Breviro, Soricimed win NBIF’s R3

Breviro Caviar Inc. and Soricimed BioPharma Inc. are sharing the top award in the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation R3 Gala’s Innovation Challenge.

The winners will each receive $50,000 worth of research and development services at a New Brunswick post-secondary institution or a research organization, $5,000 in legal services from Cox & Palmer and $5,000 in accounting from Deloitte. R3 stands for ``recognizing research results’’ and is designed to encourage young companies to collaborate with researchers in the province.

Based in Pennfield, Breviro Caviar produces caviar from sturgeon

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Med-Tech Firm Impetus Launches

Halifax engineers Tim Burke and Bill Power have formed a new medical technology company in Halifax that is starting not with a grand idea but a new method of developing innovation.

Impetus Innovations doesn’t know yet what its first product will be. Instead Co-CEOs Burke and Power have assembled a team of innovation specialists who will approach medical device companies, sound them out about their pain points and come back with solutions.

``We operate on one fundamental theory: don’t build anything that people don’t want to buy,’’ said Burke, who is the President and Co-Founder of Quark

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CyberPsyc Funding Aids 2 Products

When Darren Piercey was developing his online software he had little trouble finding relevant subjects to test it: people afraid of spiders. The University of New Brunswick (UNB) psychology professor identified 300 undergraduates with varying degrees of arachnophobia, and invited 80 of them to come forward to help test-drive CyberPsyc, a virtual reality software that helps individuals overcome their phobias and anxieties.

Today CyberPsyc Software Solutions Inc. is one of 11 companies now going through Propel ICT’s Launch36 program. The company also recently landed its first round of

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Aided by Acoa, Wooshii Enters NS

I was delighted this week to work with Fergus Dyer-Smith and Paul Ryan of Wooshii as they launched the online video crowdsourcing company’s new North American Headquarters and Global Development Centre in Halifax.

Wooshii is a marketplace for online video and animation. It allows customers to post their requirements and have a network of more than 6,000 creative providers bid on the job. Fergus, a Brit now living in Portugal, has been working with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency on establishing Wooshii’s  largest office in Halifax, and he hired Radian6 alum Paul Ryan to be the

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Launch36 Doubles Capacity Early On

Trevor MacAusland laughs at the notion of turning Launch36 into Launch72. For the past few months, the head of Saint John-based PropelICT has been working hard to launch Lauch36, a program designed to take 36 companies to a market-ready stage over three years.

But a funny thing happened as the project developed: there was about twice the talent and capacity for mentorship that MacAusland and his colleagues had originally envisioned. As a result, the first cohort of companies going through the accelerator consists of not six but 11 young and growing companies.

While there are

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Privatization Could Aid Tech Growth

 Privatization showed its face in the Maritimes again last week, and as you might expect most officials saw nothing but pimples and buck teeth.

The New Brunswick Liquor Corporation has released a 73-page report that raised the issue of whether the Crown corporation should be sold. The review, led by NBLC president and CEO Daniel Allain, decided it should remain in public hands.

If that ruling failed to elicit gasps of surprise, journalists in Nova Scotia asked New Democrat Finance Minister Graham Steele whether he believed the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation should be sold. His reply?

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Regional VC Talks: Slow Progress

We’re hours away from it being official: the Atlantic Regional Venture Capital Fund will not open on schedule in February 2012. But people in the know tell me that the negotiations on hiring a manager for the fund are proceeding – they’re just taking longer than expected.

One complicating factor is that the talks include “potential LPs” which means that several parties must be satisfied before the organizers can announce the hiring of a manager.

Let’s backtrack a bit: Nova Scotia and New Brunswick have each committed $15 million to a venture capital fund, and have hired Wilson Executive

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Innovacorp Did Well Under Gross

Innovacorp president and CEO Clifford Gross has left an organization that is much different than the one he took over in January of 2011. It’s incredible how the Halifax-based provincial agency has evolved in a year.

I think it’s fair to say that Gross took over an incubator that had an investment component, yet he’s leaving an investment agency that also nurtures the companies it backs and others. It has also served as the Nova Scotia government’s point of contact in a rapidly evolving investment climate.

Innovacorp announced the third week of February that Gross had left the Hollis

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The Upside of R&D Funding Reform

The total value of the jackpot is $8.85 billion, and there are 4,269 ways to win. Am I talking about a new lottery? No. It’s the funding mechanisms for research and development offered by Canadian governments.

According to The Funding Portal, an Ottawa group that helps innovators tap government funding, 4,269 government programs hand out almost $9 billion to people toiling to build a better mousetrap. Let’s add a bit of perspective to that figure: The entire New Brunswick government’s annual program spending is $8 billion.

So Ottawa and its provinces and territories are handing out more

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The Future of R&D Funding

J.P. Deveau insists his concerns about pending reforms to R&D funding in Canada have little to do with his company, but, worries about how the reforms could affect younger, more vulnerable companies. Deveau is the founder and CEO of Dartmouth-based Acadian Seaplants Limited, which has grown over three decades into a leading exporter of products made from seaweed, including fertilizer, animal feed, and nutritional supplements. The company has 300 employees, exports to 70 countries, and spends about 5% to 8% of its revenues on R&D. I thought he was the perfect person to demystify the current

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