Marport, Verafin Named to Fast 50

Two Newfoundland and Labrador companies have been named to the prestigious 2011 Deloitte Tech Fast 50, and a P.E.I. startup has been named a Company to Watch.

Marport Deep Sea Technologies of St. John’s placed 17th on the list after its revenues increased 1131 percent over five years. And Verafin, which makes anti-fraud and anti-money-laundering software,  took the 27th position with an 840 percent growth in revenues over a half-decade.

ScreenScape Networks, which customizes video screen displays for clients, was one of ten companies named to Deloitte’s Companies to Watch list, the

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Accelerators Accelerating in NB

Exits, schmexits! The truly compelling news in the New Brunswick startup community late in 2011 involves entrances.

McKenzie College of Moncton will soon open an accelerator for pre-seed companies, and Propel ICT has announced its Launch 36 program, designed to develop 36 seed-level companies through an advanced accelerator in three years. (Accelerators are similar to business incubators in that they help mentor and often capitalize young businesses, preparing them to survive on their own. As the name suggests, they intend to get the new enterprises off the ground quickly.)

And Mariner

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Opinion: We Still Need More R&D

The Telegraph-Journal reported this morning that tech entrepreneurs Gururaj Deshpande and Gerry Pond have made a multi-million-dollar donation to finance the Pond-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at UNB.

This is only the latest nugget of good news for the startup ecosystem in New Brunswick and the region.  The recent exits have boosted capital for investment and there are new accelerators being launched. New Brunswick has a competitive tax regime and is developing an admirable swagger.

So what’s needed now to ensure the region spawns a few more Radian6’s?


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Menchefski Rises with Billdidit, GMS

Companies often develop into family trees, with clusters of progeny growing hither and yon, and an interesting group of shoots is sprouting in northern Nova Scotia around an intriguing entrepreneur called Joe Menchefski.

He is the CEO of Billdidit, a design-and-manufacturing concern best known for drumming products, and he has teamed up with chemistry professors from St. F.X. to form GMS Surface Tech, which produces green cleaning products now selling at such chains as Staples, Grand and Toy and Basic.

Born and raised in Whitney Pier, Menchefski received an engineering degree from the

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Dan Martell’s Flowtown Exits

Moncton-native Dan Martell has another exit on his resume.

Tech entrepreneur and angel Martell, who sold Moncton-based Spheric Technologies in 2008, is a co-founder of Flowtown, a San Francisco online gift marketing enterprise, which sold out today to San Francisco-based Demandforce for an undisclosed price.

Flowtown helps companies deepen customer relationships by sending gifts over Facebook and Twitter, and the service will now operate off the platform of Demandforce, which offers a range of services that help small businesses retain and enhance customer relationships.

 “When Dan

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VidCruiter to Expand Product Range

VidCruiter, a Moncton-based video recruitment company, will soon expand its product offering with its new VidTrainer function and social sharing features.

CEO Sean Fahey told me in an interview this week that the two-year-old company will officially launch VidTrainer in two months, which will allow companies to train the employees they hire using VidCruiter. ``We’re also building it because it will train our clients to use our product,’’ he quipped.

VidCruiter offers clients a customized video format that allows job applicants to video-record their submissions, so HR teams can speed up

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Neurodyn Aims to Raise $1.5M

Neurodyn, a Charlottetown-based biotech, is working its way through a $1.5 million round of fundraising, with which it hopes to bring its own natural treatment for Parkinson’s Disease to market in just over two years.

The company, which is developing a ginseng extract called ND-602, now has commitments of about $300,000 to $400,000 and is continuing to raise money in Canada and abroad, said Chief Scientific Officer Denis Kay in an interview.

Working with the Shanghai Innovative Research Centre for Traditional Chinese Medicine, Neurodyn has discovered an extract that can arrest or slow

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I-3 Hoping for 100 Entries

Innovacorp, Nova Scotia’s technology commercialization agency, is hoping at least 100 companies apply by the Oct. 20 deadline for its I-3 competition, a beauty pageant of sorts of startups in the province.

Shelley Hessian of Innovacorp said the agency is receiving a lots of inquiries about the competition and expects most of the submissions (which are three- to five-page business plans) to flood in in the days before the deadline.

This will be either the third or fourth biennial I-3 competition, depending on how you categorize it. Innovacorp started the competition in Cape Breton in

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Region Launches Social Networks

Two social networks have been quietly launched in Atlantic Canada already this year, and a third quasi-social-network is set to launch within a month.

In the up-and-running category, Equals6 and Bright Seeds are Halifax-based social networks targeting specific groups of young people, and both are scalable so they could expand outside the region. And by the time Halloween has come and gone, the Moncton Cyber Social is expected to have launched its social media site to complement its regular gatherings of techies.

Equals6, a site that connects students with prospective employers, has the

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Pond Invests in PEI’s ScreenScape

Gerry Pond, the patron saint of New Brunswick tech investors, has made an investment in Charlottetown-based ScreenScape Networks and is joining the company’s board.

A person familiar with the situation said Pond is now backing the company, which allows businesses or organizations to post web-based displays on video screens in public places, reducing the cost of displays and expanding the choice. A spokesman for the company declined to comment on Pond’s investment.

A former CEO of NB Tel, Pond is now the chairman of Marine Partners in Saint John and is known as the savviest tech investor

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