The New Brunswick early-stage venture capital organization holds the competition every second year to find and nurture the next wave of startups in the province. It provides mentorship programs for all the participants, and development capital to three winners.
“We use the same criteria to judge these business plans that we do for all our investments: analysis of the product, team, market and financials,” said Daniel Hoyles, an investment analyst at the NBIF. “All of the applicants [this year] were great, but the teams that are moving on were really successful in demonstrating customer validation, and showing that there was a viable pipeline for their product.”
The 10 semi-finalists are:
Aurea Technologies (Cat Adalay and Rachel Carr) – Portable wind turbine to create and store energy for USB devices.
Better Than Reality (Daniel Kane, Esther Sangodoyin, and Harpreet Kohli) – Virtual reality training platform for nuclear facilities and utility operators.
Canum Nanomaterials Inc. (Kyle Woods, Alex Clarkin, Francois Michaud, Jayson Brown, and Felipe Chibante) – Nanomaterial manufacturing technology that produces fullerenes, which are often used in the skin-care industry for their anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties.
Enso Beverage Company Inc. (Henry Yates) – Premium wine packaged in convenient single-serve cans.
Gray Wolf (Matthew Sampson, Paul Aaron Frank, Ekta Sharma, and Jasmine Le Anne Lim) – Analytics platform and analysis tools for enterprise blockchain in the energy utility sector.
Lincoln Air Dynamics (Mike Rushton) – Particulate-reduction system that improves air quality and reduces particulate matter quantities in polluted workplace environments.
Potential Motors (Nick Dowling, Sam Poirier, and Isaac Barkhouse) – Electric conversion kit that simplifies the process of converting fossil fuel vehicles to electric.
Punchfiles.com (Ross Culberson) – Web application that helps farmers capture food safety compliance and maintenance records more efficiently.
R I D D L (Jenelle Sobey, Vanessa Paesani, and Jess Peters) – Cloud-based software that provides investment groups with the information and data needed to make the right investment decisions.
Sensory Friendly Solutions (Christel Seeberger) – Mobile app that allows people with sensory sensitivities to find, share and rate sensory-friendly spaces.
“We had really strong applications from companies ranging from clean tech to blockchain to augmented reality,” said Hoyles. “The Energia Accelerator at UNB in particular was able to produce some great candidates, which is fantastic because it feels like the competition has benefited from the presence of an innovative provincial accelerator.”
The Breakthru competition held its second entrepreneur bootcamp this weekend, which focused on pitching to investors and creating a slide deck. The teams now have one more chance to adjust their business plans before NBIF chooses five teams to pitch to a panel of judges March 14.
Winners and prizes will be announced at the Breakthru LIVE Awards Dinner on March 21. You can purchase tickets here.