Innovacorp on Thursday awarded $850,000 to 15 Nova Scotian companies as the Nova Scotia innovation agency named the regional and sectoral winners of its I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition.

I-3 is the biennial competition for early stage companies in the province. On Thursday, Innovacorp named the winners of five regions in the province, each of whom will win $100,000. It also named the runners-up in each region, which will be awarded $40,000 each. And it announced the winners in six sectors, each of which will receive $25,000. These awards all comprise a mix of cash and in-kind services.

The five regional winners will be considered for the grand prize of $100,000 in seed funding, which will be announced on Feb. 3.

"The winning start-ups were chosen because of their novel products and services, and their potential for rapid growth in global markets," said Innovacorp President and CEO Stephen Duff in a statement. "The quality of entrepreneurs in this year's competition impressed the private-sector judges, making their work both exhilarating and challenging."

One interesting feature of this year’s list of winners is only one company has a chance to capture the maximum $225,000 prize, by winning the grand prize, regional prize and sectoral prize. Chester-based Sustane Technologies is the only regional and sectoral winner.

The zone winners are:

Zone 1 (Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough counties)

1st Place: Lootbag - Daniel Code-McNeil, Jason Young and Neil Grewal, Antigonish. Lootbag is developing a mobile application that streamlines new product development and market research. The application will let users browse, test and review free consumer goods based on their interests, enabling Lootbag to provide brands with advanced consumer insights quickly and cost-effectively.

2nd Place: AgSeed Technologies (Canada) Inc. - Sandra Newbold and Trevor Newbold, Bible Hill. AgSeed develops agriculturally based biochemical and biomaterial products. The company offers high biobased content biocomposite materials for the furniture and green building markets.

Zone 2 (Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties)

1st Place: Sustane Technologies Inc. - Peter Vinall, Javier De La Fuente and Robert Richardson, Chester. Sustane has developed a system that enables complete recycling of municipal solid waste, eliminating the need for landfills. Through a series of technologies, the waste is transformed into clean, value-added products such as biomass fuel pellets.

2nd Place: WoodsCamp Technologies Inc. - Alastair Jarvis and Will Martin, Mahone Bay. WoodsCamp is developing a multi-sided software platform for sustainable management of privately owned forest resources. Featuring a range of tools designed for both woodlot owners and foresters, the technology connects owners to those requiring feedstock.

Zone 3 (Digby, Annapolis, Kings and Hants counties)

1st Place: Airline Employee Travel Inc. - Donna Lavallee and Colin Lavallee, Elmsdale. Airline Employee Travel is developing a travel platform for airline employees. GO BUMP FREE provides low-cost, last-minute hotel accommodations that can be cancelled for free if airline employees and their families miss their standby flight.

2nd Place: Manzer Apiary Inc. - Brian Manzer and Owen Manzer, Digby. Manzer Apiary has created a beehive that can reduce bee losses, increase crop yields and improve honey production. Initial product testing has shown that the user-friendly technology eliminates the need to treat, winterize or replenish hives. First targeting commercial pollination service companies, the product will improve bottom lines and help solve the global problem of bee loss.

Zone 4 (Halifax Regional Municipality)

1st Place: Site 2020 Inc. - Mitchell Hollohan and Cole Campbell, Halifax. Site 2020 is creating a networked traffic management solution for road construction sites that increases safety while reducing overhead costs. The system networks smart portable traffic lights with a tablet computer, allowing a single employee to manage traffic safely and creating an innovative platform for communication on construction sites.

2nd Place: MouseStats - Kousha Nakhaei and Ehsan Nakhaei, Halifax. MouseStats is developing a customer experience analytics suite that uses website visitor interactions. Through analysis of clicks, scrolls, hovers, touches and other behavioural metrics, the application provides visual reports to help website owners increase online sales and boost conversion rates. Several advanced algorithms will provide in-page design recommendations.

Zone 5 (Victoria, Cape Breton, Inverness and Richmond counties)

1st Place: Orenda Software Solutions, Tanya Collier MacDonald, Sydney. Orenda Software Solutions is developing a social media analysis technology that determines an organization’s overall corporate standing in real-time. Targeting medium to large enterprises, automated analysis calculates the impact of social media activity on an organization’s brand and reputation.

2nd Place: MacCormick Inc. - Bonnie Lyn de Bartok, Sydney. MacCormick is developing a proprietary algorithm-based index that measures social responsibility of global mining and oil and gas companies. The solution helps meet the growing demand for responsible impact investing by public and institutional investors while addressing project delays due to stakeholder disputes.

The sector winners are:

Information Technology:

Zora - Milan Vrekic, Dartmouth. Zora is creating a cloud-based platform for landlords that reduces risks associated with rentals. The tenant scoring system incorporates data from more than 80 factors, offering landlords a quantifiable method to assess the reliability of rental applicants, reduce rent default rates, and avoid costs associated with eviction and damage.

Life Sciences:

Treventis Diagnostics Ltd. - Sultan Darvesh, Chris Barden, Mark Reed and Scott Banfield, Halifax. Treventis is developing a technology for non-invasive diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease, a condition that currently can only be positively identified by examining the patient’s brain after death. Using proprietary compounds to highlight tissue plaques related to Alzheimer’s disease in the living brain, the technology has potential to identify this devastating disease in its early stages and accelerate development of new, more effective therapies.

Clean Technology:

SATELLIGENT Telemetry Solutions Inc. - Arjun Warrier, Bedford. SATELLIGENT is developing a technology to make residential solar power generation more efficient, reliable and affordable. The company's power-dense string inverter converts direct current from solar panels and batteries to usable alternating current for home and business use.

Ocean Technology Sector:

Turbulent Research Inc. - Chris Loadman, Dartmouth. Turbulent designs and manufactures underwater data acquisition and signal processing products for ocean science and the oil and gas sectors. It recently developed a new product line for offshore pipeline inspection gauges.

Agricultural Technology:

Allendale Technologies Inc. - Guy Tipton, Cyril Meagher, Ben Pooley and Elizabeth Pooley, Lockeport. Allendale Technologies has developed a carbonation system, FizzWizz, for the microbrewery industry that reduces costs and increases efficiency of craft beer production. The company’s technology lets brewers accurately and repeatedly carbonate fluids with the touch of a button to achieve a stable carbonation for a given style of product, a process that previously required costly equipment or almost constant attention.

Waste Diversion Technology:

Sustane Technologies Inc., Chester

[Disclaimer: Innovacorp is a client of Entrevestor.]