August 16, 2010 / 6:05 PM / in 7 years

Ontario funds medical, media tech startups

TORONTO (Reuters) - Three Canadian high-tech startups have received government help to bring their products to market, including companies developing cloud-based medical imaging and sending broadcast-quality live video via mobile networks.

The three each received C$500,000 ($480,800) of provincial government investment and eight more companies have been approved for funding to be announced in coming days, Ontario’s innovation minister, John Milloy, said in a telephone interview on Monday.

“Ontario has no shortage of great ideas,” Milloy said after Monday’s announcement. “The problem is getting them to market.”

Ontario’s Investment Accelerator Fund targets firms operating in information technology, green technology and life sciences. “We’re trying to build on our strengths in those areas,” he said.

Medical imaging firm Client Outlook is due to receive the second tranche of funding which has helped the small firm move from a basement enterprise to a beta-testing stage with an eye on regulatory approval later this year, an executive said.

The firm’s eUnity product offers “zero footprint” web-based medical imaging, which doctors and clinicians can access securely to view x-rays and other images without specialized software. Zero footprint means it operates without a cache of sensitive information on the computer used to access the images.

“This will be a very disruptive device,” said vice-president for business development Gary Gudbranson. “Clinicians will be able legally to make diagnoses off the images.”

Gudbranson, who has seen the firm’s staff double to 10 since he was hired last month, said Canadian approval was expected in September and U.S. approval by November.

Another of the firms to receive state funds was Dejero Labs, which has patented a technology it says allows for transmission of broadcast-quality live video over a cellular network.

The firm worked with Canadian broadcaster CTV to send out live footage of the torch relay for the Vancouver Winter Games earlier this year.

“Broadcasters have a real need for live feeds in the field -- and now we’re able to provide that,” the firm’s chairman and chief executive, Ron Neumann, said in a statement.

The third firm was DossierView, a software technology firm offering more intelligent searching of local computer networks and the Internet.

All three firms are based in the Waterloo-Kitchener area, home to Blackberry maker Research In Motion and the University of Waterloo, one of Canada’s best-known technology centers.

($1 = $1.04 Canadian dollars)

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Frank McGurty

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