IBI Group, alongside partners EllisDon, Ontario Power Generation (OPG), The Weather Network, and Slate Asset Management, and technology provider Microsoft, has announced the launch of the Smart City Sandbox. The Sandbox is a smart city-themed accelerator, focused on bringing innovative new products and systems to urban environments that improve the quality of life for residents.

A technology hub that supports small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as well as entrepreneurs and start-ups, the Smart City Sandbox will operate out of a designated space at IBI Group’s Toronto headquarters, and be open to global applications.

The Smart City Sandbox will invite applications from SMEs and start-ups to participate in specific cohorts related to mobility, living, energy, healthcare, and other urban themes, with the goal of creating solutions focused on the needs of the community. Each cohort will run for a term of 3-12 months to incubate their ideas, concluding with a demo day for investors. Providing access to venture advice and connections, the Sandbox will also offer events and programming, including product workshops, hackathons and meet-ups, to bring the community together and foster collaboration.

Smart City Sandbox partners and providers offer participants a range of resources, including channels to markets, data, direct coaching and mentoring, as well as hosting services.

  • IBI Group will provide space in its Toronto headquarters, domain knowledge and expertise in urban environments and technology solutions, mentorship, and access to data, its own platforms and markets through connections with clients.
  • Microsoft is at the forefront of IoT solutions enabling smart building and smart city innovations. Through various service offerings on the cloud, Azure enables innovators to develop innovative solutions. As a technology provider, Microsoft will provide access to Azure for technology development and testing along with expertise in incubation and startups through the Microsoft for Startups program.
  • EllisDon will provide domain expertise in the area of construction, operations and maintenance of infrastructure and buildings, as well as opportunities for SMEs and start-ups to demo new products and solutions in properties owned and managed by EllisDon.
  • The Weather Network will provide domain expertise with respect to weather conditions and forecasts, and access to analytics through its citizen applications.
  • OPG will provide energy domain expertise and inputs on technology innovation demands in the energy sector, as well as opportunities to partner on current or future projects related to energy.
  • Slate will offer domain knowledge of the needs of building owners and operators, access to real-world building systems and data for testing and validation, and domain expertise in property and real-estate portfolio management.
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The Sandbox will officially open doors with its first smart city-themed cohort in September 2018.


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