Regional VC Fund Near Endgame?

Just as they used to say in an old TV commercial for Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale, the people putting together the regional venture capital fund are taking the time to get it right.

Of all the accusations that may be hurled against the planning committee, obsessive punctuality won’t be among them. Premiers Darrell Dexter of Nova Scotia and David Alward of New Brunswick said last year the manager of the fund would be announced in February, then word on the street said March.

Well, I’m hearing rumblings on this brief again and people familiar with the matter say there is a movement

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Impressive Metrics in ONC Deal

The $540 million exit of Dartmouth-based Ocean Nutrition has taught us three things: Ocean Nutrition is a really good company; Atlantic Canada has a good ecosystem for young companies; and the knowledge economy in the region has matured in just two years.

ONC announced Friday that its owners, Clearwater Fine Foods and Winnipeg’s Richardson Capital, have sold the maker of fish-oil derived Omega-3 fatty acids to Royal DSM, a Dutch conglomerate involved in health, nutrition and materials. The fact that DSM has annual sales of about C$12 billion means that its massive sales force should be

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TitanFile 2nd in National Competition

TitanFile Inc. is a young company with a mighty full trophy cabinet.

The Dartmouth enterprise on Tuesday was named runner-up in the Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign Live Pitch-Off Competition at the OCE Discovery 2012 show in Toronto.

More than 200 innovators from across the country entered the contest, and 10 finalists were invited to attend OCE Discovery, an event showcasing the leading-edge technologies from the health, manufacturing and technology sectors.

TitanFile, whose technology offers better ways to communicate and collaborate online without having to worry about security

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Headspace Inches Toward Products

With the launch of its new Extrify product, Halifax website-design firm Headspace is taking another step closer to being predominantly a software company.

On Monday, the company headed by Kyle Racki and Kevin Springer launched, an extranet collaboration product that allows staff of medium-sized to large companies to simply and affordably work together and share documents online.

That follows the soft launch late last year of PerfectPitch, an online instrument that helps graphic artists perfect their pitches to clients. Meanwhile, the eight people working at Headspace have

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Pond-Deshpande Plans Year 1

Could there be a more auspicious time to unveil the program for the Pond-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of New Brunswick?

Doubt it.

New Brunswick is still basking in the glow of the Radian6 and Q1 Labs exits. The province has not one but two thriving accelerator programs. The federal government recently released a report on funding innovation, and the provincial government is due to follow suit any time now. There’s never been a better time to delve into the world of startups in New Brunswick.

“People are starting to coin the phrase, Silicon

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STI Seeks $5M-$10M Up-Round

Now that its only VC backer has converted its debt to equity, Halifax-based STI Technologies Ltd. Is embarking on a fundraising campaign it hopes will raise $5 million to $10 million in follow on funding this year.

The company formerly called Sampling Technologies has doubled its revenue in the past year, and it’s now seeking funding from major venture capital firms or strategic partners to back its international expansion.

On Thursday, GrowthWorks Atlantic Venture Fund announced in a press release it would convert its $2 million of debentures in the company into common stock. The fund

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RtTech Raises $750K; NBIF Leads

Six months into its existence, RtTech Software of Riverview, N.B., has raised $750,000 in equity financing and is just about breaking even.

The company – whose software helps companies become more efficient with energy and their machinery – hopes that a round of seed financing will see it through to profitability, and it will not be distracted by fundraising again.

“We are a startup but we have a great pipeline and we have about 40 clients,” said RtTech CEO Pablo Asiron in an interview. “After only six months, we are almost breaking even.”

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation

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LeadSift Gears Up for Demo, Launch

Tapajyoti Das has put his Masters degree in computer science on hold so that he can focus all his (considerable) energy on the demo and launch of his young lead-generation company, LeadSift.

LeadSift can scan the tweets of people in a geographic location and automatically find those who are intent on making a purchase. The purpose is targeted marketing, so an auto dealer, for example, could find a person who’s looking for a certain make of car, track that person down and help him or her find a suitable vehicle. What’s more, LeadSift can rank the people tweeting about a purchase so the

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ScreenScape Planning New Displays

After growing 250 percent in each of the last three years, Charlottetown-based ScreenScape Networks is planning a major change this year on the presentation of its public video screens.

ScreenScape provides software that allows companies and organizations to broadcast messages on TV screens in public places. CEO and founder Mark Hemphill said in an interview last week that its oldest code is the three-year-old system it uses for the displays themselves. Now, these displays are getting an upgrade, probably in August.

“We’re beefing up the technology to have the best-looking displays in

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Equals6 Lands Innovacorp Funding

Equals6, the Halifax-based social network that links students and prospective employers, has secured a $250,000 seed round of financing from Innovacorp, the Nova Scotian innovation agency.

We last featured Equals6 in September, when the company had signed up about 5,000 students and 75 employers to its site. In the ensuing eight months, it has almost tripled the number of students registered on its site to 13,000, and the number of employers has risen to 125.

Now with its first external funding – the founders have financed the project themselves and bootstrapped thus far – the company

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