Dalhousie University held its inaugural Pitch Day for graduates of its Dal Innovates and Emera ideaHUB accelerators Thursday, with HerBiome Skincare and XO Technology winning for Launch and ideaBUILD, respectively.

In total, 19 startups competed for a $15,000 prize pool, with Phyco Technologies and Oxebow Enterprises each taking home a people's choice award. The pitch day complements the demo days that cap off each of the two programs.

Dal Innovates' Launch accelerator is a combination of the Lab2Market Launch program and Dalhousie's own programming. Meanwhile, ideaBUILD is a longer, 10-month program that guides startups, particularly those producing hardware, through the prototyping phase and helps them prepare to scale manufacturing.

Here’s a look at the companies:


HerBiome Skincare

Julie Anne Dayrit and Manishkumar Shinde

Saint Mary’s University and Dalhousie University

HerBiome make skincare products derived from plant extracts for treating inflammatory skin conditions like eczema, acne and psoriasis.

Integrative Nanotech

Hunter King and Michael Freund

Dalhousie University

Integrative Nanotech is developing next-generation sensors made from nano materials, with the aim of identifying hydrogen leaks in industrial settings.

MetaCrust Services

Sierra Anwar

Memorial University

MetaCrust is a system for securely transmitting health data from wearable medical devices to telehealth companies.

PhyCo Technologies

Stacey Goldberg and Ranah Chavoshi

The University of Prince Edward Island and Simon Fraser University

PhyCo is developing a biodegradeable plastic alternative made from seaweed under a partnership with First Nations groups.

Adrigo Insights

Ashwin Razdan and Katerina Msafari

Saint Mary’s University

Adrigo Insights is developing a business-to-business SaaS platform for measuring and benchmarking social media performance.


Ali Akbar Abshar, Fariba Seyedjafarrangraz and Jafar Pashami

Simon Fraser University, Saint Mary’s University and Dalhousie University.

Citapay is a blockchain-based system for transferring money across borders.

Food Web Asset Mapping

Justin Andrews and Keegan Francis

Dalhousie University

Food Web is developing digital infrastructure to aid collaboration between food entrepreneurs, Kitchens, farmers, markets and consumers.

No Days Off Apparel

Chaz Samuel and Shayna Cort

Dalhousie University and Saint Mary’s University

No Days Off plans to use clothing to “inspire and motivate.”


Alma Ziaabadimiyanji and Solmaz Ziaabadimiyanji

Saint Mary’s University

Rivalift plans to use a combination of social media data analytics and technology from California artificial intelligence giant OpenAI to automate the development of content marketing strategies.


Sides Anwar

Memorial University

Bio Lab Mate

Sarika Kumari and Sanjay Dubey

St. John’s

Bio Lab Mate is developing recyclable and biodegradable plastic products for use in university laboratories and private research centres as replacements for conventional plastic lab equipment.


Sam Fisher and Cameron Jantzen


Dri-Print is developing a “highly interactive” digital whiteboard for use by teachers.


Hamid Mandi

Mexico City, Mexico

Avisyna is developing brain-computer interface technology meant to allow people to control electronic devices and interact with computers using only their brain activity.

XO Technology

Zheng (John) Wang and Jason Gu


XO Technology is working on human-computer interface devices with health monitoring capabilities for use in augmented and virtual reality systems. Gu is also the Canadian president of the IEEE — the organization that sets computer networking standards.


Salar Salahi, Amir Kolahdouz and Seyed Nabavi

St. John’s

Nditive3D is developing a digital twin system for monitoring gas leaks in maritime settings.

Ocean Sights Technology

Artorix de la Cruz and Shaun Slade


Ocean Sights is developing an artificial intelligence-based system for monitoring the contents of lobster traps, saving fisherman the time and cost of checking traps manually.

Oxebow Enterprises

Maxwell and Brigham Poole

Yarmouth, NS

Oxebow is developing an on-board conveyor system for fishing boats to scan and track their shellfish catches

Safe Harbour Research & Technologies

Samira Khodadoost


Safe Harbour is working on a self-powered buoy for monitoring the speeds of marine vessels in harbours.


Masoud Aali


Scient is developing an artificial intelligence system for identifying the minerals in drilling cores taken during mining exploration.

Smart Bin

Aneesh Raghupathy and Niraj Shukla

St. John’s

Smart Bin has designed sensors that can be placed in commercial garbage bins to track how full they are, before an artificial intelligence system suggests optimized routing for garbage trucks.