Sustane Technologies Inc., a Chester-based cleantech company, was named the winner Wednesday of the biennial I-3 Technology Start-up Competition, which recognizes the best new innovative business in Nova Scotia.
The company, which received a total of $225,000 in the competition, developed a system that completely recycles municipal solid waste streams, eliminating the need for landfills.
Innovacorp, an early-stage venture capital firm owned by the provincial government, put on the sixth biennial I-3 Competition, which promotes ideas, innovation and implementation for Nova Scotia tech companies.
Sustane Technologies’ Co-Founder and CTO Javier De La Fuente created a technology that completely separates garbage into recyclables and green energy (for instance, biomass). By using Sustane, cities can save money and abolish landfills, which now contain about 2 billion tons of garbage.
“Nothing is wasted in our system,” Sustane Co-Founder and President Peter Vinall said during his pitch at I-3.
Fuente is a serial inventor, while Vinall worked in pulp, paper and bioenergy production. The third Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer, Robert Richardson is a trained accountant and seasoned businessman in real estate.
Sustane received a total of $225,000 in cash, investment and in-kind services from I-3. It received a $100,000 investment from Innovacorp for winning the overall first prize the I-3 Competition; $100,000 for first place win in Zone 2 (Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth Counties); and $25,000 for first place in the Waste Diversion Technology Sector. Sustane intends to use the money to help launch the business and open its first plant.
“The money is great, but exposure is something you can’t put a price tag on,” said Sustane business development team member Kevin Cameron.
Some 188 startups applied to I-3 in September. A panel of judges from the entrepreneurial community then chose the startups that they believe can move forward with their business ideas. The chosen companies went through an accelerator bootcamp to teach them about moving their startups forward.
More panels of judges then decided which startups placed first and second in the five provincial geographic zones and first place in the six sectors, including IT and Clean Tech. I-3 added two new sectors this year: Waste Diversion Technology Sector and Agricultural Technology Sector.
Zone winners receive $100,000, second-place zone winners receive $40,000, and sector winners receive $25,000. All these prizes comprise cash and in-kind services.
First-place winners in both zones and sectors then compete for the top prize of the $100,000 seed investment from Innovacorp.
The winners of the zones are: Lootbag (Zone 1: Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough Counties); Sustane Technologies Inc. (Zone 2 and Waste Diversion Technology Sector); Airline Employee Travel Inc. (Zone 3: Digby, Annapolis, Kings and Hants Counties); Site 2020 Inc. (Zone 4: Halifax Regional Municipality); and Orenda Software Solutions (Zone 5: Victoria, Cape Breton, Inverness and Richmond Counties).
In the sector categories, the winners are: Turbulent Research Inc. (Ocean Technology); SATELLIGENT Telemetry Solutions Inc. (Clean Technology); Zora (Information Technology); Treventis Diagnostics Ltd. (Life Sciences); and Allendale Technologies (Agricultural Technology).
[Disclaimer: Innovacorp is a client of Entrevestor.]