Thoughts on Invest Atlantic

In just two years, Invest Atlantic has established itself as a leading forum for an outward-looking and cooperative business policy in Atlantic Canada.

Though conference attendance is down across the country, Invest Atlantic in its sophomore year increased paid attendance to 165 and quadrupled its attendance from Newfoundland and Labrador.

Gerry Pond, the Saint John-based chairman of the event, made an impassioned plea for the provinces to work together in attracting investment into information technology and other innovative sectors. He recited his plea for six cities (Saint John,

Continue Reading

Email: Changing Resource Sector

Editor’s note: We’ve received a lot of emails in the week since we launched, but we wanted to post this one from Orville B. Pulsiver of Grapell Bioenergy. This note spoke to us because it highlights the importance of marrying innovation with traditional resource-based industries. It’s a theme we hope to revisit frequently. P&C.


Hello Peter & Carol,

Your article in today's Sunday Chronicle Herald (p A-12) awakened my interest in what you are trying to do and its importance.

In 1994 I inherited a farm in Middle Musquodoboit, just one of more than 2,000 smaller farms across N.S

Continue Reading

DemoCamp: Intriguing Debuts

On Friday night, I found myself wishing I’d attended the Moncton CyberSocial’s Angel Den in July. 

I was sitting in the packed auditorium at the Dalhousie University Computer Sciences Building enjoying the ten pitches at DemoCamp Halifax, arranged by Milan Vrekic and Tony Abou-Assaleh of TitanFile.  The program alternated between the presentations by developing companies and sage advice from seasoned veterans like Tim Burke of Tether and Brent Newsome of NewPace.  The proceeds from the evening were donated to Dalhousie’s Women in Technology Society.

The Angel Den in Moncton – which I

Continue Reading

Radian6: A Deal for the Ages

We’ve known for months that Radian6 Technologies Inc. was a great deal, but we’re only now understanding just how great a deal it was.

Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association on Wednesday awarded its Deal of the Year to the investment by venture capital firms Summerhill Venture Partners, Brightspark Ventures and BDC Venture Capital. The three firms invested a total of $9 million in the Fredericton group that analyses social media posts. When Radian6 sold out to of San Francisco this year for $326 million, the VCs pocketed $205 million.

The Venture Capital

Continue Reading

Autumn Harvest of Pitching Startups

Sailing into the busiest week of the autumn, there might be a few innovators feeling a bit of stage fright today. At least 10 startups and researchers are pitching in public in the next five days in Halifax.

There will be five researchers pitching at the BioInnovation Challenge at BioPort on Wednesday, four at Invest Atlantic on Monday and a few at DemoCamp Halifax on Friday night.

The BioInnovation Challenge is presented by BioNova, Nova Scotia’s life science association, and the five pitchers are finalists in a lengthy process aimed at increasing the commercialization of biotech and

Continue Reading

First Angel Network’s Evolution

After six years spent building a network of investors, the First Angel Network is undergoing changes that will enhance the benefits it brings to Atlantic Canadian businesses.

The changes range from a cosmetic shift like opening a new office to deepening its management team and expanding its geographic base in investments and portfolio companies. FAN has even changed the process it uses in selecting portfolio companies.

Co-founders Ross Finlay and Brian Lowe remain the pillars of the organization, but they have added business analyst Nicole LeBlanc. A certified general accountant,

Continue Reading

Green Imaging Launches New Cell

Green Imaging Technologies of Fredericton is beginning to reap the rewards of its partnership with Oxford Instruments of Britain, as the two companies on Monday released their fully integrated Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) cell for performing overburden studies.

The two companies, which announced a partnership in May, launched the new cell at the Society of Core Analysts (SCA) Symposium in Austin, Texas.

Green Imaging was formed about five years ago by Derrick and Jill Green to make it easier, faster and more economical for petroleum companies to study the core samples they extract

Continue Reading

New Landscape in Atlantic Canada

The venture capital investor didn’t bother trying to hide his contempt for my theory. ``It’s just because of one deal,’’ he shot back as we chatted last week.

I’d just said that the investment, entrepreneurship and innovation community in Atlantic Canada was at a watershed moment, that the environment had changed just in the past year and that the change was permanent. For example, I cited Thomson Reuters data showing the total VC investments in Nova Scotia had averaged $17.5 million in 2009 and 2010. Already in 2011, six deals have been announced worth more than $42 million. So, with

Continue Reading

Startups Earning Kudos Elsewhere

Kudos to Atlantic Canadian startups that have recently received recognition beyond our borders.

TitanFile, the Dartmouth digital file-sharing company, received glowing coverage Friday from the Financial Post, in its special reporting on the 50 best-managed companies in Canada. The story noted how aggressive CEO Milan Vrekic is, hoping for $10 million in revenue in Year 3, compared with an estimated $500,000 this year.

Meanwhile, Halifax-based multi-channel marketing company SimplyCast was listed as one of the top 100 Canadian startups this week in ranking compiled by global web

Continue Reading

Adfinitum Grows as It Seeks Funds

As it works on raising as much as $1 million in new capital, Adfinitum has just increased its revenue by signing up a huge new client.

On Wednesday, St. John’s-based Adfinitum signed up the third largest advertising holding company in the world as a client. Adfinitum CEO Ed Clarke declined to name the new customer, but he did say that Adfinitum’s system would allow any of its thousands of staff members on five continents to use data on existing ads as a research tool for planning ad campaigns.  

Usually when Adfinitum grows, it does so by expanding its massive databank of

Continue Reading