PEI’s BioVectra Sold For up to $100M

Charlottetown drug manufacturer BioVectra Inc. has agreed to sell out to Questcor Pharmaceuticals of Anaheim, Calif., for up to $100 million in cash and deferred payments, in a deal that will give the P.E.I. company the capital needed to pursue its growth strategy.

BioVectra CEO Ron Keefe said in a phone interview today the acquirer has agreed to let the 43-year-old company run independently in Charlottetown with the same management team.

Questcor will pay shareholders of BioVectra about $50 million when the deal closes, which is expected this month. It has also agreed to pay a further

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Bracing for the Series A Crunch

Here’s the term that we’ll be hearing a lot in 2013: Series A.

And my bet is that by the time we welcome in 2014, it will be a term that has happy connotations for some companies and nasty connotations for others.

In the startup world, Series A refers to your first round of VC financing. The lines of get blurred, but a textbook startup will be funded first by founder, friends and family, and then by a seed round – usually less than, say, $750,000. Then it attracts a Series A round of financing from VC funds, usually $1 million to $2 million – enough to create momentum for the Series B,

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A Look Back at 2012

A year ago, I listed 10 things in Atlantic Canada’s startup community that we should be keeping an eye on in 2012. These weren’t guaranteed to be big stories. But they could be big stories. Here’s what I was watching and my assessment of how they turned out:

  1. That mountain of money in New Brunswick. The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, the New Brunswick Investment Management Corp. and a range of individuals made gazillions from the sale of Radian6 and Q1 Labs. They reinvested in New Brunswick companies as expected— companies like Breviro Caviar, RtTech Software, IntroHive and
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Unique Fields Investment Inquiries

Unique Solutions of Dartmouth is hiring an investment bank to advise it on striking a strategic relationship with a multinational that could greatly accelerate the development of its customer base and valuable databank.

Founder and CEO Tanya Shaw said in an interview the company has been approached by several corporations interested in investing in Unique. She and her board will soon hire a New York investment bank to ensure not only the best valuation for any investment but also examine which partner would best help to grow Unique.

Unique Solutions is best known for the MyBestFit

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Pletner Develops Remote Sensor

Serial entrepreneur Baruch Pletner has launched a Halifax start-up to produce sensors that can notify mining companies when machinery operating in remote locations needs maintenance.

Intelligent Dynamics Canada Ltd. is very much in its infancy, but its prospects are fascinating because of Pletner’s experience in smart materials, in nanotechnology and as an entrepreneur in the Boston area.

Pletner, who immigrated to Nova Scotia in 2010, believes he could have a prototype ready by this summer and says the final product will cost about $200.

“I really want this product to be high volume

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Sociallogical’s Scalable Program

Sociallogical, the social media consultancy formed by former PropelICT executive director Jeff Roach, is developing a scalable product that will allow business to identify their needs in social media and act on them.

Roach joined PropelICT in 2005 and spent five years developing what was then a fledgling tech incubator. He left in November 2010 and within two days launched a consulting career that is now Sociallogical.

He works with mainly established companies and is gaining more experience in teaching them how to use social media more effectively to increase sales.

“Social media has

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Celebrating the Holidays with Kiva

As an entrepreneur, Tim Burke eschews giving cigars or wine to his contacts when the holidays roll around.

Instead, he offers Kiva gift cards, which allow those in his network to support an entrepreneur in a less prosperous part of the world.

“It’s a novel and more meaningful gift,” said Burke, president and co-founder of Quark Engineering &Development of Halifax.

He has been investing in Kiva, a San Francisco-based non-profit that allows investors to put as little as $25 into one of the many ventures outlined on their website, for about two years.

Last year, Burke gave 30 gift

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BDC adds $10M to Regional Fund

The Business Development Bank of Canada’s venture capital arm on Thursday committed to invest $10 million in a regional venture capital fund, bringing the federal government’s seal of approval to the initiative and raising the total funding to $47.5 million.

Senia Rapisarda, vice-president of strategic initiatives and investments with the bank’s venture capital arm, said the federally owned bank has been working on a plan to help the ecosystem for investment across the country by backing venture capital funds.

In most cases, the bank requires a dominant backing by private investors

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Training People with a Troubled Past

After winning  his first business plan competition, Peter Goggin is hoping his social venture Green Trade, which trains ex-convicts and recovering addicts for employment, will take advantage of the skills shortage in the Maritimes to help people with a troubled past.

Goggin, an MBA student at the University of New Brunswick, won the social entrepreneurship category at the Pond-Deshpande Centre’s pitch competition in November, and now has his sights set on more  contests. The Pond-Deshpande Centre was established at UNB last year to promote entrepreneurship in universities.

Goggin’s idea

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Stomp Labs Seeks Partner at NAMM

Jeff Slipp is heading to Anaheim, Calif., next month with the hope  of finding a manufacturer that  will be able to  produce the enhanced-expression-effects pedals for electric guitars that Slipp is developing in Sydney.

Slipp, the founder and Chief Executive Officer at Stomp Labs, will soon launch a patent application for his  product, which can enhance the range of sounds and feeling of the music produced by an electric guitar. He is also in the process of raising $155,000 in private equity capital, which he hopes to leverage into additional money from Enterprise Cape Breton Corp. and

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