Profile: Building a Metamaterials Hub

Now that Dartmouth-based Metamaterials Technology has signed a partnership agreement with Airbus, founder and CEO George Palikaras aims to turn Atlantic Canada into a centre for producing optical metamaterials.

Palikaras has developed metamaterials — synthetic substances with properties not found in nature — that use nanotechnology to filter, absorb or enhance light. Now he’s looking at partners to create a manufacturing…

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Persistence Pays Off for eOLIO

Traci Johnstone’s story is a study of tenacity and style, and she has poured those two facets into the startup she’s launching this year, eOLIO.

The startup — the name is a shortening of e-portfolio — is an online tool that helps people present a portfolio of their work online, and helps companies view such portfolios when they are recruiting prospective employees. The Halifax company has been going through limited launches for…

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FounderFuel Accepts Brownie Points

Brownie Points, the St. John’s startup that has developed a customer loyalty tool for small retailers, has been accepted into the Montreal accelerator FounderFuel, offering it a chance to grow in a major Canadian city.

The company now has its point of sale product in about 40 locations in St. John’s and Halifax and now has to figure out a way to increase sales dramatically, especially in larger…

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EnginuityMED: Idea to Sales in 1 Year

Taking a new product from concept to customers in a year is difficult, and in medical devices, it’s unheard of.

But EnginuityMED of Halifax is now selling the FIVA product it dreamed up in June 2013.

FIVA is designed to solve a very simple — and sort of obvious — problem for hospitals, especially for anesthesiologists and nurses in operating and emergency rooms. There has never been a device to tell them when a gravity-fed…

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Press Release: LED Promotes Lavoie

LED Roadway Lighting, the Halifax-based manufacturer of LED-based street lighting and wireless controls, released the following press release Monday:

Denis Lavoie Appointed President of LED Roadway Lighting Ltd.

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada (July 28, 2014) -- LED Roadway Lighting Ltd. (LRL) CEO Charles Cartmill is pleased to announce the appointment of Denis Lavoie as company President. …

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CyberPsyc Moving Ahead After Pivot

Having pivoted earlier this year, Fredericton startup CyberPsyc Software Solutions is gaining traction with new products that help employees treat mental conditions. Thousands of people have used its online products this year, and the number looks set to grow in the future.

CyberPsyc began in 2010 to develop a Software-as-a-Service product that would use the research of University of New Brunswick psychology professor Darren Piercey to help people treat…

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Profile: Karina LeBlanc’s Social Mission

Having graduated a successful first cohort of social entrepreneurs from the B4 Change accelerator, the Pond-Deshpande Centre’s executive director Karina LeBlanc is redesigning the program to better assist entrepreneurs in this emerging sector.

A social entrepreneur is someone who founds a for-profit or non-profit venture with the aim of addressing a social or environmental issue. The sector is increasingly relevant as charities experience…

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Startup Empire Set for Sept. 23

Startup Empire, a new conference aimed at educating founders and employees of startups, will take place Sept. 23 in Halifax.

Milan Vrekic, the Executive Director of the Volta Labs and the organizer of the conference, said Startup Empire will feature a range of top-flight speakers from the tech and startup world who can advise young companies on the path to success.

“This conference will…

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Code Kids to Air Saturday on CBC

Code Kids, a documentary on the movement to teach computer coding to Atlantic Canadian school children, will air on CBC television Saturday at 8 pm, hopefully building greater support for tech education.

Though Code Kids was directed by Greg Hemmings, , the founder of Hemmings House film studio in Saint John, it is really a collaboration between Hemmings and a range of tech evangelists in the region, especially…

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Press Release: Lee Joins Fundmetric

Fundmetric, the Halifax startup that provides SaaS fundraising solutions for charities and non-profits, has released the following press release:

SCoReS Founder Joins Fundmetric to Build and Implement Charitable Predictive Analytics

HALIFAX, NS- Today, Fundmetric is excited to announce the addition of Sports Commentary Recommendation System (SCoReS) founder and creator, Dr. Gregory Lee, as the newest member of the Fundmetric…

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TotalPave Preps for Autumn Launch

More than a year after capturing the $192,000 first prize in New Brunswick’s Breakthru competition, brothers Drew and Coady Cameron are deep into the development of their TotalPave product and preparing for a launch in the autumn.

