what is this video series about?

Stay In-novating is a new video series that profiles bold Canadian businesses that are coming up with innovative ways to support the community, their employees, and customers, during the COVID-19 pandemic.



Check out the companies who are innovating to help our communities during this time.

Videos launching bi-weekly starting June 2, 2020.

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Join the cause and become an official supporter of Stay In-novating! If you’re looking to support the small business community in Canada, we’d appreciate you sharing Stay In-novating content and helping spread the amazing work small businesses in Canada are doing. You can share this content on your social media platforms, in digital newsletters, or through any other medium. If you have an audience of over 10,000 people, you can also apply to be an official supporter and have your logo included at the end of each video. Please fill out the form below and let us know you want to become a ‘Stay In-novating’ Official Supporter”. We look forward to hearing from you!

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Why did we start this series?

As a small business ourselves, Arc + Crown Media wanted to do something to support other small & medium sized Canadian businesses using our resources as video producers. Our goal for this series is to shine a spotlight on businesses who are doing great things and could benefit from the exposure, as well as to inspire other entrepreneurs to think of ways to continue innovating, even in these turbulent times.

Contact Info

Email: info@arcandcrown.com
Phone: 416.451.9573



Vanessa Holding | Executive Producer

Andrew Gu | Producer

Tatiana Rodriguez | Post-production Director

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With the COVID-19 curve finally starting to see its curve flattening in Canada and some businesses reopening for the first time in months, it’s important to reflect back on how crises like a global pandemic can be handled when they hit.

In this episode of Stay Innovating, we share the myriad insights from Marty Britton, CEO of Britton Management Profiles, one of Canada’s longest-running referencing checking companies.

Being at the helm of the company for 27 years, Marty had personally weathered some of the largest global crises of the century, including 9/11, the 2008 recession, and of course the COVID-19 pandemic. Her tips and series of advice are a testament to what she has experienced in each of these events.

Focus on the needs of the customer and adapt your offers to supply solutions

9/11 introduced a newfound fear that many businesses didn’t think would follow them into the new century. For BMP, it seemed a simple but significant transition to begin offering criminal background checks for new hires. This aimed to ensure that the trust between employer and employee could be as secure as possible.

Don’t just plan for now when crisis hits, but plan for what happens next.

When a crisis surfaces, business tends to dip. But the economy acts like a wave – it comes back up. The businesses that thrive in the face of crises are those that can plan for that resurgence.

For BMP and the ’08 recession, they took the time where they saw a decline in new hires as an opportunity to focus on their technology and infrastructure. That way they were ready to handle the larger volumes that would inevitably rebound when the economy recovered..

Reach for help when you need it

For COVID-19, BMP did something they never did before – make a product-based offering. As a service-based business to begin with, this meant a lot of new territory to traverse.

They saw a need from their client for PPE supplies, including FDA-approved masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and cleaning supplies – and sought to address it.

They didn’t immediately have the means to provide that. That’s why strategic partnerships were crucial to fill that need.

In the midst of COVID-19, internal communications has become both undervalued and overworked. Many organizations have no one in place to do internal communications, and people in this space are burning out and having mental breakdowns.

Inner Strength Communication runs multiple conferences year-round, including the only conference solely focused on internal communications in Canada. With the pandemic lockdown, all events were shut down. They wanted to ensure the conversation about internal communication continues, and so company founder Priya Bates began Coffee Chats twice a week to inspire and elevate the voices in the industry.

Priya found that there was a lot of noise out there, with free content being commonplace online, so her chats were fashioned to be purposefully different. The Chats are small group sessions, where only 10-12 can register. It is entirely free of charge, and built with the goal of fostering community and getthing people to know each other

The Chats started with only her facilitating, but puling from her great network of experts she's brought in more people to speak on their own specialized subjects – such as confronting fear, maintaining a career mindset, and communicating through change.

Companies who not just communicated but LIVED their best practices will come out of COVID-19 strong and with greater loyalty. Those are the companies people will want to work for.


For over 19 years, CanadaHelps has been informing, inspiring and connecting charities and donors, with the causes they care about. They have facilitated over $1 billion in giving.

