FedDev pledges $4.4M to five area companies Anthony Reinhart October 10, 2012 Startups Five high-growth tech companies in Waterloo Region will receive up to $4.4 million in investment from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), Kitchener-Waterloo MP Peter Braid announced Wednesday. The repayable contributions from FedDev will unlock another $9 million in related venture and angel investment for the five companies, Braid told an audience at the Accelerator Centre in Waterloo. “This investment will have a huge positive impact on the Kitchener-Waterloo area, creating more than 210 jobs and helping to secure our region’s reputation as a major player in the new economy,” Braid said. The $4.4 million includes: – $985,000 for P&P Optica to develop technology that can quickly and accurately measure very small chemical concentrations; – $980,000 for Maluuba Inc. to develop and commercialize its natural language processing software, allowing users of specific smart phones and tablets to find the information they need by speaking to their devices; – $950,000 for Avenir Medical Inc. to develop a guidance tool for hip replacement surgery that allows for precise alignment of implants digitally rather than by sight, reducing the costly and painful problem of incorrect positioning of implants; – $750,000 for Axonify Inc. to expand and improve its corporate training system for employers to deliver health and safety training; and – $750,000 for Sweet Tooth Inc. to expand the compatibility of its customer loyalty rewards software system. FedDev funding, part of the government’s Investing in Business Innovation initiative, is designed to boost private sector investment in startups and accelerate commercialization of innovative products, processes and practices. Wednesday’s announcement follows a similar one in June, in which eight area companies received up to $5.3 million to grow their operations. UPDATE: On Friday, Oct. 12, a Communitech Hub tenant company, Cyborg Trading Systems, received $381,500 in investment from FedDev, to boost the global market presence of its algorithm-based stock-trading technology.