It’s a smartphone app that helps municipalities and their contractors test road surfaces at a fraction of the current cost. It has drawn the attention of a few local governments and at least one private company,…

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Press Release: Modest Tree, CGTrader

Modest Tree, the Halifax startup whose software-as-a-service product reduces the cost and time involved in making three-dimensional training programs by as much as 85 percent, has put out the following press release:

Modest Tree and CGTrader.com announce partnership to streamline access to 3D models and creation of 3D interactive scenarios

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia, July 21 2014 – Modest Tree Media Inc. ("Modest Tree"), an…

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Press Release: Teen Startup Weekend

Startup Weekend New Brunswick has announced a 54-hour event for teenagers next month in Fredericton. Following is a press release for the event:

Startup Weekend NB (Youth Edition) is coming to Atlantic Canada for the first time!

On August 22-24, 2014, Startup Weekend New Brunswick will be putting on a youth event for 14-18 year olds. The event will be happening at Planet Hatch in Fredericton, New Brunswick. The event will begin at 5pm on Friday, August 22.

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Nova Scotia Revamps VC Funding

The Nova Scotia government unveiled a new policy on business development on Thursday, which will result in a three-pronged approach to venture capital investment in the province.

The most immediate change will be Innovacorp, the provincial innovation agency, becoming the sole Crown corporation responsible for VC investment and adopting a simplified procedure for seed investments. Nova Scotia Business Inc., which has a…

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Stressing Economics in Social Ventures

There’s a common misconception that you have to be naive or idealistic to create a socially responsible business.

In fact, establishing social credentials makes sound business sense, believes Kristy O’Leary, co-founder and lead impact strategist at Halifax communications agency Scout & Burrow.

“Lots of people think that because you want to create social change you’re some kind of flake,” O’Leary said…

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Press Release: Peter Zimmer Retires

CarShareHFX, the Halifax-based car-sharing outfit, has issued the following press release:

CarShareHFX cofounder retires

CarShareHFX announced today that its cofounder and co-owner, Peter Zimmer, is retiring from his position of general manager. Peter has grown CarShareHFX into a Halifax institution with almost 1000 members and 25 cars.

“Peter is a true pioneer for starting CarShareHFX. It was his passion and dedication that…

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Bluelight Partners with Henry Schein

The world’s largest provider of health-care products and services has begun to offer Halifax-based BlueLight Analytic Inc.’s main product to its customers in Canada.

Henry Schein, Inc., the Melville, N.Y.-based medical product distributer that had US$9.6 billion in sales last year, issued a statement last week saying its Henry Schein Canada subsidiary will be the first distributor of checkMARC, BlueLight’s main product. CheckMARC…

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Marli MacNeil, BioNova Part Ways

BioNova, the Nova Scotia life sciences association, has adopted a new strategic course that has resulted in the departure of Marli MacNeil, who was the group’s executive director since its founding 12 years ago.

MacNeil said in an interview Friday that her position ended last week and is now taking time to enjoy the summer and consider her options.

“I’d love to be able to continue working to help the life sciences companies because…

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Kinduct Buys HealthMet Tech

Kinduct Technologies, the Halifax health-technology company, has acquired Vancouver-based HealthMet Technologies for an undisclosed sum to extend its reach in the community and corporate markets.

Founder and CEO Travis McDonough said in a statement Saturday that the combination of the two companies will accelerate their growth in key markets.

Kinduct has developed a technology platform that helps medical…

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O’Brien Capitalizes on B Corp Status

With less money and staff than corporations, community groups and non-profits often struggle to make their websites and social media effective. To help them, Kelly O’Brien, a Fredericton-based web designer, has established BBoards.org to allow non-profits to easily post and share content.

“We want to help non-profits and social enterprises around the world find their voices and connect with each other,” said O’Brien, who has more…

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Assessing the First Half of 2014

Looking back on the first half of 2014 in the Atlantic Canadian startup world, there’s not a single event, company or story that stands out as a singular highlight.

So in writing a wrap-up of the first half, I think the dominant feature would really be a state of mind that didn’t exist six months ago. It’s a new-found maturity.

There were lots of candidates to be highlights of the first half. The Big Data Congress in Saint John and Atlantic Venture Forum in Halifax…

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Vrekic to Step Down at Volta

Milan Vrekic will soon step down as the Executive Director of Volta Labs, the organization that has established itself as the hub of the startup community in Halifax.

