Gabrielle Masone

Gabrielle Masone

Optical technology company Coloursmith Labs has a new home.

On Thursday, the developer of specialized contact lens filters held an opening ceremony for its new headquarters in The Labs at Innovacorp—a facility on the edge of the Dalhousie University campus that provides laboratory space to life science startups.

The opening of the new location comes on the heels of a $600,000 fundraising round that allowed founder Gabrielle Masone to hire five employees.

“The opportunity to have our own wet laboratory space is exactly what we need to complete our product, because it is so chemistry-oriented,” said Masone in an interview. “But beyond that, Innovacorp continues to be an inspiring place to work because, in The Labs, you are right in the medical technology sector of Halifax.”

Coloursmith’s product works by using “optical filters” to control which types of light pass through contact lenses. This determines what wavelengths the wearer sees.

The technology aims to help reduce the effects of colour blindness and guard against the negative health effects of excessive blue light exposure. Blue light is the light given off by computer monitors, for example.

Previously called the Innovacorp Enterprise Center, The Labs at Innovacorp are located near the intersection of Summer Street and University Avenue. The space offers access to specialized equipment and facilities not readily available to small businesses elsewhere in Halifax.

Coloursmith’s relationship with Innovacorp, which is Nova Scotia’s venture capital Crown corporation, dates back to Masone’s initial formulation and exploration of her business idea.

She went on to become one of the 2018 winners of Innovacorp’s Spark Innovation Challenge—a pitch competition—and participated in the agency’s Accelerate program.

Coloursmith moved into its new lab at the beginning of May, and after about a month of setup, Masone and her staff commenced normal research and development operations at the beginning of June.

Masone described the atmosphere of The Labs as highly collaborative, and added that the investors and other attendees at the grand opening reflected the supportive nature of Halifax’s business community.

She highlighted the support of local attorney Michael Argand, who was one of the final investors in Coloursmith’s recent $600,000 fundraising round and attended Thursday’s event with his family.

“It’s people like Michael that inspire us to continue striving to change the future of vision care,” said Masone.

 

Disclosure: Innovacorp is a client of Entrevestor.