Entrevestor.com

Skerry Takes Charge on EyeRead

Leah Skerry was shocked to learn that one of her friends struggled through high school without being able to read.

Her friend’s experience helped motivate Skerry to develop EyeRead, an affordable eye-tracking software able to assess and aid children’s reading.

The device is still being developed, and Skerry, a partner at Halifax web development and invention firm Norex, and her co-workers are seeking investment in San Francisco…

Continue Reading

ScreenScape Simplifies Digital Signage

If you’re a Maritime startup launching a new product, it doesn’t hurt to be partnering with one of the world’s largest makers of hardware.

That’s exactly what digital signage specialist ScreenScape Networks of Charlottetown has done as it unveiled ScreenScape Connect this week in partnership with Round Rock, Texas, computer maker Dell Inc.

ScreenScape launched Tuesday the product to…

Continue Reading

Busiest Week on the Startup Calendar

Ready for the busiest eight days on the Halifax startup calendar?

You better be because five events that speak to the entire community will take place in the Nova Scotia capital between Sept. 22 and 30. It begins with MentorCamp on Monday, followed by the new Startup Empire conference, the Entrevestor-Entrepreneurs’ Forum dinner, Startup Weekend and Invest Atlantic. DemoCamp had been scheduled for Sept. 24, but a notice on the Volta website says it has been delayed until November.

Continue Reading

Can We Reform Equity Tax Credits?

Next Thursday, members of the startup community will have an opportunity to discuss a matter that has been on their minds for years – how to liberalize the patchwork of angel tax credits in the region.

Rob Barbara, Partner at Build Ventures, will lead a discussion on this subject at the Entrevestor-Entrepreneurs’ Forum dinner in Halifax. The goal is to come up with new ideas, maybe even a consensus, on how to improve the system for incentivizing…

Continue Reading

Helping People Order Pizzas Online

Matt Stewart and Rob Myers should be poster boys for holding down business development costs.

Last year, the two residents of Sydney won $10,000 from the initial Spark Cape Breton competition, which Innovacorp held to encourage startups on the island. The pair won for a company called InstantDiner, which they hoped would become an online ordering and reservation system for independent restaurants.

After…

Continue Reading

ROV3D Launched at Oceans ‘14

As the Oceans ’14 conference gets under way in St. John’s today, a local startup will debut the 3D underwater visualization system it has been working on for several years.

Whitecap Scientific has developed a product called ROV3D, which creates interactive three-dimensional diagrams of underwater structures and objects using information collected by cameras on un-manned rovers. The company…

Continue Reading

Highlights of Entrevestor-EF Event

The problem of attracting early adopters once again showed itself at the Entrevestor-Entrepreneurs’ Forum luncheon in St. John’s on Thursday, even though it hadn’t been invited.

We had a great turnout and a truly superb meal at the Junior Common Room at Gushue Hall, Memorial University of Newfoundland. About 45 people turned out to join in two discussions – one about the coming Venture Newfoundland and Labrador Fund, and another on encouraging corporations to invest…

Continue Reading

Press Release: Norex in Japan

Norex, the Halifax web development company, has issued the following press release:

Halifax based innovation and web firm Norex presenting at the world’s largest AdTech conference in Tokyo

Halifax, NS -- September 9, 2014 – It is not every day that one of our Halifax based technology companies is featured at the largest AdTech conference on the other side of the world but on September 18, Partner Leah Skerry of…

Continue Reading

Profile: Rayworth’s Road Uphill

Failure isn’t something most of us celebrate, but Kathleen Rayworth said her failures help her to be an effective executive director of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum, a regional organization that links entrepreneurs with seasoned advisers from the business world.

Rayworth has been working at the forum since 2007, becoming executive director in 2010. Despite her characteristic modesty, she is respected around the region for her work…

Continue Reading

Invest Atlantic to Focus on Angels

The fifth annual Invest Atlantic conference will shine a spotlight on a problem that hounds every startup community — how to encourage more wealthy individuals to invest in local young companies?