In an Interview Tuesday, Vrekic said he is eager to return to his first love, which is building young companies. He said he is considering three options, one of which is in Halifax, and his preference would be to remain in the city. He is aiming to leave Volta on about Sept. 1, but…

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ACOA Unveils $43M AIF Funding

The Federal Government on Tuesday announced that it has awarded $43 million in loans to research projects in the region through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Atlantic Innovation Fund.

The AIF lends money to startups and public organizations to conduct market-oriented research, usually over a period of years. The ACOA press release said the projects have a total value of more than $123 million, and will bring…

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Dan Martell: Tier 1 Accelerator Needed

Whenever we build a component of the Atlantic Canadian ecosystem, we have to model ourselves on the best examples in the world.

So we need to develop an accelerator in the region that meets the criteria of the Global Accelerator Network, or GAN, the governing body of startup accelerators. That means there has to be an Atlantic

Canadian accelerator backed by a fund, and that invests in the companies it mentors.

It’s the model used in the U.S. by Y Combinator, TechStars…

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Financing Ugandan Entrepreneurs

Eight years after it was founded to save a sick child, Uganda Venture and its dedicated managing director, Fadi Al Qassar, are getting high-profile help in its efforts to finance Ugandan entrepreneurs.

Among its many valuable projects, Uganda Venture reduces poverty in rural Uganda by providing entrepreneurs with access to capital through micro-credit loans of between $300 and $750.

There is huge need, and the group is struggling to meet…

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Building Startups in Rural Areas

Having spent a career in rural economic development, Andrew Button was blown away when he discovered the potential of startups in creating jobs and wealth. Now he’s using the startup model to encourage economic growth in rural communities.

He was the CEO of the South Shore Business Growth Association when he began to notice a few years ago that new tech businesses were growing strongly. He heard about the growth prospects from entrepreneurs like Blair Ryan of the Rounds…

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Using Social Media to Fight Violence

LifeRaft, a Halifax startup focused on detecting signs of dangerous behaviour on social media, will launch its beta test this week with the participation of several educational and law enforcement groups.

LifeRaft is a social media monitoring tool that detects language signalling threats, cyberbullying and other signs that people may pose a threat to themselves or other people.

While most social media monitoring systems are used in marketing or measuring public opinion, LifeRaft…

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Our Anti-Spam Policy

As Canada’s new anti-spam legislation went into effect yesterday, we want to assure our readers that we respect their privacy and to clarify our policy on spam.

Every single person receiving our daily email does so because they left their email on our website. We therefore felt no need to pester people with emails asking them to confirm their wish to continue.

If you now receive the emails and wish to stop, please use the unsubscribe function at the end of each email. If…

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The Mentra Grows in Atlantic Canada

The Mentra Co-operative, a new initiative dedicated to developing a network of mentors throughout Atlantic Canada, has launched in New Brunswick and is looking for members from other provinces.

In early June, The Mentra hired as Executive Director Janna Hare, a coach, management consultant and training expert. And the organization is now building an online platform that will serve as a dating service between mentors and mentees.

Mentra was created by a group of organizations in…

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Press Release: EY’s Analytics Centre

EY, the global accounting and business consultancy, announced the opening of the Canadian Centre for Advanced Analytics in the following press release:

EY opens Canadian Centre for Advanced Analytics in Nova Scotia

HALIFAX, June 27, 2014 - EY is empowering Canadian businesses to capitalize on the transformational power of data analytics, with the launch of its Canadian…

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Press Release: Oris4-Box Deal

Halifax-based Oris4, which has developed a cloud-based document-organization system,  has issued the following press release:

Oris4 Integrates with Box to Simplify File Migration and Discoverability

Palo Alto, Calif. — June 30, 2014 — Oris4 today announced a new integration with Box. The integration makes it easier for businesses to search for content across various software applications and provides the option of migrating…

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Ryan’s New Take on Maternity Wear

Like most women, Danielle Ryan struggled to look stylish when she was pregnant with her daughter, Penny-Laine.

Her clothes strained at the waist and it was hard to feel comfortable. The lifelong fashion lover decided women needed clothes that would expand throughout their pregnancies. When she failed to find the clothes she wanted, her company Penny Posh was born.

That was five years ago. Ryan, previously a director of business development…

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Stewart: Lessons in Civic Open Data

I like to think of myself as a pretty creative person. This past weekend, however, I got to meet a whole lot of creative people – many much more creative than me. 

