Media release

Digital Main Street Lab partners with Red Piston Inc. to build consumer-friendly contact tracing app

Startup to help Main Street businesses serve safely by improving customer experience for in-store contact tracing 

KITCHENER, ONT., January 13, 2021 — Red Piston Inc., a technology startup based in Windsor-Essex, Ontario, that specializes in building innovative mobile apps, AR experiences and games for iOS and Android, and WEtech Alliance portfolio company, has been selected as a participant in the Digital Main Street Lab program.

Digital Main Street, supported by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), as well as the Government of Ontario and administered across the Southwestern part of the province by Communitech, will provide funding and resources to Red Piston Inc. as they launch and develop, a user-friendly contact tracing solution for businesses to meet local public health requirements. 

“Red Piston Inc. is humbled to have been chosen out of many strong applicants across southern Ontario to participate in this pilot program. This support, both financial and through community partnerships, gives us the ability to offer this valuable and timely tool for free to a wider range of businesses. This will help businesses reduce labor costs dedicated to mitigating the spread of COVID-19, quickly and efficiently while still prioritizing safety, adherence to public health guidelines, and customer experience,” said Ali Al-Aasm, Co-Founder of Red Piston Inc.

In their work with Red Piston Inc., the Digital Main Street team will focus on ensuring that the pilot refines the product to provide a seamless and quick contact tracing solution that serves the needs of small businesses all across Ontario. In addition to providing reliable secure traceability for health units, offers a simple and quick experience for a patron in a business. Instead of answering questions on a printed contact tracing sheet or memorizing a long URL listing in order to complete an online self-screening, patrons can just scan a QR code on their mobile device and be directed to 

“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. “Red Piston Inc. 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 support for these businesses through an easy-to-use contact tracing solution.”

“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 Red Piston Inc. that are helping local businesses provide more sophisticated customer experiences while adhering to contact tracing guidelines.”

“WEtech Alliance is thrilled to support portfolio company Red Piston Inc. in this project targeted towards accelerating the economic viability of main street and the safety of communities across Southern Ontario,” said Noah Campbell, Tech Community Program Manager for WEtech Alliance and the WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation. “Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent continue to leverage the benefits of colliding main street businesses with technology companies through Digital Main Street and this partnership is yet another positive result of our collaboration.”

 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:


For more information or media inquiries, please contact:

Candace Beres

Manager, Public Relations, Communitech


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 WEtech Alliance

WEtech Alliance is one of seventeen Regional Innovation Centres, funded by the Government of Ontario, serving the Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent regions. They provide entrepreneurs with business services, training, mentorship and strategic connections to help bring new ideas to market, scale to the next level and build a dynamic culture and a community of innovation. WEtech Alliance has served as the catalyst for technology and innovation in the Windsor-Essex + Chatham-Kent regions since 2011. 


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, Intuit QuickBooks, Square, and Yellow Pages. 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.


About Red Piston Inc.

Red Piston Inc. is a technology company based in Windsor, Ontario and founded in 2009 that specializes in building innovative mobile apps, AR experiences and games for iOS and Android. In addition, Red Piston Inc. works with its customers to provide cutting-edge, robust and reliable tech solutions to meet their unique needs. Whether mobile-based solutions, web platforms or even AR/VR, Red Piston Inc.’s expert team of designers, project managers and developers can do it all.