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The SPARK V3 Symposium

This is our 3rd annual SPARK Symposium designed to showcase excellent Canadian ag-tech and green-tech companies who are seeking to expand their businesses.

Brought to you by:

Special thanks to the following supporters

Rapid Response for Business Development is now open for applications!

We have doubled our funding to $100,000… Learn more by clicking here:

Full Agenda

For the printable/PDF version of the Agenda click here.

11:30 am – Doors Open

12:00 pm – Buffet lunch and networking

12:45 pm – Opening Remarks:
Welcome by Emcee, Dr. Deb Stark, former Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Ontario; Chief Veterinary Officer for Ontario, an Investor with Golden Triangle Angel Network, and board member for Ontario Genomics (Past Chair), University of Guelph (Vice Chair), and most recently the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network.

Welcome and introduction from Deborah Whale, 1st Vice President of Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS).

12:55 pm – Video #1 – Recap of SPARK II pitch company – Dairy Distillery

1:00 pm – Keynote Speaker:
John Wilkinson, Wilkinson Insights Incorporated, speaking on the perfect “ecosystem” we have in this region of Ontario for developing and utilizing cutting-edge technology in agriculture.

1:35 pm – Company 1 – CATTLEYTICS

1:50 pm – Questions

1:55 pm – Company 2 – NATURE RECOMBINED – APISAVE

2:10 pm – Questions

2:15 pm – Video #2 – Recap of SPARK II pitch company – BioDiffusion Technologies

2:20 pm Break – 10 mins

2:30 pm – Company 3 – PROTEINS EASY

2:45 pm – Questions

2:50 pm – Company 4 – HEALTHY HYDROPONICS

3:05 pm – Questions

3:10 pm – CAST YOUR VOTE! Who is your favourite pitch company?

3:15 pm – Video #3 – Recap of SPARK II pitch company – Mycionics

3:20 pm – Presentation to the winning pitch company

3:25 pm – Video #4 – Recap of SPARK II pitch company – eQcell

3:35 pm – Final Speaker:
Mike McMorris, Livestock Research and Innovation Corporation, speaking on “Putting the ‘I’ in Innovation”.

3:50 pm – Closing comments from Emcee, Dr. Deb Stark

4:00 pm MEET AND GREET – Networking Opportunity
Chat with the presenters and attendees. Check out each of the company’s informational booths. Beverages and light snacks will be available.

SPARK II (2023) Pitch Companies Progress Videos


EMCEE – Dr. Deb Stark

Independent Director

Deb calls herself a leader and a learner with a lifelong interest in Canadian agriculture and the people who feed us.  She is a former Deputy Minister of OMAFRA (Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and  Rural Affairs) and Chief Veterinary Officer for Ontario.

She spends her time volunteering and sitting on boards including the University of Guelph (Vice Chair), Ontario Genomics (past Chair), the Golden Triangle Angel Network and most recently, the Canadian Agri-Food Automation and Intelligence Network.

Deborah Whale

1st Vice President, Grand River Agricultural Society (GRAS)

As 1st Vice President of the GRAS board, Deborah has spent considerable time working on behalf of Research and Development in the world of agriculture. She has been past Chair of the Agriculture Research Institute of Ontario, the Poultry Industry Council, the Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization, Saskatchewan, and the Board of the University of Alberta Poultry Research Centre. Her interest in technology also turned to the world of energy and as VP of Clovermead Farms, supporting the installation of one of the first biogas facilities on a farm in Ontario.

Keynote Speaker: John Wilkinson

CEO, Wilkinson Insight Incorporate

John is uniquely positioned to speak to the GRAS Board on issues which matter to us … Research, Innovation, Business Development, and the Environment.

Currently the CEO of Wilkinson Insight Incorporated, he serves as Vice Chair of the Huron-Perth Healthcare Alliance, and is on the Board of Directors of Greenfield Global, the Council of the Great Lakes Region, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy and the Ontario Arts Foundation. He also serves as an Advisor to many start-ups, including SilicoLabs, Curious Public and Stageview TV.

John was the Liberal MPP for Perth-Middlesex, then Perth-Wellington, from 2003-2011 and was the first Certified Financial Planner elected to the Ontario Legislature.

He served in the Provincial Cabinet as the first full-time Minister of Research and Innovation, where he implemented the $1.6 billion Ontario Innovation Agenda. He was also the Minister of Revenue and shepherded the largest Ontario tax reform in forty years. Finally, he served as the Minister of the Environment where he oversaw the passage of the Water Opportunities & Water Conservation Act to steward Ontario’s fresh water supplies.


Dr. Shari Van de Pol


CATTLEytics offers dairy farmers and cattle owners tools to farm smarter. They design and maintain software and data systems that enable proactive animal health management. Their hardware solutions, such as cattle thermometers and automated dosing devices, further elevate efficiency. Their dairy management software will empower farmers to manage their operations seamlessly while promoting sustainability metrics.

Contact Shari at

Tanya Irani

Healthy Hydroponics

Healthy Hydroponics InnoTech helps growers with broad-spectrum microbiome and disease detection for their crops. They use the latest genomic technologies and data-driven insights to simplify early pathogen detection, remediation and crop loss prevention.

Contact Tanya at

Russ Crawford

Nature Recombined – ApiSave

The ApiSave™ product is designed with combating antibiotic resistance in mind. Their extract has shown to be extremely effective against multi-drug resistant harmful bacteria. Also, their product is 100% natural.

They plan to market quickly to save bees from extinction and maintain food security worldwide.

Contact Russ at

Illimar Altosaar

Proteins Easy Corporation

Proteins Easy Corporation implements the science surrounding recombinant production of fusion proteins for the biotechnology industries worldwide, be they biocatalysts for the biodomain and green chemistry, antibodies, antigens, enzymes, growth factors, hormones, biomaterials, or cosmeceuticals.

Contact Illimar at

Closing Speaker: Mike McMorris

Livestock Research Innovation Corporation

Mike grew up on a farm just outside Elora and graduated from the University of Guelph with a BSc in Animal Science and an MSc in Animal Breeding and Genetics. He has worked with OMAFRA, Beef Farmers of Ontario, Agricorp, AgSights and is now CEO with Livestock Research and Innovation Corporation. He is passionate about creating a better future through innovation, knowing that any move toward that future ultimately comes down to people.

Enjoy EATABLETM Inc. during the networking session!

Eatable popcorn is wine and spirits infused popcorn! The flavours of happy hour without the buzz.

Charlene Li, founder was a recipient of Rapid Response Funding, which led to her product being made available in over 800 Edible arrangement stores across North America.

CLICK HERE to check them out!


2023 SPARK II Symposium Recording

Thank you for joining us!