Innovacorp, Nova Scotia’s government-owned venture capital agency, has announced the five companies in its latest GreenShoots cohort, which are receiving a combined $170,000 in grants.

The funding and mentorship program offers agtech, biotech and cleantech companies up to $40,000 each in grants. Three of the five recipients this year are based in Sydney, which has been growing its life sciences and cleantech community through the AscendBio program and the  Verschuren Centre. 

Launched in 2020, the competition is run by Innovacorp, the Nova Scotia Innovation Hub and Guelph, Ont.-based Bioenterprise Corporation. To qualify, startups must have booked less than $1 million in cumulative sales and not have already raised more than $25,000 from Innovacorp.

Here’s a look at the current cohort:

Dispersa — receiving $40,000

Nivatha Balendra

Sydney and Montreal

Dispersa is developing “biosurfactants” derived from food waste. Surfactants are the active compounds in many everyday cleaning and cosmetics products, such as detergents, creams and hand soaps.

Earthli — receiving $30,000

David Giffin, Jack MacDonald, Larry Burke

Windsor, NS

Earthli makes plant-based protein supplements from hemp — an extremely fast-growing, but non-psychoactive form of cannabis with broad industrial and nutritional applications.

Foodimprover — receiving $20,000

Sean Myles

Wolfville, NS

FoodImprover is developing a platform technology to genetically modify fruit, including apples.

GreenSage — receiving $40,000

Brad Saville, Michael Berry

Sydney and Toronto 

GreenSage is working on a natural antibiotic “alternative” derived from coconut residues.

INTAG International — receiving $40,000

Allen Tait, Chris Nguyen, Paul Nickerson

Sydney, NS 

INTAG is working on technology to convert biological waste from fish and other animals into fertilizer.