I was privileged to experience firsthand what happens when you put a bunch of these insanely creative people in the same room for two entire days.  This is exactly what happened at the True Growth Civic Hackathon this past weekend.

Hosted by the University of New Brunswick’s Maker Space, this civic…

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SimplyCast Aim: Double Sales Monthly

As he prepares for a lengthy sojourn in Silicon Valley, Saeed El-Darahali laid out a lofty goal for his Dartmouth company, the multi-channel marketing startup SimplyCast.

He wants it to at least double its revenues monthly.

That’s right. Double its sales or better. Every. Danged. Month.

SimplyCast was founded in 2009 as a platform-as-a-service product that would help companies and organizations carry out marketing and communication…

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Revolution in Newfoundland Funding

There’s a quiet revolution taking place in seed funding in Newfoundland and Labrador.

When Newfoundland and Labrador Finance Minister Charlene Johnson unveiled in her spring budget that the province would participate in two venture capital funds, she was signaling her government’s commitment to improve funding for companies on the Rock.

The province’s government is on board with a strategy to develop more startups and is therefore radically altering the seed…

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Resson Unveils Deal with McCain

Resson Aerospace, a Fredericton company that uses aerial imaging to improve farm productivity, has signed a multi-year memorandum of understanding with Canada’s largest food producer aimed at improving potato production.

The company unveiled its deal with McCain Foods Ltd. at an event Monday near Fredericton, at which Premier David Alward announced…

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Press Release: Oris4’s New Features

Halifax-based Oris4, which has developed a cloud-based document-organization system,  has issued the following press release:

Oris4 to unveil latest integration at Salesforce.com event in Toronto

Oris4 will participate in salesforce.com’s Force1 World Tour event in Toronto on June 25th and unveil a new integration developed for a major telecom designed to help improve user adoption of salesforce.com’s social…

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Populus Inks Major Deal in Barbados

Health information company Populus Global Solutions has won an international bid to supply the Government of Barbados with a fully-integrated national electronic health information system – its fourth major contract in the Caribbean-Central American market.

Fredericton-based Populus, which received a $260,000 investment from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation several year ago, has commercialized software…

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Teaching Youth Art, Entrepreneurship

A strong smell of pizza, along with words like “futurepreneur” and “artpreneur” drift in the air as the first cohort of ArtPreneur 2.0 meet at the Halifax offices of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development, or CEED. This is the second of eight meetings for the young artists who are here to learn skills they hope will help them turn their talents into profitable businesses.

A collaboration between CEED and the Youth…

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AVF, Launch36 Prove Our Progress

To assess the superb quality of the companies on display in Halifax this week, we should start with Charlottetown drug discovery company Neurodyn, which captured the best growth stage company at the Atlantic Venture Forum.

It’s difficult to highlight just this company.  You could choose DeCell Technologies of Halifax, which won the award for the best early-stage company.  Or any of the five companies that pitched Monday night at the Launch36 DemoDay. Or the other 24 startups…

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Car Service Uber Comes to Halifax

Uber, a car-for-hire service that’s created controversy across the continent, has come to Halifax.

The San Francisco company announced Wednesday that it has launched its service in Halifax, so a fleet of drivers can now use its app to communicate with customers and accept payments.

Uber, which began five years ago, provides users with a smartphone app that takes their credit card number and connects them with a fleet of cars. When users…

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Press Release: SHIFT in Vancouver

SHIFT Energy, a Saint John company that is developing automated energy-control systems for large facilities, issued the following press release yesterday with Canucks Sports & Entertainment:


17 June 2014, Vancouver, BC

Canucks Sports & Entertainment (CSE), in conjunction with SHIFT Energy, announced the launch of a comprehensive,…

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Singh Sets Sites on Incubators, Grants

When Paul Singh speaks, it’s usually a good idea to forget the F-bombs and concentrate on the wisdom and candor of the other 60-percent of his speech.

When he returned to the Atlantic Venture Forum yesterday morning, he set the tone for the discussion for the rest of the day by challenging some of the pillars of the Atlantic Canadian ecosystem, including the availability of government grants and the number of incubators and accelerators.

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Launch36’s Cohort 4 Focuses on Sales

A few hundred startup enthusiasts gathered at Pier 21 in Halifax on Monday evening to graduate the fourth cohort of tech companies from Launch36, the regional startup accelerator.

