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MaRS and Toyota Mobility Foundation announce first cohort of Mobility Unlimited Hub

Jun 13, 2024

Toronto, Ontario (June 13, 2024) – MaRS Discovery District and the Toyota Mobility Foundation today announced the seven Canadian startups selected to participate in the Mobility Unlimited Hub inaugural cohort in Toronto. These ventures are poised to revolutionize personal mobility and bring innovative solutions to market.

After receiving over 50 applications from across the country, MaRS and Toyota Mobility Foundation, along with their advisory committee, have chosen seven promising startups, all of which have at least one member from their management team identifying with underserved groups (persons with disability; BIPOC; female, non-binary, gender neutral; 2SLGBTQ+ community). This underscores the commitment to inclusive innovation and representation in the mobility sector.

“It’s inspiring to see such strong interest from startups eager to tackle pressing mobility challenges showcasing the Canadian spirit of innovation and determination to create impactful solutions,” said Alison Nankivell, CEO, MaRS Discovery District. Adding, “We are thrilled to help  the Mobility Unlimited Hub cohort accelerate their innovations and bring transformative mobility solutions to market through our partnership with the Toyota Mobility Foundation.” 

According to a 2022 Canadian Survey on Disability (source: StatisticsCanada), 27% of Canadians aged 15 years and older – 8.0 million people – had one or more disabilities that limited their daily activities. Additionally, 30% of people with disabilities in Canada report unmet needs for assistive devices, highlighting the critical role of initiatives like the Mobility Unlimited Hub.

“For the Toyota Mobility Foundation, we prioritize people over technology. This is why we emphasize “active mobility” which is more than getting a person from A to B. It is helping a person develop, retain, or regain the autonomy of movement that allows them to be independent and live a healthy, joyful, and fulfilling life,” said William Chernicoff, Head of Research & Innovation at the Toyota Mobility Foundation. “By supporting the further development and growth of active mobility technologies, we aim to help bring people-centered solutions to those who need them most, while also positioning this market as one worth investing in.”

The launch of the Mobility Unlimited Hub in Toronto is just the beginning. The Toyota Mobility Foundation envisions establishing a network of Hubs around the world, each dedicated to addressing local mobility challenges while contributing to a global movement towards inclusive mobility solutions.

Cohort Participants
The Mobility Unlimited Hub will work to foster innovation by offering a path to successful commercialization, serving as a bridge from early-stage success to the mass market, providing a range of resources including marketing and public relations support, funding opportunities, and avenues for collaboration.

  • AWL-Electricity - A Quebec-based startup designing the world’s first autonomous and wireless charging station for motorized mobility aids and the micro-mobility sector. This solution increases user autonomy and integrates into public and commercial spaces without the need for human intervention.
  • Axtion Independence Mobility Inc. - A Nova Scotia-based startup that developed the RAYMEXTM Lift, a portable, personal mobility device designed to assist with everyday activities, fall prevention, and recovery.
  • Braze Mobility Inc. - An Ontario-based startup offers the world's first blind spot sensors for wheelchairs, providing audio, visual, and vibration alerts to help users avoid obstacles. This solution enhances safety and confidence for wheelchair users by preventing accidents and injuries.
  • Cheelcare - An Ontario-based startup that designs advanced mobility solutions, including power add-ons and complex rehab wheelchairs, to enhance mobility and independence for individuals with disabilities. Their products feature intuitive controls, customizable settings, and robust specifications for improved quality of life.
  • Deaf AI - An Ontario-based startup aims to make society and the digital world more inclusive for Deaf people by providing AI-based real-time voice-to-sign language interpretation. This initiative enhances public and digital accessibility for people with hearing loss.
  • Seleste Innovations Inc - A Western Canada-based startup that develops smart glasses specifically designed to assist the blind and visually impaired, enhancing their navigation and interaction with the environment.
  • Trexo Robotics Inc. - An Ontario-based startup developing wearable robotic exoskeletons for children with mobility disabilities, enabling them to walk independently. Their Robotic Gait Trainer transforms lives by making walking accessible for children across the world.

The Mobility Unlimited Hub is launched with the support of several community members, including Access to Success, ClusterBridge, George Brown College, Global Startups, Linamar iHub, KITE UHN, Sheridan College, Sixty Degree Capital, Toronto Global, University of Toronto, and Woven Capital, all united under the mantra, "Nothing about us without us". This community-driven approach is fundamental to the Hub's mission, ensuring that solutions are developed with direct input from those they aim to serve.

For more information about the Mobility Unlimited Hub, visit Mobility Unlimited Hub.

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About MaRS Discovery District
MaRS Discovery District helps Canadian startups succeed so they can solve our toughest problems in areas like climate, health and the economy. As North America's largest urban innovation hub and a registered charity, MaRS provides direct support for more than 1,200 ventures, builds communities of innovators within its 1.5 million square feet of lab and office space and beyond, and spurs the adoption of new solutions — in Canada and around the world.

About Toyota Mobility Foundation
The Toyota Mobility Foundation (TMF) was established in August 2014 by the Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) to support the development of a more mobile society in which everyone can move freely. The Foundation underscores TMC’s on-going commitment to continuous improvement and respect for people. It utilizes Toyota’s expertise and technologies to support strong mobility systems while eliminating disparities in mobility. TMF works in partnership with universities, governments, non-profits, research institutions and other organizations, creating programs that are aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to address mobility issues around the world.

For media inquiries, please contact:

  • MaRS Discovery District: Wendy Bairos, wbairos@marsdd.com, 416-831-9820
  • Toyota Mobility Foundation: Julie Ann Burandt, julieann.burandt@toyota.com, +1-646-413-4840
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