawa, Ontario): With EVE Connect, drivers can connect to a number of smart home platforms and over 450 applications to control their home life from their car.
  • VISIONARY SEMICONDUCTOR INC. (Waterloo, Ontario): Combining color imaging and depth mapping Visionary Semiconductor Inc. has developed a pilot that allows vehicles to have a 3D understanding of their surroundings.
  • BLUINK (Ottawa, Ontario): Bluink allows customers and citizens to carry their identity with them on their smartphone in a secure wallet app called eID-Me. Leveraging BlackBerry QNX software, the access management company has developed a transportation-focused version that consumers can use for car sharing or fleet management via a secure, e-identity app.
  • ACERTA (Kitchener, Ontario): Using machine learning and pattern-recognition, Acerta have developed a tool that analyzes and highlights undetected faults in automotive generated data – in real time; something which is extremely valuable given that the average car runs on over 100 million lines of code.
  • SOLTARE (Edmonton, Alberta): Technology company that develops automotive sensors, making vehicles more perceptive even when their drivers are not. Specifically, Soltare has developed an emergency vehicle siren detection – iHear – that is designed to notify both the existence and direction of an approaching emergency vehicle.

“It’s been great to be able to help these high-potential companies advance their products and gain valuable insight into connected and autonomous vehicle technology,” said Grant Courville, VP, Product Management and Strategy, BlackBerry QNX, BlackBerry. “Using our safe and secure BlackBerry QNX software platform, the BlackBerry / L-SPARK Accelerator Program provided the perfect framework for us to work together, innovate and help these seven start-up companies solve some real-world transportation industry issues.”

“It was heartwarming to see the success achieved by the companies in this cohort,” said Leo Lax, Executive Managing Director of L-SPARK. “The BlackBerry QNX software platform is an ideal platform to build a robust ecosystem around. In record time, we have demonstrated the benefits of leveraging the global footprint and technical maturity of BlackBerry with the agility and inventiveness of the L-SPARK selected SMEs. More importantly, we have shown that this results in major benefits to all.”

To learn more about the results of the BlackBerry / L-SPARK Accelerator Program and to see a demo video of each of the pilots that the participating companies have built, please visit


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