While the headline story is five more tech companies progressing into the real economy, the deeper story is about the quality of great mentorship growing out of New Brunswick and spreading through the region.

Dealing with the headline first, the graduating companies include:

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Bungalo Sets Up Office in Halifax

An Icelandic startup that markets cottages to international tourists is setting up shop in Halifax as the launchpad for its Canadian expansion.

Bungalo began in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis to help Icelanders in financial straits earn some income by renting out their cottages to tourists from around the world. The enterprise was so successful that it has expanded into Sweden and is now moving into the Canadian market.

“We want…

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33 Startups to Pitch in 6 Days

In the next six days, at least 33 startups are going to present their business cases before crowds in the Halifax area, and what’s impressive isn’t just the number but the quality of the companies.

On Monday night, the Launch36 accelerator will hold the demoday for its fourth cohort at Pier 21, featuring six presenting companies. And on Tuesday and Wednesday, the Atlantic Venture Forum will take…

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Pond, UNB, Kilfoil Win National Awards

Atlantic Canadians captured three Startup Canada Awards at a gala affair at the CN Tower in Toronto last night, shining the spotlight on mentorship and education in the region.

Gerry Pond, the chairman of East Valley Ventures, captured the headlining Wolf Blass Lifetime Achievement Award for his years of contribution to startups and innovation in the country. 

Mary Kilfoil, who heads the Starting…

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BioNova Recognizes Acadian Seaplants

Acadian Seaplants Ltd. has received recognition from BioNova as the Good News Story of the Year.

The Dartmouth company, a global leader in the processing of seaweed-based products, received the award last night at BioNova’s annual Good News and Blues bash in Halifax. The party celebrates one good news story from the past year and features three bands made up of people from the life sciences community…

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Re-inventing the Retirement Home

For Tyler Sellars, visiting a relative in her retirement home was a distressing experience. The relative was unhappy and felt uncared for. Now, her sadness has led the 20-year-old New Brunswick entrepreneur to a new business idea that aims to optimize care for the elderly.

In the mid-2000s, Sellars’ relative had suffered a stroke and was living in the facility where she spent her final years.

“They didn’t give her sufficient stimulation to counter the effects…

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Press Release: Foursum’s New Feature

Want to Play Against the Pros? Foursum Golf Introduces In-App Profiles for the PGA’s Top Players

All-in-one mobile golf app will now let you compare your stats to the pros, including Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and more.

Thursday, June 12th, 2014 9:00am EST

New Brunswick, Canada: Foursum, the all-in-one mobile app for golfers that allows golfers to manage their game while connecting with friends, announced today that…

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Headspace Sold, Spins off Proposify

In a deal that impacts at least five Nova Scotian tech companies, New Glasgow businessmen Jim Fitt has bought Halifax web design company Headspace Design, allowing its two co-founders to focus on their new startup Proposify.

Fitt, the founder of training materials provider Velsoft, paid an undisclosed amount for Headspace. He promises the highly regarded web development…

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Report Probes NL Entrepreneurship

A new report on entrepreneurship in Newfoundland and Labrador reveals the province has a healthy entrepreneurial environment, especially among older entrepreneurs and immigrants.

The findings were released Wednesday in the 2013 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) Newfoundland and Labrador Report, part of an annual study of entrepreneurship throughout the world. The provincial report was authored by Gary Gorman, Dennis…

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BioVectra Begins $3.8M Expansion

BioVectra, the Charlottetown drug manufacturer purchased last year by Questcor Pharmaceuticals of Anaheim, Calif., for $100 million, has begun the latest expansion of its facility near the city’s airport.

The drugmaker is demonstrating the economic benefits of an exit by adding 13,000 square feet of space to its factory at a cost of $3.8 million. The company needs the extra space because it is increasing…

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A Strategy to Get Early Adopters

When Gregg Curwin met potential clients in New England last month, he tried using an early adopter pitch he’d just learned from Gerry Pond at the Entrevestor Dinner in Fredericton.

Curwin is the Founder and CEO of Truleaf Smart Plant Systems, a Halifax venture that grows plants in stacked trays under LED lights. He attended the dinner in Fredericton and was especially impressed by the strategy for signing up early adopters outlined by Pond, the…

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Press Release: Banyan-Pennecon Deal

Banyan Capital Partners, a private equity firm based in Toronto and Vancouver, announced it has teamed up with management to buy the concrete division of Pennecon Ltd., a Newfoundland and Labrador construction and engineering company.

