Prince Edward Island biometrics company Stepscan (formerly known as ViTRAK) has been quietly raising a round of funding with the end goal of $300,000.
The Charlottetown company makes pressure-sensitive floor tiles that help analyse people's gait to identify walking disabilities or balance issues.
“We sell a medical product,” CEO Crystal Trevors said in an interview. “It’s FDA-, Health Canada-approved and offers a turn-key gait analysis system.”
So far, the company has raised $150,000 through private investors. The most significant investment came from East Valley Ventures, an angel investor group out of Saint John, that came in with an undisclosed portion.
Trevors says the funding will cover growth capital for the remainder of 2018. The company last raised capital in 2014 in a $2 million funding round led by the Regis Duffy Bioscience Fund.
“We have some big projects we’re expecting to close in the next six to eight months,” said Trevors. “It’ll be for working capital, supporting new distributors, training, development, marketing.”
Trevors said she recently hired two new people, bringing the Stepscan team to eight members. With a solid clientele in the medical space, Trevors said the company is approaching new markets for new market applications.
“Where we’re going now is into new verticals mainly as a training system,” said Trevors who wants to take Stepscan’s technology to the military and professional sports worlds.
The Stepscan product is modular, so you can buy a couple of tiles or outfit a whole room with the pressure sensing flooring. Trevors says at the moment she typically sells four tiles, roughly eight feet of space, that are usually only testing one person at a time.
Trevors says Stepscan products can actually track more than one person. She said there are huge benefits for military or RCMP training with tech.
“If they need to enter a room and clear that room there is very specific protocol,” said Trevors.
“Sometimes they’ll train and use cameras so they can see themselves, but now we’re instrumenting the floor to unobtrusively track each person, exactly where they go, their reaction time, where they are supposed to be. If one person is walking backwards, we can make sure no one comes up on the rear. We can track all that and replay it and can provide quite a few statistics to the trainer.”
The Stepscan system also collects and analyzes data on the recorded movement.
Trevors plans to go after contracts with the Build in Canada Innovation Program and said she has been generating interest with a couple of intelligence agencies in the United States.