FedDev Ontario investments help two Burlington businesses scale up and succeed
$2.9 million combined for healthcare tech company and leading distributor to better compete and add 60 skilled jobs
March 31, 2021 – Burlington, Ontario
As the world continues to deal with the impact of COVID-19, southern Ontario companies are adopting innovative processes and commercializing game-changing products to stay on the cutting edge and spur growth. The Government of Canada remains focused on keeping Canadians safe and healthy, while also ensuring businesses and individuals have the support they need during this global health and economic crisis.
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced a total FedDev Ontario repayable contribution of $2.9 million to support the growth of two Burlington-based companies: AceAge Inc. and Gerrie Electric Wholesale Limited (Gerrie Electric).
AceAge Inc., a healthcare technology company, has developed and commercialized the Karie™ in-home medical device that organizes and dispenses medication. The easy-to-use system allows patients to schedule medication refills and deliveries, which has become increasingly beneficial during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also reminds users to take their medication, which is dispensed with the push of a button, and uses smartphone technology to alert family or caregivers when a patient has missed a dosage. With a $1.5-million repayable contribution, AceAge Inc. will scale its operations to meet increasing demand in Canada and Europe by growing its development and support teams. This investment will also help the company launch its technology in the United States.
AceAge Inc. will also leverage an additional $4.5 million in private sector investment and grow its team to 70 employees with the addition of 50 skilled jobs in Burlington.
Gerrie Electric, a women-owned and -led wholesale distributor and retailer, specializes in electrical, automation, data communication and lighting products, services and solutions used in industrial, institutional, commercial, IP network, utility and retail markets. With a $1.4-million repayable contribution, Gerrie Electric will consolidate its distribution operations into a 76,000-square-foot facility in Burlington, equip the facility with Industry 4.0 technologies such as automated storage and retrieval systems, and digitize its workflow process. This investment will help to improve productivity and efficiency, grow domestic sales, and enable the company to be more sustainable and to better compete in the global e-commerce industry.
Gerrie Electric will also leverage an additional $4.7 million in private sector investment, support robust supply chain solutions in southern Ontario by purchasing from local suppliers and contractors, create 10 skilled jobs and maintain more than 450 jobs in Burlington.
“Today’s investment will allow two innovative Burlington companies to grow and better position themselves in their respective sectors, now and beyond the pandemic. Alongside our regional development agencies like FedDev Ontario, our Government is investing to support businesses, organizations, and communities as they expand and stay resilient for the future—all while creating good, local jobs.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
“Burlington is a diverse and sustainable community that provides businesses with the ability to innovate and grow. Our government is ensuring that businesses across all sectors are supported as they produce quality goods and services for domestic and international markets. FedDev Ontario’s investment will help to scale two important local companies, leveraging millions in additional investment and supply chain spending, while adding a total of 60 new skilled jobs in Burlington.”
- The Honourable Karina Gould, Member of Parliament for Burlington and Minister of International Development
“FedDev Ontario delivers programs and services to ensure innovation and economic growth in southern Ontario. The Government of Canada is working to support local businesses in scaling up production to expand capacity and meet growing and changing demands. This important FedDev Ontario investment in AceAge Inc. and Gerrie Electric will allow them to improve supply chain technology and add good-paying, highly-skilled jobs in our community during this critical regeneration period.”
- Pam Damoff, Member of Parliament for Oakville North–Burlington
“FedDev Ontario’s funding program is a major catalyst in the growth of AceAge. We are a Canadian company, based in Burlington, Ontario, aimed at addressing an unmet need in healthcare systems globally. This investment will allow us to deliver on those growth opportunities in front of us, adding to our team to support our domestic and international partners.”
- Tim Matthews, Interim Chief Executive Officer, AceAge Inc.
“The team at Gerrie Electric is very excited about the progress of our new distribution centre and our innovative warehouse technology that will drive even greater productivity to support new and growing sales and job satisfaction. We are thrilled to receive FedDev Ontario funding and we are excited to jointly market this great opportunity to showcase Canadian efficiencies for a great Canadian success story.”
- Elaine Gerrie-Valentini, Co-President and Chief Executive Officer, Gerrie Electric
Established in 2015, AceAge Inc. was born out of entrepreneur Spencer Waugh’s personal experience, who saw his grandfather repeatedly admitted to hospital after medication mix ups. Waugh discovered that his grandfather was not alone in his struggles: up to 90 percent of patients make mistakes in taking medication, leading to 28 percent of emergency room visits and 23 percent of nursing home admissions. A pilot study conducted with University of Toronto demonstrated that the company’s medication delivery device increases medication adherence by 300 percent.
AceAge Inc. received $100,000 in support through the NRC-IRAP program towards the development of Karie™. In 2016, Innovation Guelph’s Fuel Injection program, funded through FedDev Ontario, provided $30,000 in seed funding to AceAge Inc. to help improve its user interface.
Established in 1957, Gerrie Electric is a third-generation, family-owned Women Business Enterprise and is recognized as one of Canada’s largest independent electrical distributors. The company has also been quick to adapt and provide critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to Ontario manufacturers during the pandemic.
In 2020, Gerrie Electric was recognized as one of Canada's Best Managed Gold Standard Companies. In 2018, Co-Presidents Heather Gerrie Kwant and Elaine Gerrie-Valentini, received Burlington’s Distinguished Entrepreneur Award, presented by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce.
Since November 2015, FedDev Ontario has invested $26 million in 84 projects in the Halton Census Division.
Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
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