The parties did not reveal the financial details. Though this deal doesn’t fit squarely with our mission of reporting on Atlantic Canadian startups, it is another…

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NewPace Tech Bought by NewNet

Bedford-based NewPace Technology Development Inc. has been bought by NewNet Communications Technologies of Arlington Heights, Ill., greatly expanding the sales power of the mobile technology developer.

NewPace, which is headed by founder and CEO Brent Newsome, will become a subsidiary of the NewNet messaging division, based in Amsterdam. The company will change its name to NewNet Canada, and Newsome will become a…

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CoinCity Celebrates Bitcoin in Moncton

When the organizers of the CoinCity conference on Friday took up a collection for the families of slain RCMP officers, the attendees could contribute in one of two ways – conventional money or Bitcoin.

It was fitting that the organizers of the Moncton event paid tribute to the fallen Mounties hours after their suspected murderer had been captured. It was also fitting that they used the collection to show the flexibility of Bitcoin.

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Seeding Growth in the Third World

Philippe Levesque wants his farm-in-a-box to help feed the world’s hungry, but the New Brunswick-based botanist and horticulturist must first raise $10,000 so that he can produce 200 boxes to validate his idea in Canada.

For the last year, Levesque, 34, has been working alone on producing a self-contained gardening model to share with the world. His solution: wooden boxes containing seeds, tools and instructions that…

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Press Release: The Rounds’ Partners

Physician Associations and The Rounds Partner Up To Improve Healthcare For All Canadians

The Rounds Announces Partnership With The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada and The Canadian Association of Emergency Physicians

NOVA SCOTIA, Canada., June 3 -- The Rounds, the largest online community in Canada exclusive to physicians, and The Society of Rural Physicians of Canada (SRPC), the national voice of Canadian rural physicians, announced…

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Lamda Guard Signs Deal with Airbus

In a textbook case of a startup landing the perfect early adopter, Halifax-based Lamda Guard announced Wednesday that it has signed a deal with Airbus to jointly develop its technology to protect planes from laser attacks.

The world’s largest aircraft maker will cooperate with the Nova Scotian startup on the development of a transparent, flexible film that can go over the aircraft windshields to block out laser beams. The shield is…

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Cirrus9-Cloud-A Merger to Aid Growth

Cirrus9, a Saint John-based managed cloud and data center operator, has acquired Cloud-A of Halifax, forming an nationally focused IT infrastructure and cloud services provider with operations in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Alberta.

The companies announced the transaction last night in a press release, but declined to reveal the financial details other than to say it was an all-stock deal. Cloud-A Co-Founder and…

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DC2GO’s Year 1 Sales Set to Top $1M

Last Friday was an important day for Andrew Coe and his company, DC2GO, which manufactures portable, customized data centres in Dartmouth. The company signed its first major sales contract.

But as he does every Friday, Coe drove out to the company’s prototype on a side road in Dartmouth’s Burnside Park.

Friday is the day when he runs its generator and makes sure all the components — the generator, cooling and security systems…

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Press Release: NBIF Research Chairs

Three Researchers Receive $3.5 Million To Work With Industry

New Brunswick Innovation Research Chairs Announced

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF) today established three new applied research chairs valued at $3,525,000 over five years. Areas of research include the commercialization of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids for food and pharmaceuticals; advanced cyber security threat detection, response and mitigation systems; and biomedical…

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NB Liberalizes SME Tax Credit

When Gerry Pond is asked how good New Brunswick’s new Small Business Investor Tax Credit is, he says it’s among the best provincial tax credit for startup investments in Canada.

The provincial government liberalized its tax credit this year to encourage more investment in young businesses, and to give a tax break to corporations investing in young companies.

“Some people say…

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Intelligence Report Highlights Funding

The most important trend in the Atlantic Canadian startup community last year was that provincial government agencies played a smaller role in financing startups than funds based outside the region and local private venture capital funds.

The June 2014 Entrevestor Intelligence Report, which we’re publishing here today, focuses on startup financing in the region, especially on equity financing for…

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Strong Startup Voice in NS Panel

Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil yesterday unveiled an economic planning panel that is rich with talent from the startup community.