Since it began in 2010, Invest Atlantic has chosen a theme each year, such as partnering with corporations or global investing, and in 2014 is focusing on angel investment. That’s investment in startups by individuals, either on their own…

Continue Reading

Assessing the Lean Canvas

When Claire Ciel Zimmerman entered the Summ’er Up entrepreneurship program at Dalhousie University this summer, she hadn’t even heard of a lean canvas.

The co-founder of the magazine publishing startup Bootstrap had to learn how to use the nine panels of the canvas to test theories on developing a business.

“As my colleagues and I moved through the program…

Continue Reading

HWKI’s Wearable Hockey Camera

When Shea Kewin and Tim Priamo were playing hockey together as children in Guelph, Ont., they couldn’t have known they’d one day form a company to help players improve their game.

The two former teammates are the co-founders of HWKI, which has developed a camera that fits on a hockey helmet. The device lets players record what they see as they play a game or practise, and then review it later on a mobile or computer device, and share it with…

Continue Reading

Press Release: CelluFuel Funding

Cellufuel, a Halifax renewable energy company, and PwC Corporate Finance have released the following statement:

CelluFuel raises $5 million in capital, launches demonstration scale project

PwC Corporate Finance Inc. acted as lead advisor on the transaction and secured private equity investors

HALIFAX, Sept. 3, 2014  - Today, Halifax, NS-based CelluFuel Inc. announced that it has completed a $5 million capital…

Continue Reading

Education Institution Report is Here

We’re pleased today to release our third Entrevestor Intelligence report of 2014, which focuses on the contribution of educational institutions to the startup community.

Titled “Our Back-to-School Issue”, the report highlights several programs and facets involving universities and colleges that are helping to generate growth in the startup segment. A PDF version of the report is available permanently under the “Entrevestor Intelligence” tab at the right of…

Continue Reading

Profile: ‘Notably Candid’ Nagtegaal

Toon Nagtegaal is ready to take TheNextPhase to the next phase.

The notably candid Dutchman behind the three-day workshop that makes entrepreneurs sweat, and occasionally cry, is developing a new program that would engage startups over a longer period. The idea is to help them transition off the starting blocks and into growth.

In the four years since TheNextPhase started, Nagtegaal and his partners have put about 100 companies through…

Continue Reading

Press Release: Modest3D Launch

Modest Tree, a Halifax startup whose SaaS product reduces the cost and time involved in making three-dimensional training programs by as much as 85 percent

Simplifying the Creation of 3D Interactive training: Modest Tree unveils Modest3D™

Halifax, Nova Scotia (September 4, 2014) - Modest Tree, a Halifax-based 3D interactive software and training solutions company, announced today the launch of its 3D authoring software,…

Continue Reading

What To Do About Startups Leaving

It’s beginning to appear that Atlantic Canadians are going down the road for more than just jobs in Fort McMurray. The region’s startups are also feeling the lure of larger markets.

More frequently, when I contact an Atlantic Canadian startup I learn that the founders — the key decision-makers — have moved to Waterloo, Toronto or other larger centres. I don’t have data on the numbers, though it’s something I hope to produce. But the anecdotal evidence…

Continue Reading

Press Release: Venture for Canada

Venture for Canada, which helps grads find work in Canadian startups, has issued the following press release:

Venture for Canada Launches its Graduate Placement Product

TORONTO, Aug. 25, 2014 -- Venture for Canada has launched its search for the next generation of top Canadian business leaders.  Recent grads and soon to be grads have until September 30th, 2014 to apply for the first application round of Venture…

Continue Reading

Press Release: CarbonCure & Snyder

CarbonCure Technologies, the Halifax-based maker of green building materials, has issued the following press release:

Snyder and CarbonCure connect on sustainability

Snyder to offer green concrete products to the Ohio region

August 28, 2014 - Canadian clean-tech company CarbonCure Technologies Inc. has signed a deal with Ohio-based Snyder Brick & Block to begin producing low carbon concrete products for the Ohio building market.…

Continue Reading

Press Release: SimplyCast Q2 Growth

SimplyCast, the Dartmouth-based multi-channel marketing startup, has issued the following press release:

SimplyCast Continues to Achieve Triple Digit Growth in Q2

SimplyCast has experienced triple digit customer growth in Q1 and Q2 for customers using SimplyCast 360.

Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, September 3, 2014 - SimplyCast.com, a global leader in multi-channel marketing Platform-as-a-Service solutions, is proud to…

Continue Reading

SkySquirrel to Launch Farm Product

A year after it pivoted away from a search and rescue product, SkySquirrel Technologies is launching a drone-based product that can help farmers improve growing conditions.

Based in Inverness on Cape Breton Island, the company has always been dedicated to using drones to help customers do things that would be more difficult to do on the ground. The original team of Tim Stekkinger, Richard Van der Put, and Stephane Sogne had planned to use the drones…

Continue Reading

New Time for St. John’s Event

The time of the Entrevestor-Entrepreneurs’ Forum event to be held in St. John’s on Sept. 11 has been changed to mid-day due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict.

The Entrevestor-EF Luncheon will now begin at 11 am at the Common Room at Gushue Hall at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Like the Entrevestor-EF Dinners, the purpose of the luncheon is to let members…

Continue Reading

Four Launch36 Grads Get BDC Notes

As it announced ambitious organizational changes, PropelICT revealed Thursday that four startups that went through Cohort 4 of its Launch36 accelerator have received $150,000 convertible notes from BDC Venture Capital.

Propel held its annual general meeting Thursday night, formalizing its plan to hold three simultaneous cohorts this autumn and announcing a new board…

Continue Reading

After 2 Exits, Thompson Heads Propel

Having founded and successfully exited two tech startups by the time he was 43, Fredericton native Jeff Thompson brings a lot of street cred and star quality to his new role as chairman and president of regional startup support group, Propel ICT.

Thompson took up his role on Thursday, although he has been involved with Propel ICT, most recently as vice-president, since 2011 when he helped thrash out the vision for what has become the group’s successful…

Continue Reading

Entrevestor on Holiday Next Week

Entrevestor will take its annual summer holiday next week and will not be covering news until after Labour Day. 

We will return as usual on Sept. 2. 

We hope all our readers have a happy and safe long weekend. 

Peter and Carol Moreira. 

 

Continue Reading

GetGoing Gets Going at Bootcamp

Starting this week, a new Halifax startup is taking part in a boot camp for women in technology at Waterloo, Ont.-based Communitech, the country’s premiere startup lab.

GetGoing hopes to use its time in the Women Entrepreneurs Bootcamp to get feedback on its product for entrepreneurs. It has created a simple app that helps small businesses — traditional businesses as well…

Continue Reading

BioPort Now a More Regional Event

BioPort Atlantic, the annual conference for the East Coast life sciences industry, is moving closer to being a truly regional event as it is now being promoted by organizations in Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

BioNova, the Nova Scotia life sciences association, has announced that companies from the three provinces will be able to enter the BioInnovation Challenge, the $15,000 pitching contest…

Continue Reading

Gillis, 15, Brings Bitness to Market

While most of the teens at the Shad Valley tech and entrepreneurship camp in July focused on their science projects, Alex Gillis might have been a bit distracted by the business he’d started two months before.

He is now launching the business, which places a small electronic monitor in retail locations like coffee shops to track the customer traffic and spending, and provide data on customer behaviour. Gillis and his partners call their service Bitness…

Continue Reading

Press Release: FoodTender Launch

FoodTender, the Shediac, N.B.-based online ordering system for restaurants, issued the following press release today:

FoodTender Launches Free Online Ordering Service In Major Technology Advance for Restaurants and Foodservice Suppliers

Web-based Platform Allows Restaurants to Easily Order from Multiple Suppliers

For Immediate Release - August 19, 2014

SHEDIAC, CANADA—FoodTender, the first comprehensive web-based ordering…

Continue Reading

Profile: Robert Niven’s Next Product

Eight years after he attended a climate change conference as a student and realized that his carbon capture theory could help lessen climate change, Robert Niven is launching a ready-mix concrete product he expects to grow his company and cut pollution.

Niven is CEO and founder of Halifax’s CarbonCure Technologies, a clean-tech company that adds waste carbon dioxide to concrete production, thereby reducing CO2 emissions.

Concrete is the…

Continue Reading

Engage Conference Set for Sept. 25

The Engage 2014 Conference, which will encourage innovation and commercialization at post-secondary institutions, will be held in Halifax on Sept. 25 and may lead to other similarly themed events throughout the region.