Both small and large Canadian charities are supported. Offering much more than just donation processing, they enable fastest disbursements, and provide robust reporting and fundraising technology to charities nationwide. Digital transformation is a fantastic asset for charities to create greater outreach for their fundraising.

What COVID-19 created was a time when physical donations were at an all-time low. CanadaHelps used this as an opportunity to establish their “Cause Funds.” These funds were inspired by research that suggested that Canadians respond better to a cause as opposed to a specific charity’s branding, and donate more generously in times of crisis. Any donation made to their Community or Healthcare funds are distributed between hundreds of charities instead of just one.

Canada Helps has seen high demand with this model, with corporations like Gore Mutual Foundation coming in to match $2 million in donations.

CanadaHelps.org gives the 86,000+ charities in Canada the online platform to fundraise digitally, having raised over $4 million themselves through their two Cause Funds.


Visit CanadaHelps.org

Myant’s focus is innovating textiles that sense and react to the human body.

No matter who you are, young or old, whatever your walk of life, and regardless of your level of mental and physical ability, we all spend the vast majority of our daily lives with textiles touching our skin.  We believe that this makes textile a natural interface to the human body.

Myant’s vision is to use textiles as a means to collect health and performance data from your body. By knitting sensors into the textiles already in your life like clothing and environmental surfaces, we have built a continuous connection to your body, creating a digital twin of your health and performance. Using machine learning on the Myant Platform, meaningful insights are derived as you go about your daily life, helping you better understand and optimize how you live.

Myant’s technology is particularly suited for remote patient monitoring for the triaging, assessment and ongoing delivery of care to vulnerable populations like elderly patients in nursing homes or those in remote/rural communities who have limited access to healthcare.  A patient’s healthcare providers and loved ones are now able to stay connected to what matters most no matter the distance.

Myant uses 3D robotic knitting machines to integrate sensors and actuators into textiles.  The company’s expertise in textile sciences was instrumental in its rapid response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Myant responded to a public call for PPE, rapidly designing, testing and manufacturing a new brand new line of masks that incorporate the use of copper and silver yarns (metals known for their antiviral and antibacterial properties). Myant is currently producing 340,000 masks per month, with the intention to ramp up manufacturing to 1 million masks per month in the coming months. They are also continuing to design and test new designs of protective equipment, with the vision of a reusable cloth product that can compete in protective ability with medical-standard N95 masks.

Visit myant.ca



IRIS R&D is a privacy centric smart cities solutions company – helping municipalities make data driven decisions and build better road infrastructure.

The state of emergency by Canadian Municipalities provided them with the opportunity to demonstrate the effectiveness of their iPORT road monitoring solution in helping municipalities monitor high-risk road infrastructure and reduce liabilities. The current state of affairs also pushed IRIS to re-evaluate their core technology, re-examine their values as a company and prove their commitment to meaningful community impact.

Back in January 2020, IRIS started a project with a Mohawk College to develop a solution that can monitor soil and plant moisture levels in Hamilton’s 3480 acres of Municipally-owned parkland. The current process is highly manual - parks & recreation inspectors drive out to each field and collect data daily. The project was an AI-enabled thermal camera to be installed on lamp poles located in municipal property. These cameras could sense when the park needs to be maintained and watered, doubling as a security feature.

COVID-19 caused a new application of this technology. After researching different applications of the thermal technology Iris has found a novel use case and solution that doesn’t exist in the marketplace today.

IS R&D Group Inc. and Dr. Hamilton-Wright’s Time Series Machine Learning lab are collaborating to bring to market a novel technology allowing passive, remote and contactless measurement at a distance of three key metabolic markers: heart rate, breathing rate and skin temperature to be tested at Hamilton hospitals.

Though they have only conceptualized this project recently - it is moving at a tremendous pace as key partners are recognizing the potential value of the solution across many use cases in the billion-dollar health sciences sector. They are currently working towards the full commercialization of the product.

Iris R&D would like to mention that none of this would be possible without the support of one of our advisors, Cyrus Tehrani (Hamilton CDO), and of course their amazing Innovation Guelph mentorship team.