The 17-member panel, to be chaired by the premier, will take a year and a half to devise a 10-year economic plan in keeping with the report of the recent Ivany Commission on the Nova Scotian economy. The panel is being greeted with some skepticism, but there are a few things I really like about…

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Press Release: SimplyCast And SMU

SimplyCast in Partnership with Saint Mary's University Executive and Professional Development to Launch Leadership Training Course

SimplyCast is looking to create leaders among its team by offering comprehensive communication and management training.

The Saint Mary's program, designed by instructor Brenda Fair, develops communication skills and strategies through team building exercises and ongoing communication challenges.

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia,…

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EY to Buy Ambir Solutions

Ambir Solutions, one of Atlantic Canada’s leading technology consultancies, has agreed to join EY Canada (formerly Ernest & Young) as part of its business consultancy division.

The Saint John-based service company, which has offices in Halifax, Fredericton and St. John’s,  said in a statement it had signed a letter of intent to join EY. The organization’s 60 employees will…

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Profile: The Hankinsons’ Golden Touch

They are stars in the regional startup community, enjoying a high degree of success at a young age.

When they are asked to explain their early achievements, brothers Stephen and Patrick Hankinson say that growing up in rural Nova Scotia they had few leisure options, so they began tinkering with their dad’s computer, learning a passion for tech and entrepreneurialism from him.

Both credit their father’s enthusiasm for computers and his own entrepreneurial leanings —…

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Bringing Urgency to #StartupEast

Paul Singh has a message that Atlantic Canadian startups need to listen to.

Singh is the founder of Disruption Corp. in Arlington, Va., which recently announced a $50 million post-seed fund for startups.

Last year, when he was working for another investor group called 500 Startups, he visited Halifax twice. He will return next month to be one of the speakers at the Atlantic Venture Forum.

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AVF Names Presenting Companies

The organizers of Atlantic Venture Forum have named 24 companies to present at the two-day event next month, representing all the main segments of the startup community.

The second annual AVF, presented by Critical Path Group, will take place at the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax on June 17-18. One of the great features of the event is that local companies get to pitch to the entire forum, which includes local and international investors.…

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Community Mourns David McNamara

Many in the region’s business world are saddened by the death of David McNamara, former vice president of incubation at Innovacorp in Halifax, who has died at the age of 63 after just two months of retirement.

Business leaders have been quick to praise McNamara’s long service to the province, both at Innovacorp and in many senior positions in community, economic and business development.

“David served our province with distinction…

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Detailing the Startup Jobs Boom

As her business grows, Gillian McCrae is rewarding more than just merchants and their customers.

She’s also rewarding a lot of workers.

McCrae is the Founder and CEO of GetGifted, a year-and-a-half-old Charlottetown startup that allows local merchants to give customers vouchers for gifts that can only be redeemed in person. The idea is to draw people to the outlets where they’ll spend money. As it grows, it needs more employees.

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Press Release: CATA Awards

Atlantic Canadian Expertise Recognized in Awards: Leadership & Innovation

Atlantic Canadians were featured in the 2014 Award Winners at the most prestigious event of the high-tech industry.

The 29th Annual Gala of Canada’s largest high-tech association  -  the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance  --  featured a keynote address from CATA National Spokesperson & Chair of Mitel and Wesley Clover, Sir Terence Matthews…

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Press Release: Cloud-A’s “Seeded”

Cloud-A Launches “Seeded”: Cloud Support for Startups 

Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada – May 23, 2014 -- Cloud-A, Canada’s high performance Cloud, announced it is launching “Seeded” – a program to support the development of internet based, seed stage startups.

Interested startups need to sign up for the program and once verified will receive six months of unlimited access to their Cloud platform, giving…

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James Seeks Funds for Enablers.ca

Three years ago, Roswell James was suffering from shingles, which so weakened his eyes he could only use them for brief periods each day. In that precious time, he went online to research his condition, but found there was no one site that contained all the information he needed. So, when he recovered, he set about creating his own site -- Enablers.ca, the disability site -- a one-stop shop for information on living with a wide range of diseases and disabilities.

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Mirametrix Wins BDC Innovation Award

Mirametrix, a Montreal company that makes it easier for people to use computers, has won the first BDC Innovation Award, edging out three other competitors including an Atlantic Canadian company.

