Call for Regional Equity Tax Credits

The quarterly Herald Magazine came out yesterday, and its theme is a favourite of mine -- innovation. My column in the publication calls for a regional equity tax credit. I argue that ETCs are a proven means of channeling capital into innovative companies. However, the overall pool of capital in the region is too small if investors only qualify for ETCs by investing in companies in their home province. Check out my old friend John DeMont's interview with Gerry Pond, Erica Fraser and Ray Ivany.

Continue Reading

FAN Readies for NACO Summit

The recent news has not all been good for the First Angel Network, but Director and Co-Founder Ross Finlay is focusing on the positive, especially his chance to once again host the National Angel Capital Organization, or NACO, Summit in October.

``It will be fabulous,’’ Finlay said in an interview Friday. ``It’s going to be even better than the last one.’’

Anyone who’s spent time with Finlay might find it difficult to believe anything could be better than the last Naco Summit in Halifax in 2008. He’s never been shy about describing its wonders (and, incidentally, others agree with him)

Continue Reading

Smart Skin Closes Funding Round

Smart Skin Technologies, the Fredericton company commercializing a thin material that relays information to a computer when it senses pressure, has closed a round of funding from a group of blue-chip New Brunswick investors.

Though he declined to name his new backers or say how much they invested, CEO Kumaran Thillainadarajah said they were early-stage investors in Radian6, the social media analysis company that sold out for $370 million to last year.

“We actually raised 33 percent more than our target,” said Thillainadarajah. “We literally couldn’t say no to these

Continue Reading

Regional VC Fund Near Endgame?

Just as they used to say in an old TV commercial for Alexander Keith's India Pale Ale, the people putting together the regional venture capital fund are taking the time to get it right.

Of all the accusations that may be hurled against the planning committee, obsessive punctuality won’t be among them. Premiers Darrell Dexter of Nova Scotia and David Alward of New Brunswick said last year the manager of the fund would be announced in February, then word on the street said March.

Well, I’m hearing rumblings on this brief again and people familiar with the matter say there is a movement

Continue Reading

Impressive Metrics in ONC Deal

The $540 million exit of Dartmouth-based Ocean Nutrition has taught us three things: Ocean Nutrition is a really good company; Atlantic Canada has a good ecosystem for young companies; and the knowledge economy in the region has matured in just two years.

ONC announced Friday that its owners, Clearwater Fine Foods and Winnipeg’s Richardson Capital, have sold the maker of fish-oil derived Omega-3 fatty acids to Royal DSM, a Dutch conglomerate involved in health, nutrition and materials. The fact that DSM has annual sales of about C$12 billion means that its massive sales force should be

Continue Reading

TitanFile 2nd in National Competition

TitanFile Inc. is a young company with a mighty full trophy cabinet.

The Dartmouth enterprise on Tuesday was named runner-up in the Alpha Exchange Innovation Campaign Live Pitch-Off Competition at the OCE Discovery 2012 show in Toronto.

More than 200 innovators from across the country entered the contest, and 10 finalists were invited to attend OCE Discovery, an event showcasing the leading-edge technologies from the health, manufacturing and technology sectors.

TitanFile, whose technology offers better ways to communicate and collaborate online without having to worry about security

Continue Reading

Headspace Inches Toward Products

With the launch of its new Extrify product, Halifax website-design firm Headspace is taking another step closer to being predominantly a software company.

On Monday, the company headed by Kyle Racki and Kevin Springer launched, an extranet collaboration product that allows staff of medium-sized to large companies to simply and affordably work together and share documents online.

That follows the soft launch late last year of PerfectPitch, an online instrument that helps graphic artists perfect their pitches to clients. Meanwhile, the eight people working at Headspace have

Continue Reading

Pond-Deshpande Plans Year 1

Could there be a more auspicious time to unveil the program for the Pond-Deshpande Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the University of New Brunswick?

Doubt it.

New Brunswick is still basking in the glow of the Radian6 and Q1 Labs exits. The province has not one but two thriving accelerator programs. The federal government recently released a report on funding innovation, and the provincial government is due to follow suit any time now. There’s never been a better time to delve into the world of startups in New Brunswick.

“People are starting to coin the phrase, Silicon

Continue Reading

STI Seeks $5M-$10M Up-Round

Now that its only VC backer has converted its debt to equity, Halifax-based STI Technologies Ltd. Is embarking on a fundraising campaign it hopes will raise $5 million to $10 million in follow on funding this year.

The company formerly called Sampling Technologies has doubled its revenue in the past year, and it’s now seeking funding from major venture capital firms or strategic partners to back its international expansion.

On Thursday, GrowthWorks Atlantic Venture Fund announced in a press release it would convert its $2 million of debentures in the company into common stock. The fund

Continue Reading

RtTech Raises $750K; NBIF Leads

Six months into its existence, RtTech Software of Riverview, N.B., has raised $750,000 in equity financing and is just about breaking even.

The company – whose software helps companies become more efficient with energy and their machinery – hopes that a round of seed financing will see it through to profitability, and it will not be distracted by fundraising again.

“We are a startup but we have a great pipeline and we have about 40 clients,” said RtTech CEO Pablo Asiron in an interview. “After only six months, we are almost breaking even.”

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation

Continue Reading