Fredericton-based technology firm Kognitiv Spark is on a bit of a roll as of late. As 2021 ended, the company secured its largest client to date, Raytheon Technologies. In February, it announced the opening of its Oxfordshire, UK office to support its European expansion efforts. Building on these successes, Kognitiv Spark raised $4.7 M in new funding from the UK-based Foresight Williams Technology Fund (a joint venture from Foresight Group and Williams Advanced Engineering which accounts for $4.2 M of the funds) and the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF).
CEO Yan Simard says the latest funding round means his team of 26 is going to continue to expand, both in New Brunswick and abroad. “This positions us to increase our footprint, both in North America and in Europe. The plan is to grow every part of the business – product development, finance, customer success, and sales and marketing. We want to give real scale to the company.”
RemoteSpark – Innovation in Action
The company’s RemoteSpark solution allows remote workers to establish a low-bandwidth, secure video, and audio call with subject matter experts when they need help solving a complex problem. Those experts can be located anywhere in the world and can then see what the remote worker sees. They can then use holographic assets to support the task(s). “We’ve built this great piece of software, RemoteSpark, that is optimized for the Microsoft HoloLens mixed reality platform,” says Simard. “If a field worker is facing a tough situation, maybe a piece of equipment that broke down, they can put on the HoloLens device, turn on RemoteSpark, and call remote subject matter experts. Experts can then speak directly to the worker and deploy 2D or even 3D support when needed.”
Watch New Brunswick’s own Ganong Bros. put RemoteSpark into action.
Going Global from New Brunswick
Simard says early support was crucial to getting Kognitiv Spark to the point where it has become a Microsoft Partner of the Year finalist, has active operations in the UK, and exports its products to multiple countries. “New Brunswick has a very solid support ecosystem in place for early-stage companies. Having partners like ONB, NBIF, ACOA, and others has been a tremendous help. ONB for example has helped us with job creation as well as commercial travel and trade show attendance. We also work very closely with great post-secondary institutions like UNB and NBCC. It’s easy to get to know everybody in New Brunswick, funding partners, mentors, other companies you can collaborate with or bring on as clients. All of this was instrumental in getting Kognitiv Spark to where we’re at today.”
The company also benefits from being in one of the country’s cybersecurity hotbeds. Simard notes that in dealing with verticals that demand heavy security – aerospace & defence, manufacturing, and utilities – Kognitiv Spark places an emphasis on creating a secure product. “Access to talent that understands cybersecurity has been essential. From day one, we knew that to have any credibility we had to bake cybersecurity into our products and processes. RemoteSpark is designed to be highly secure. Being able to meet the strict cybersecurity demands of the sectors we target gives us a strong competitive advantage.”
A Growing Team
“We’re an ambitious company. We are confident we have the right technology and the right team to really make a real global impact as it relates to industrial work,” notes Simard. “We are looking for people that have a growth mindset and the ability to execute at a world-class level right away. Anybody that has that ambition and drive will be successful with Kognitiv Spark, and that’s the kind of people we plan to fill our many open positions with. This is going to be a huge year of growth for us and we are very excited about the future.”
Images via Kognitiv Spark