Launched in 2011, Mirametrix has developed software that allows people to operate computers or devices with their natural acts. It tracks the user’s eye as he or she reads a…

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Internet of Things Creates New Models

The profound growth of the Internet of Things is creating new business models in which Big Business is becoming more open and collaborative and creating opportunities for startups, the CVCA Conference in Ottawa heard Wednesday.

A panel of the Internet of Things – in which machines communicate with one another and adjust automatically based on the data they send one another – revealed that this segment offers huge potential. Panelists also…

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Scene Sharp Revamps Sales Model

Scene Sharp Technologies Inc., a Fredericton software company that improves the quality of colour digital photography, is ramping up its sales effort through a series of deals with international distributors.

Scene Sharp is the company set up to commercialize the research of Yun Zhang, the Canada Research Chair in advanced geomatics image processing at the University of New Brunswick. Zhang has created software that…

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Jutla: New Paradigms Merit Bold Moves

A technology start-up “gold rush” is in progress worldwide with no signs of slowing, and Atlantic Canada is showing it has the educated resources and energy to pan for this gold too.

According to the latest Entrevestor Intelligence report, 153 startups started in AC in the last three years and almost 70% of them are in the IT sector.  This phenomenon is hardly surprising given that IT startups require relatively low investment and offer the potential for attractive returns.…

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Press Release: Venn Launches

Venn Innovation, the Moncton-based tech support organization, issued the following press release this week:

Venn Vision and Programs Launched

For immediate release:

Moncton, New Brunswick (May 20, 2014) – Today, Venn Innovation Inc., formerly Tech South East, announced its new name and refined program offering.  As New Brunswick’s innovative ecosystem evolves at a rapid pace, so must the organizations that operate…

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Congrats to Startup Canada Winners

Congrats to all the winners  of the Startup Canada Atlantic Awards, which were presented last night at a reception at Dalhousie University.

It was a rousing affair, deftly hosted by Rivers Corbett, the Fredericton-based  owner of the Relish Gourmet Burgers chain. Victoria Lennox, who founded Startup Canada less than three years ago, was in town to fly the flag for the volunteer-group that organizes startup communities across the country.

Gerry Pond, who claimed the Wolf…

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How Verafin Won $60M from Spectrum

When Spectrum Equity managing director Chris Mitchell flew into St. John’s to meet Verafin  two-and-a-half years ago, both parties noticed something in the other that they liked.

Mitchell and his team from the Boston and Menlo Park, Calif., private equity firm found a company with a remarkably open and innovative culture. And the execs from Verafin, which develops software that battles money laundering…

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Profile: Championing PEI Biotech

Rory Francis’s voice crackled with enthusiasm as he spoke by phone from Charlottetown. “We’re defying gravity here,” said the executive director of the Prince Edward Island BioAlliance as he revealed that, after a decade of careful nurturing, the life sciences sector on the Island is becoming an increasingly significant contributor to the economy.

The BioAlliance has recently completed its first economic impact audit…

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Kira Awards Recognize LeBlanc

One of the true champions of the startup community was recognized in Fredericton last night when Nicole LeBlanc, CFO of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, received the Special Recognition award at the Knowledge Industry Recognition and Achievement Awards.

The Kira Awards each year bring together a broad range of people in the New Brunswick knowledge industries, and startups as you’d expect play a huge role…

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Spectrum Invests $60M in Verafin

Verafin, the St. John’s company that develops software for battling money laundering and fraud, has attracted a $60 million buy-in from American private equity firm Spectrum Equity, which will finance the company’s next phase of growth.

Spectrum is buying a stake of just under 50 percent of the company. It may be the largest institutional investment ever in an Atlantic Canadian startup, exceeding…

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Foursum, Puma Launch Partnership

If you can drive a golf ball 10 miles by Canada Day, Foursum and Puma have a hat — and a mobile phone app — for you.

Foursum is a Moncton startup that has developed an app for golfers. On Tuesday, it launched its partnership with Puma, the German sports equipment maker whose Cobra Golf unit, based in Carlsbad, Calif., makes one of the world’s most popular drivers.

In celebration of the partnership, Foursum and Puma have announced…

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Industrial Internet Blooms in NB

When McRock Capital hosts its annual Industrial Internet of Things symposium in Montreal in June, three of the presenting startups will be from Atlantic Canada.

As of March, the Toronto-based venture capital group had selected 10 startups to appear at its event – one of the world’s leading conferences for this new technological sector. And they included Eigen Innovations of Fredericton, Continue Reading