Toronto, Ont. – Today INFINITI LAB Toronto, a Smart Cities and Internet of Things (IoT) pre-accelerator program from premium car brand INFINITI, announced that Rover Parking, a marketplace for shared parking that allows users to easily access shared parking spaces all over the city using their smartphone, has been named the top startup at the program's inaugural Demo Day. Eight startups participated in the program, the first North American cohort, and yesterday the companies pitched to an audience of industry professionals, VC investors, and media. The top company was selected by a panel of experts including Stephen Lester, Managing Director of INFINITI Canada; Dane Fisher, General Manager of Global Business Transformation for INFINITI; and Brian Kobus, Director of OMERS Ventures, who chose Rover Parking to move on to the Hong Kong program, set to begin later this Fall. The selection committee also announced that NXCAR, a technology company that transforms new and used vehicles into smart cars, was chosen to join the top 20 startups who will compete for a spot in the Hong Kong program later this year.
"Rover Parking came out on top because of the potential they have to use IoT to change our cities, and the impact we believe they can have as part of the Hong Kong program," said Dane Fisher, General Manager of Global Business Transformation for INFINITI Motors. "We chose Toronto as the first North American launch of INFINITI LAB because of its role as an IoT hub, and now we're excited to see what the companies in our Toronto program can do on the global stage."
Toronto Mayor John Tory joined the evening event as part of a panel discussion about the importance of IoT and smart city technology for cities like Toronto. He spoke on stage with Brian Kobus, Director of OMERS Ventures and Dane Fisher, General Manager of Global Business Transformation for INFINITI Motors, and addressed questions on the future of IoT technologies and Toronto's role in ecosystem.
"Toronto has increasingly become a key player on the global technology stage, and the startups participating in the INFINITI LAB program have real-world potential to change the way Torontonians interact with their cities," said Toronto Mayor John Tory. "I was thrilled to participate in this important discussion and I look forward to seeing what all the startups who pitched this evening contribute to the technology industry and the city of Toronto."
The month-long INFINITI Lab Toronto program featured guest speakers from partners including IBM Canada, TribalScale, T4G, Techstars, OMERS Ventures, TELUS Ventures, the City of Toronto, and Fleet Complete. The pre-accelerator program kicked off on May 29, and the other companies in the program included DRVEN, Pull Technologies, and Pitstop. Rover Parking will now go on to participate in the three-month Hong Kong program, the home of INFINITI's head office. Now in its third year, INFINITI LAB Hong Kong is driven by Nest, a Hong Kong-based investment company.
To learn more about INFINITI LAB Toronto visit: http://www.infiniti.ca/en/about/infiniti-lab.html
To learn more about INFINITI LAB Hong Kong visit: infiniti.com.hk/infiniti-lab.html
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