To highlight how Canadian tech innovation has been hit by COVID-19, the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) has started “Stories of Survival from Canada’s Tech Innovators.” They recently published the next in their series about Else Labs.
CATA has been advocating for tech companies during this pandemic. In early April, the Alliance penned a letter to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to propose an immediate release of all backlogged SR&ED funds and a one-time $3.6 billion Canada Emergency Resilience and Rebound fund. The letter says the program would help Canada’s tech sector survive COVID-19.
They are also profiling Canadian tech companies dealing with the realities of COVID-19, government emergency support programs, and the impacts on their businesses.
A Story of Survival: Else Labs
The latest article focuses on Ottawa-based Else Labs. Else Labs is planning the launch for Oliver, the “smart kitchen robot.” After choosing a recipe, one loads ingredients into the robot’s chambers. After that, one remote-starts the robot via phone, and Oliver takes over the meal preparation.
However, as a pre-revenue firm, Else Labs hasn’t been able to access most of the government’s COVID-19 assistance. They are using IRAP (Industrial Research Assistance Program) until Oliver’s launch at the end of 2020. Else Labs hopes the COVID-19-provoked rise in home-cooking may boost Oliver’s success.
This article demonstrates how overwhelming it can be for a fledgling company like Else Labs to navigate COVID-19, plus the tremendous amount of work necessary to launch a new product.
We look forward to reading the next story of survival and hearing more about the resilience of the Canadian tech and innovation sector in the face of COVID-19. The full article about Else Labs can be found here. If you want to know more about Oliver, refer to the product website. To learn more about CATA’s Rebound and Resilience Fund proposal, you can read our article about it, and visit the CATA website.