Media release

Digital Main Street Lab partners with restaurant tech company Sociavore

Startup to pilot ordering platform that eliminates costly commissions for eatery owners

KITCHENER, ONT., November 06, 2020 — Sociavore, an e-commerce platform for restaurants and food and beverage businesses, has been selected as a participant in the Digital Main Street Lab program to help independent local businesses thrive.

Digital Main Street is supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and is administered across the Southwestern part of the province by Communitech. It is also supported by the Government of Ontario. Digital Main Street will provide funding and resources to Sociavore as they embark on a pilot project to help restaurants fulfill online orders without having to pay costly commission fees to third-party delivery services. This pilot, which is already underway, will run through March 31, 2021.

“We are excited to work with Digital Main Street and the Waterloo Region community as we pilot a commission-free online ordering and delivery marketplace,” said Amina Gilani, Co-founder of Sociavore. “The food and beverage industry has been severely impaired by the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to help local restaurants improve their margins and give their guests a modern, convenient digital experience.” 

In their work with Sociavore, the Digital Main Street team will focus on ensuring that the pilot helps main street businesses reach new customers and foster transformational change for restaurants and other food and beverage businesses.

“The Digital Main Street Lab connects technology companies with locally-owned businesses to collaborate on innovations that lead to impactful digital transformation,” said Ahmed ElBedawy, Communitech’s Digital Main Street program director. “Sociavore shares in our belief that main street businesses are the heart of communities across Southwestern Ontario and we are honoured to support them as they work to develop technological support for the restaurant industry.”

“COVID-19 has had a profound impact on our main street businesses and local economies,” said the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. “The Government of Canada is pleased to support the Digital Main Street initiative and proud to work with great work partners such as Communitech and Sociavore that are helping local businesses move online and adapt in today’s changing economy.”

At the core of this project, the Digital Main Street Lab is focused on bringing immediate and lasting improvements to neighbourhood businesses across Ontario, enabling them to not only survive, but thrive in today’s rapidly changing landscape. By launching in local communities, tech companies will gain access to real-time feedback from small businesses and effective solutions will be shared throughout the province.

To learn more about the Digital Main Street Lab program, please visit: Digitalmainstreet.ca/digital-main-street-lab.

To learn more about Sociavore, please visit Sociavore.co.

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For media inquiries, please contact:

Candace Beres
Manager, Public Relations, Communitech
(519) 888-9944 Ext. 1027
candace.beres@communitech.ca

About Communitech 
Communitech was founded in 1997 by a group of entrepreneurs committed to making Waterloo Region a global innovation leader. At the time it was crazy talk, but somehow this community managed to pull it off. Today, Communitech is a public-private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1,400 companies — from startups to scale-ups to large global players. Communitech helps tech companies start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways.  
  •  Communitech is a place – the centre of gravity for entrepreneurs and innovators. A clubhouse for building cool tech and great companies.
  • Communitech delivers programs – helping companies at all stages with access to capital, customers and talent. We are here to help them grow and innovate.
  • Communitech partners in building a world-leading ecosystem – making sure we have all the ingredients (and the brand) to help companies go from a small startup to a global giant.
About Digital Main Street
Digital Main Street is a program that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. The program is built around an online learning platform, structured training programs, and our Digital Service Squad, a team of street-level team members who help main street businesses grow and manage their operations through technology. Digital Main Street was created by the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA) with direct support from the City of Toronto. DMS is also supported by a group of strategic business partners, including Google, Mastercard, Shopify, Microsoft, Facebook, and Intuit QuickBooks. A $42.5-million investment from FedDev Ontario and an additional $7.45 million from the Government of Ontario brought together the Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas, Communitech, Invest Ottawa, and the Ontario Business Improvement Area Association to expand the Digital Main Street Platform in order to support more businesses to go digital as a response to the impacts of COVID-19.