Although the number of events in the startup space has risen dramatically in recent years, organizer Mark Taylor said there is a need for an event examining how universities and colleges spawn innovation and then turn it into…

Continue Reading

Press Releases: Planet Hatch

Planet Hatch, the Fredericton startup centre, has released the following press releases:

 Launch36 Information Session

As you may know, applications for the Fall 2014 Cohort are now OPEN!

In collaboration with Volta Labs, we will be adopting both the Start and Build accelerator programs, products of Launch36, for our next batch of startups!

This evening (Thursday) we will be hosting an information…

Continue Reading

Oasis Farmery: Aquaponics Pioneers

Imagine, if you will, a goldfish tank sitting in your kitchen, with a vegetable and herb garden sitting on top of it. The waste from the goldfish fertilizes the plants, a process that in turn cleans the water for the fish. Now imagine your family sitting beside it, eating the produce from this system.

This simple system — known as aquaponics — is the premise behind Oasis Farmery, a Fredericton startup now trying to raise $10,000 in a Continue Reading

Irap Funding on the Rise

Irap funding has returned almost to Economic Action Plan levels – and the rise has been especially strong in New Brunswick.

The National Research Council’s Industrial Assistant Program, known as Irap, is a cornerstone program of startup communities across the country, and certainly in Atlantic Canada. Data from the NRC show that Irap funding in Atlantic Canada rose 49 percent to $20.6 million in the year ended March…

Continue Reading

Profile: MacAusland Extends Reach

With this week’s announcement of new collaborations with regional partners Planet Hatch and Volta Labs, East Coast startup accelerator Launch36 is moving one step closer to its goal of being a truly regional organization.

On Wednesday, the group’s friendly-and-frank leader Trevor MacAusland announced the group will hold its Launch36 Start program for new companies at…

Continue Reading

David King Leaves Genesis for Qatar

The Genesis Group of St. John’s, which operates one of the most successful business incubators in the country, will soon enter a new phase of its development — but without the man who has steered the firm for the past two decades.

David King, who joined an earlier incarnation of the group in 1993, has announced that he will leave his post as chief executive officer to move to Qatar in the United Arab Emirates.

Instead…

Continue Reading

Wagepoint Launches in the U.S.

Having attracted its 500th client by focusing on Canada, Wagepoint last month launched in the U.S. and is now offering its online payroll service in all 50 states.

Wagepoint offers an affordable solution to help businesses perform all the tasks associated with payroll through a single solution. That means that small and medium-sized businesses can use Wagepoint to pay employees, deduct taxes, keep records of their payments and similar functions.

Continue Reading

Press Release: Propel, Volta & Hatch

PropelICT, the regional accelerator program, released the following press release yesterday, announcing its partnership with Planet Hatch and Volta Labs:

Launch36 Announces Launch of "Start", "Build" Tracks

For immediate release

Moncton, NB – August 5, 2014 – East Coast startup accelerator Launch36 has opened applications for its fifth cohort of companies. So far, 32 companies have completed the 12-week program…

Continue Reading

Press Release: Startup Calendar

The Atlantic Media Group issued the following press release last week:

Atlantic Mentor Group Launches Startup Calendar in Halifax

July 31, 2014 – Halifax, NS

Today marks the official launch of Startup Calendar, an online tool to enable start-ups to share their events with other members of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. The intent is to connect events with start-ups, sponsors, supporters, and attendees – all in one convenient, easy-to-use location.…

Continue Reading

VidSnippets Eyes Autumn Launch

To enter the pitching competition at Invest Atlantic this year, entrepreneurs must submit a one-minute video introducing their business, and they can highlight the most enticing 10 seconds using an exciting piece of technology being developed in Halifax.

VidSnippets is preparing to launch its new product at a few events this September after incubating the product for almost a year in the Masters…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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. …

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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,…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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:

CANUCKS SPORTS & ENTERTAINMENT IMPLEMENTS NEW GREENING MEASURES AT ROGERS ARENA

17 June 2014, Vancouver, BC

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

Continue Reading

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.

Continue Reading

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:

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading

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…

Continue Reading