Slyce Turns To MaRS & Innovation York For Technology Acquisition

After picking up technology and new team members by acquiring in November, image recognition and eCommerce company Slyce has again added to its team by acquiring the technology and talent of former York PhD student, Dr. Ehsan Fazl-Ersi, who will also join Slyce as Chief Science Officer.

Fazl-Ersi’s image recognition technology was developed at York University and the commercialization of the technology was undertaken at MaRS Innovation.

From their press release:

“Identifying and classifying an object captured within a scene is difficult due to the effects of background clutter, lighting variations and viewpoint changes on the object’s appearance,” says Fazl-Ersi, who designed and developed the technology with his PhD supervisor, Dr. John K. Tsotsos.

Adam Jarczyn, Slyce’s chief product officer described Fazl-Ersi’s technology as fingerprinting for images. “It recognizes specific image artefacts and allows for comparison of those artifacts between images,” he said.

Fazl-Ersi will lead the integration of the intellectual property into Slyce’s Visual Search Platform as their new head of Research & Development.

The researchers partnered with MaRS Innovation and Innovation York, York’s commercialization office, to file patent protection on the initial technology, develop a commercialization plan, secure grant funding, facilitate business development meetings and negotiate the resulting transaction.

“Slyce is excited to reach this deal with York University and MaRS Innovation and add another piece of unique technology to our platform,” said Adam Jarczyn, Slyce’s chief product officer.

“Visual search is experiencing explosive growth and has become a compelling way for retailers to engage their customers. York’s technology provides us with another competitive edge in ensuring a high-quality consumer shopping experience.”

The Dx3 Digest inquired for more information about how MaRS Innovation and Innovation York helped develop and broker the sale of the technology. They supplied this description of their role:

  • MaRS Innovation and Innovation York received a broadly-applicable technology disclosure from the inventors, which we assessed for relevant market sectors in which it would solve real needs.
  • Formed a deal team and created a go-to-market strategy.
  • Developed an intellectual property strategy and filed a patent application.
  • Secured non-dillutive grant funding through the Ontario Centres of Excellence, which funded demo version development.
  • Identified and researched potential companies who might be interested in the technology.
  • Began business development activity, brokered the deal with Slyce and supported the inventors through the negotiations.

Read more: Slyce and – A Match Made at Dx3 2013

This article was updated with clarification from Adam Jarczyn and description from Innovation York.


About Ben Myers

Ben Myers is a creative digital marketer in Toronto. Contact through Linkedin or @benkmyers on Twitter.

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