Visit Iris R&D Group

Kleanr is a cleaning company – one of the many types of services to see a dramatic hit to business when companies worldwide weretold to shut down workspaces to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

At first, Kleanr experienced as much of 95% of their clients needing to stop working – which naturally meant a massive hit to their own business and survivability. What they did in response was pivot to provide what service was in demand. And that was anti-viral cleaning. Their deep clean anti-viral cleaning service was fairly under-utilized before COVID-19, despite them always having offered it. However, now it has turned into their best-selling product.

Cleaning services are still a need no matter the location, and people are booking Kleanr.

Kleanr is, in particular, looking to make it easier for clients that are struggling most during this pandemic; those who have been on pause due to those events. For these customers, Kleanr decided to permit customers to defer payment, or receive discounts based on a case-by-case basis.

Taking inspiration from Loblaw’s pledge to increase grocery staff’s wages by $4 an our, Kleanr also upped the ante even further with a $7 wage increase to their cleaners’ hourly wages. Having the deep-cleaning option has allowed Kleanr to continue supporting their staff while providing an essential service to companies hoping to recover from this unprecedented economic situation.

Kleanr is currently looking to expand down to Ottawa and Ontario.

Visit kleanr.com

During the COVID-19 lockdown, a large concern is the effect on the mental health of countless people being told to stay socially distanced. That’s where Animo is providing a means to make mental health top of mind for corporations.

Animo’s platform is an AI, digital behavioural health solution. It provides users with integrations to platforms like Slack and email to passively track their mental health well-being. The platform is based on the underlying principles of cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and accessible via web or mobile. CBT is a therapeutic approach that assists people in managing daily challenges like anxiety, depression and stress in a results-oriented manner.

The platform was originally designed for use as a tool for companies that deal with a large number of employees, where they are often more remote communications taking place. Animo connects users to cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) modules that help them address stress, anxiety and depression.

In addition to their base platform, Animo also developed a mobile app called Close-Knit which serves to notify select friends when the user’s mental health is in a low state. It was inspired by personal acquaintances dealing with mental health challenges like bi-polar disease. Mental health has grown to become a significant topic in our everyday lives. Animo is providing greater insight to our mental wellbeing in our work.

Visit animo.ai

HYR's fully mobile app connects businesses and workers to fill any shift at any time. Did your dishwasher call out, or you need temp workers for your pop up store? Hyr’s tech allows businesses topost shifts or temporary staffing needs, and choose from experiencedworkers to fill in, and they take care of the rest including taxes, payroll and insurance.

Pre-March, Hyr’s business was focused on the retail and hospitality sectors. However, on March 10th with the start of the COVID-19 lockdown, 90% of Hyr’s business users had to close their businesses, or significantly reduce their operations.

That said, other essential businesses were seeing an increased demand for temp positions. In particular, grocery and delivery staff became highly sought after, as restaurants became takeout only and grocery store workers became “secondary frontline workers.”

More, Hyr realized the greater need for volunteers during these difficult times and launched a volunteer portal for non-profits to connect with their community of workers.

Hyr’s team quickly adapted their platform to allow both essential businesses and nonprofits to connect – quickly – to their community of 25k workers. The skilled hospitality and retails pros were/are able to quickly jump into these roles and earn much needed income at a time they need it most.

Visit hyr.work

MedEssist is a new startup working towards personalized apps for pharmacies. The MedEssist app allows Canadians to order medications from any pharmacy using their phone or computer by scanning any pharmacy receipt. It is designed to remind users to take their medications, safely store their medical data, and order their refills through the app in seconds.

They are used by 125 pharmacies and 3 hospitals over the past year. When Covid-19 hit, they saw that current clients were using the app more to reduce foot traffic in local pharmacies, and dedicated themselves to promoting this benefit. This promotes social distancing and limits the number of patients entering or waiting at pharmacies to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to the more vulnerable population.

During the COVID-19 situation frontline nurses and doctors are often prioritized for protective supplies, however, it is important to remember that pharmacists are medical professionals as well to ask medical questions. Community pharmacies are small businesses themselves, with a majority of them not originally having a website. This is where MedEssist is stepping in the help the pharmacy business.

MedEssist will also allow hospitals and pharmacies to share inventory to address medication shortages, making the challenge to deal with limited supplies much easier. On the patient side, users can use MedEssist to locate pharmacies based specifically on the supply of the medications they need.

Visit MedEssist.ca