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Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator

Our cities need to be more than just smart.

With over 80% of the world's population living in urban areas, along with a decade of technological changes that are now part of daily living, the road to implementing and creating a path to the ultimate 'smart city' is still unclear. Instead of asking how to make our cities smart, we're asking a different question: How do we create connections of people, things, and technology in cities to truly increase the quality of life of its inhabitants?

In the wake of an unprecedented pandemic, transportation, safety and how we function and operate in our cities has changed forever. This creates new challenges (and opportunities) worth exploring.

Founding Partners

Founded by Aviva Canada and Highline Beta, Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator is a commercialization program designed to identify the best global startups eager to work with us on solving real challenges in our cities.

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Program Details

Open for Applications

October 20, 2020

Applications Closed

December 18, 2020

Program Start & End

Feb 22, 2021 - Aug  20, 2021

Demo Day w/ Startups


The Safe x Connected Cities Accelerator is a milestone-driven accelerator program for early-stage companies that have a product in-market and early traction.

  • Program is structured to accelerate the growth of cohort companies with support from enterprise and startup network partners.

  • Program is completely virtual (although we hope there will be opportunities to collaborate in-person, in Toronto)

  • The focus will be defining and implementing pilots, primarily with Aviva Canada and our additional partners

  • Pilot program budgets will be allocated based on the design and implementation for each company accepted into the program

  • No equity investment is made upfront; there is an opportunity for follow-on investment from Highline Beta


Why join the program?


Connect. The program provides a low-risk platform to connect with enterprise partners and validate technologies, strategies, products and ideas in close partnership with them and Highline Beta


Test. Through tailored programming and 1:1 coaching, the program helps startups get to a proof-of-concept or pilot faster with an opportunity for enterprise scale.


Scale. Our enterprise network of leading smart city and mobility collaborators provide an industry-wide 'unfair advantage' that can only come from validated products and scale, which in turn amplifies brand awareness and fuels growth.


Access funding. Potential funding and access to other institutional investors via the Highline Beta network.


Along with Aviva Canada, we have a number of great partners that are deeply committed to improving our cities, making them safer and better for everyone.

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Improving road safety

Trouble lingers on our roads--for ourselves, our families and our neighbours. We cannot ignore the dangers any longer. Whether we're pedestrians or drivers, when it comes to overcrowded city roads and outdated infrastructure, it's important to stay safe. And while there may be fewer cars on the roads with more people working from home, other modes of transportation are increasing. Kids are going back to school. Bikes, scooters, walking and other forms of active transportation are on the rise. Collision frequency is down, but their severity has increased. Even ​in these unprecedented times, road safety remains a critical issue. So how can we find a smarter way around and make our roads safer?

We are looking for startups with a focus on road safety. Some examples include:

  • The New Normal -- As our cities adapt to COVID-19, the road safety and transportation landscape continues to evolve. We're interested in solutions that support increased pedestrian traffic, social distancing while traveling, enhancements to public transit and more.

  • Cycling Safety - Advances in clothing, accessories and bicycle technology that makes street cycling safer. Interventions that reduce unsafe bicycle and motor vehicle interactions.

  • Pedestrian Safety Solutions - Technology and interventions that make the most vulnerable road users safer. Advances that improve the walkability of streets and communities. Innovations that make school buses and other public transit safer when boarding and disembarking.

  • Data Solutions - Technologies that aggregate private sector and public data to look at the root causes of crashes and suggest interventions. Data solutions to help nationally standardize the collection of collision data. Cyber security solutions that aim to protect information transmitted between pedestrians, vehicles and the infrastructure as well as proactively identify and manage risks related to theft of sensitive data, invasion of privacy and fraud.

  • Sensors & Digital Signage Solutions - Technology to curb distracted driving and reduce other risky driving behaviours. Innovations that help drivers see better and have more time to react.

  • Accurate Detection Solutions - Improving intersection safety through accurate detection of pedestrians, cyclists, cars and transit riders to inform decisions about traffic flow and priorities.


Meet The Team


Benjamin Yoskovitz

  • Ben Yoskovitz - LinkedIn

Founding Partner, Highline Beta


Veronika Kvon

  • Veronika Kvon - LinkedIn

Program Director, Highline Beta


Oksana Salamaszek

  • Oksana Salamaszek - LinkedIn

Program Director, Highline Beta


Hussam Ayyad

  • Hussam Ayyad

Chief Accelerator Officer,

Highline Beta

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Eric Sarvala

  • Eric Saarvala - LinkedIn

Corporate Social Responsibility Consultant, Aviva Canada


Jill Lewis

  • Jill Lewis - LinkedIn

Corporate Responsibility Lead, Aviva Canada



Don Williams

AVP, National Line Lead | Commercial Automobile | Corporate Risk, Aviva Canada


Jennifer Shah

Chief Communications Officer, Aviva Canada


Jonathan Spinner

AVP, Claims Innovation, Aviva  Canada

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Fahad Shaikh

AVP, Data Science, Aviva Canada

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Shishir Jain

Head of Transformation, EPMO and OCIO, Aviva Canada


Mona Eghanian

Senior Manager - Automotive and Mobility Innovation, Ontario Centres of Excellence


Dan Ruby

Business Development and Commercialization Manager, AVIN


Michael Hollinger

Partner, Dentons


Christine Ho

Amir Sayegh

Alex Townsend

Business, Legal & Community Affairs, Dentons

AVP Data Product Discovery,


Corporate Development Analyst, Geotab

Any Questions?


Geoff Wilkinson

Executive Director, Ontario Traffic Council

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Justin Gammage

Industry Liaison Manager,

Ontario Tech University


Elizabeth Wood

Business Manager for the GCS Managing Director, Aviva Canada

Any Questions? 

Contact Us

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