COBOURG, Ontario–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Innovation–Situated along the Eastern Ontario innovation corridor, Venture13 is home to Canada’s first small town technology startup competition, N100, Canada’s first Microfactory Co-operative and now a first-of-its-kind Policetech Accelerator. This policetech initiative will establish Cobourg as a test bed for small to mid-sized police force innovation in community safety by driving the adoption of next generation applications in Predictive Analytics, Evidence-based Policing, Distributed Sensing/Virtual Patrols, Community Relations Optimization and other smart policing technologies.

Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) is pleased to announce the launch of the Venture13 Policetech AcceleratorTM in partnership with Cobourg Police Services (CPS).

The accelerator will offer research and development partnership opportunities, technology pilots (demonstration and validation) and investments through two streams (Policetech Start-Ups and Policetech Scale-Ups).

The project is supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) through the Rural Innovation Initiative Eastern Ontario (RIIEO). The Accelerator will receive $100,000 in RIIEO funding, matched by a further $150,000 investment by Cobourg Police Service, to enable the development of transformative police technologies, resulting in the creation of up to ten new full-time jobs. The Northumberland CFDC will provide additional investment of up to $150,000 through a competitive intake process—along with V13 VentureZone co-working space and strategic project support. Demonstration projects will leverage technology to impact CPS operational excellence, create efficiencies, and help put more officers on the street.

As senior Australian police officer and Harvard Kennedy School Fellow, Simon O’Rourke put it in his TEDx talk, “in order for police to protect the community [from] future threats, we require highly adaptive organizations, one where a culture of innovation is fostered and prized. And […] in the future, police may even rival start-ups as a hotbed of innovation for the benefit of all.”

Recognizing the vital role rural communities play in the region’s economy, FedDev Ontario is providing a total of $15 million over two years for the CFDCs in Eastern Ontario to deliver the RIIEO initiative.


“This project will better position Cobourg to be a hub for innovation in the area of smart policing. We are proud to support partnerships like the one between Northumberland CFDC and the Cobourg Police Service. Through investments like this, we are helping foster local entrepreneurs and their innovative ideas, while improving community safety. We’ve got your back.”

-The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

“Northumberland CFDC is excited to support collaborative innovation between emerging technology startups and the Cobourg Police Service with dedicated programming support out of Venture13. We now have the ability in-house to connect, create, augment and accelerate new concepts for innovation in community safety and smart policing. Together with partners like Durham College, Spark Centre and Ontario Centres of Excellence, we are leveraging the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem for local impact and local economic development and diversification.”

– Wendy Curtis, Executive Director, Northumberland CFDC

“Innovation is a core value of our Police Service. And so we are excited to see this partnership evolve to position our Service and Venture13 as a policetech test bed and best-in-class for rural and small-town communities dedicated to adopting new technologies and new solutions for enhanced community safety and overall operational excellence. We look forward to the opportunity to partner with the best and brightest up-and-coming technology entrepreneurs and innovators on key demonstration projects, with the support of Northumberland CFDC and our Eastern Ontario innovation corridor partners.”

Paul VandeGraaf, Chief of Police, Cobourg Police Services

Quick Facts

  • Venture13 is an innovation and entrepreneurship centre that opened its doors in May of 2018 in Cobourg, Ontario. The 30,000 square foot facility includes a VentureZone co-working space, 24/7 secure access, fibre connection, hardware MakerLab, solar microgrid, EV charging station, demo hall, in-house Angel sidecar fund and startup competition. For more information visit
  • This V13 Policetech Accelerator evolved out of the successful “Pitch to Chief” challenge at Venture13, 2018-2019.
  • CB Insights’ 2019 Game Changer Report highlighted the importance of the predicted global disruptive shift to smart policing.
  • Cobourg Police Services (CPS) was established in 1834 and is comprised of 34 uniformed officers, supported by 70 civilian support staff.
  • CPS includes a Corporate Services business unit (one of the anchor organizations and partners located at Venture13) that is Canada’s leading national wholesale provider of online criminal record checks to third party screening companies.
  • Northumberland CFDC is an innovation-focused NGO specializing in offering financing and strategy to entrepreneurs, both locally and regionally, as a pathway to economic advancement.

Associated Links

FedDev Ontario

Cobourg Police Services


Northumberland CFDC


Wendy Curtis

Executive Director

Northumberland CFDC


Jacqueline Steacy

Cobourg Police Services