Media Releases

UTEST program bends career road for Granata Decision Systems’ founders

January 22, 2015

TORONTO, ON — MaRS Inno­va­tion and the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to (U of T) are pleased to announce that the founders of Grana­ta Deci­sion Sys­tems Inc., a grad­u­ate of the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to Ear­ly-Stage Tech­nol­o­gy (UTEST) start-up incu­ba­tor pro­gram, have joined Google Inc.

Dr. Craig Boutili­er is a pro­fes­sor in U of T’s Depart­ment of Com­put­er Sci­ence. He and Tyler Lu, a grad­u­at­ing PhD stu­dent in the same depart­ment, co-found­ed Grana­ta Deci­sion Sys­tems in 2012 to devel­op their advanced deci­sion-sup­port tech­nolo­gies. Granata’s soft­ware plat­form pro­vid­ed real-time opti­miza­tion and sce­nario analy­sis capa­bil­i­ties for large-scale, data-dri­ven mar­ket­ing prob­lems and group/organizational deci­sion-mak­ing. The com­pa­ny was part of the UTEST program’s first cohort.

“This is a sig­nif­i­cant mile­stone for the UTEST pro­gram and the wider MaRS Inno­va­tion port­fo­lio,” said Dr. Raphael Hof­stein, pres­i­dent and CEO. “We co-cre­at­ed the UTEST pro­gram with U of T to fos­ter entre­pre­neur­ship in a mean­ing­ful way while encour­ag­ing stu­dents and pro­fes­sors to trans­late their aca­d­e­m­ic ideas into com­mer­cial real­i­ties. We hope Craig and Tyler’s suc­cess will moti­vate oth­er researchers and stu­dents to con­sid­er work­ing with MI and par­tic­i­pate in UTEST and our oth­er com­mer­cial­iza­tion pro­grams.”

UTEST is part of U of T’s grow­ing ecosys­tem of incu­ba­tors and com­mer­cial­iza­tion sup­port ser­vices, and was named one of Canada’s top sev­en accel­er­a­tors in 2013. Joint­ly admin­is­tered by MaRS Inno­va­tion and U of T, the program’s mis­sion is to sup­port ear­ly-stage start-ups in com­put­er sci­ence. Through UTEST, aspir­ing entre­pre­neurs launch a com­pa­ny, devel­op a busi­ness strat­e­gy, meet with indus­try rep­re­sen­ta­tives to get feed­back on their prod­ucts, secure seed fund­ing and oppor­tu­ni­ties for fol­low-on invest­ment, receive men­tor­ship and have use of office space in the MaRS Dis­cov­ery Dis­trict for a year.

Unlike oth­er start-up incu­ba­tors, UTEST accepts com­pa­nies in the very ear­li­est stages of idea gen­er­a­tion— before they’re ready for tra­di­tion­al incu­ba­tors — and can be a spring­board to oth­er North Amer­i­can accel­er­a­tor ecosys­tems, such as YCombi­na­tor, Cre­ative Destruc­tion and One Eleven.

“Craig and Tyler’s suc­cess is an excel­lent exam­ple of what can be achieved when inno­v­a­tive ideas are trans­formed into real­i­ty by the kind of sup­port UTEST pro­vides dur­ing crit­i­cal ear­ly stages of devel­op­ment,” said Dr. Peter Lewis, inter­im vice-pres­i­dent of Research ad U of T. “We’re thrilled to see them take their next steps with Google.”


For more infor­ma­tion, please con­tact:

Kur­tis Scis­sons
Co-Direc­tor, UTEST