Halifax medical devices company Mindful Scientific has secured the first commitment of funding en route to a seed round it hopes will be worth $400,000 to $600,000.  

Permjot Valia, a London investor who has invested in several Nova Scotia startups and the author of the Angel Business Blog, has made a commitment to invest in the company, which is commercializing technology that can check for brain injury.  The company recently gained media attention because it hopes its technology will help diagnose brain trauma caused by sports injuries – an incredibly controversial subject.

Mindful Scientific has also been named as one of the three winners of the New Technology Showcase by LifeScience Alley, an American medical sciences group. In December, a team from the company will attend the LifeScience Alley Conference & Expo in Minnesota to accept the award.

Mindful Scientific has developed the Halifax Consciousness Scanner in conjunction with the National Research Council’s Institute of Biodiagnostics. The machine analyzes brainwaves to determine whether an individual player has suffered a concussion.

The company, led by CEO Don Weaver, a Dalhousie University neuroscientist, has identified three possible markets for the product:  sports teams, and it is now negotiating with an NHL team to use the scanner; the military; and hospitals and health clinics.

Chief Operating Officer Christopher Barden said Mindful Scientific hopes to begin selling the scanner next year.

“Our position in Canada is a great asset to the company,” he said, explaining that Health Canada approvals are easier to attain than those with the Federal Drug Administration in the U.S. The company plans to become compliant with Health Canada’s standards and gain some sales in Canada. With that in hand, it hopes to build up a base of data needed to apply for FDA approval in the U.S.

The company is now working on a round of funding from angels in Atlantic Canada, the U.S. and through Valia’s network in the U.K. It has so far received $50,000 from Innovacorp’s Early Stage Commercialization Fund. If it is successful in raising money from individual investors, it hopes it may be able to receive non-dilutive funding from Acoa.