TD Bank Group is no stranger to investing in artificial intelligence and Canadian startups; acquiring Layer 6 at the beginning of this year, and partnering with Kasisto in October of last year and Toronto-based Flybits in 2015, now the bank is helping early-stage, Canadian startups patent their work.
The Canadian bank announced, on Thursday, the first three startups to join its Patents for Startups Program, which helps companies at the seed stage with the funding and the application process to patent their work, in Canada the U.S. and abroad.
The program which was launched last year will now start working with Senso.ai, Boro.one, and Cinchy.co, all Toronto based startups focused on either advanced machine learning, blockchain or enterprise data respectively.
“The success of young, innovative startups is key to Canada’s future,” said TD’s intellectual property and patentable innovations lead Josh Death, in a press release, “ultimately, the customer wins when banks and startups collaborate.”
Senso is a cloud-based startup that helps financial institutions personalize retail banking, by using machine learning algorithms the platform detects key talking points for advisors and customers to discuss that focus on personalizing the retail banking needs of the customer.
Cinchy, which launched in November is an enterprise data management tool that wants to “reinvent how data works in the enterprise” by creating a data collaboration platform. As ITBusiness.ca has previously reported, it converts a company’s data into a network, which allows new systems to instantly access data without duplicating it. Despite being less than a year old the Toronto startup is already working with three of Canada’s big six banks and recently received $3 million in funding from a group led by Blindspot Ventures.
The final startup joining TD’s patent program is Boro, which uses blockchain to create a sharing economy-style platform that allows users to borrow or lend everyday appliances, everything from lawn mowers to cameras, in exchange for money. Founded in 2016, Boro already has apps available on the Canadian Apple and Google app stores
Launched in October of last year, Patents for Startups Program is part of $3.25 million in funding that TD has set aside to support Canadian startups in the patent process. TD calls it a “unique program” that is the first of its kind in North America to offer a non-equity-based program for early-stage startup ventures.
“The patent program is the latest step towards helping young innovators thrive. We look forward to working with them to protect their exciting intellectual property and give them a leg-up as they move from creation to commercialization,” said Death.
According to the release all patents will belong to the startups, not TD, and the companies will also retain all rights to the technologies they develop.