Communitech is a Kitchener, Ontario, public-private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1400 companies. The Communitech Hub, a 7,440-plus-square-metre facility dedicated to world-leading innovation, brings together key players—from startups and global brands to government agencies, academic institutions, tech incubators and accelerators—to create an environment of collaboration like no other.
Last summer, just a few weeks after the Royal Canadian Air Force opened The Flight Deck, its corporate innovation lab at Communitech, Captain Jean Lebouthillier decided to go on a recce – a reconnaissance action, something Canadian Armed Forces personnel routinely undertake in order to get the lay of the land and assess a situation before embarking on a mission or project.
In this case, the recce was of the local, and walking, variety. Captain Lebouthillier, newly installed as the RCAF’s acting lab director, was keen to get to know his “neighbours” at Communitech. As he walked through the University of Waterloo Velocity space on the first floor, a startup called Labforge caught his eye.
Labforge is a four-year-old company that makes an AI (Artificial Intelligence)-fuelled sensing and security platform capable of monitoring activity and detecting threats from land and air. The RCAF just happens to be in the business of, among other things, monitoring activity and detecting threats from land and air.
The Captain went back to his desk and promptly wrote a…