When Soula Chronopoulos took leadership of Montreal-based EdTech company Ellicom, she never imagined that an off-chance application to the Canadian Technology Accelerator in NYC would lead to a cross-border collaboration that would make med-tech history and launch the company into the global health sector.
Ellicom is the Canadian reference in the e-learning industry, providing advanced expertise in blending technology with pedagogy through corporate online training programs. With more than 850 projects to its name and 40 awards in Canada and across the globe, Ellicom is headquartered in Montreal with offices in Toronto, Quebec City, and Casablanca.
An accelerated approach to entering a new market
Having been involved with many startups, Soula quickly saw the need to break into the U.S. marketplace. “There are many ways to go about scaling to the U.S., like knocking on doors, with the possibility that nobody will answer. That’s when we heard about the CTA in New York and decided to apply.”
When applying for the program, Soula admits she didn’t quite know what she was getting herself into. “I found it refreshing that the CTA was not an accelerator in the traditional sense, and that it could take an established company like ours, and help to accelerate our entry into the American market.”
Beyond first glance
“What I appreciated most was that our relationship with the CTA did not end at the end of the program, in fact, it was just the beginning.”
More than a year and a half following her participation in the program, Soula was contacted by the New York CTA Team with an opportunity to bring virtual reality to a hospital. “I said yes, I’d love to talk to them,” at which point the CTA introduced her to Northwell Health, New York State’s largest health care provider and private employer.
“We are now designing a study for physicians to prevent burnout in the emergency room,” said Soula. “We are taking their ideas and bringing them to life in a virtual reality world, creating a win, win, win scenario.”
Leveraging CTA as a critical growth partner
Soula credits the CTA program for instigating the partnership with Northwell Health as well as four additional partnerships. “It has simply changed our horizons.”
Set to scale, Ellicom is preparing to launch two new products and is mapping out several additional product launches. “Now we are building the CTA into our product launch strategy,” said Soula. “I can leverage the Boston and San Francisco CTAs for soft landings in those markets.”
The time is now for Canada’s entrepreneurs to scale
According to Soula, there has been no better time to be a Canadian entrepreneur going global. “As entrepreneurs, we now have access to networks, global buyers, investors, and talent. My experience with the CTA changed the way I am building my business. I encourage every entrepreneur to take the time to learn more about the program.”