Atlantic Canada’s Innovation Alphabet

Posted on November 24, 2020 | By Terri Coles | 0 Comments

From startups to established firms, companies across the region are changing the world

While Atlantic Canada is home to innovation superstars like Verafin and Emera, there are smaller firms across the region that are also bringing new products and services to market, joining prestigious incubator and accelerator programs, and securing significant investments. Many of these companies are primed for the challenges of 2020, or have quickly pivoted to meet current needs. Here’s an alphabetical listing of some of the standouts—give or take a few tricky letters.

Agyle Intelligence (P.E.I.)
Manual data becomes smart with Agyle Intelligence’s paperless automation software, which promises to reduce waste and speed up decision making. The company’s revenues increased 500 per cent in 2019 thanks to a $500,000 contract with the federal government.

Appili Therapeutics (N.S.)
Motivated by the global fight against infectious diseases and drug-resistant pathogens, Appili is now working on a vital project: the development of a drug to treat patients with COVID-19 infections. The company recently submitted a Phase 3 study protocol for that drug, Favipiravir, to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Bitzon (N.B.)
You may have heard about blockchain in relation to cryptocurrencies like Etherium and Bitcoin, but the technology has a wide variety of potential applications. One of those is Bitzon, a multi-sided multi-currency exchange platform with its own token offering and a promise to reduce transaction times.

BlueLight Analytics (N.S.)
A first in the dental industry, BlueLight Analytics’ checkUp wireless smart radiometer matches dental materials with curing light outputs. The app-paired device is designed to work with all major lights on the market. In 2018, the company received $3 million in funding, led by CIC Capital Ventures.

CareCrew (N.S.)
As seen in long-term care homes in Ontario and Quebec earlier this year, the consequences of poor communication and staffing issues can be tragic. This Antigonish company’s cloud-based software aims to improve the care residents receive.

DMF Medical (N.S.)
This Halifax firm is one of the many exciting companies in Atlantic Canada’s growing life sciences field. In September, DMF received a Class II medical device license from Health Canada for its memsorb device, which improves the CO2 removal process for patients under anesthesia.

Electric Puppets (N.S.)
Home-based VR assessments are a powerful clinical tool that allows for social distancing or examination by a far-away expert. Electric Puppets is developing software for VR-based research and medical assessment. They received Class I medical device approval from Health Canada last year and are participating in a Halifax-based clinical trial.

FoodByte (N.S.)
Events like the ongoing onion recall show the value of strong supply chain management for food producers, and FoodByte’s online platform lets food processors quickly generate and manage food safety plans. FoodByte has a $500K funding round in the works.

Greenlight (N.S.)
After a move from Ottawa to Halifax, Greenlight recently secured nearly $375K in loans from ACOA to launch its AI-fueled mass spectrometer device to measure chemicals in food and cannabis. The company is currently raising capital with a goal of $700K.

Hyke (N.L.)
You have got money to spend on a particular activity, but what’s the best deal? The app Hyke plans to help you figure that out, by offering coupons and rewarding users for brand loyalty. The company plans to launch across Canada this winter.

Integratr (N.B.)
A multi-talent tech firm based in Fredericton, Integratr focuses on providing consultation, development and software solutions for the health-care industry—vision care in particular. They also work with clients in the banking and entertainment/gaming sectors.

Island Water Technologies (P.E.I.)
Island Water Technologies products are designed for both large-scale wastewater management via its Sentry bio-electrode sensor and small-scale with its environmentally friendly ClearPod septic performance enhancer. The company has clients as far afield as California, the UK, and Saudi Arabia.

Maple Smart Control (N.B.)
Devices like your voice-activated digital assistant or smart home thermostat are all part of the Internet of Things, operated by speaking to apps and websites and each other. Maple Smart Control’s agriculture automation tools for indoor agriculture operate under the same principle for operations including vertical farming and hydroponics.

Milk Moovement (N.L.)
The supply chain is more stressed than usual this year, but this company aims to keep things moving (mooving?) smoothly for the dairy industry. Milk Moovement is quickly finding an audience for its milk shipment tracking software—the company recently opened an office in Minneapolis.

Neothermal Energy Storage (N.S.)
Looking to move away from oil or electrical heating? Neothermal offers a solution: its smart home compatible electric thermal storage heater for homes. The company claims its heater can reduce oil costs by 80-90 per cent and hot water costs by half.

Ocean Sonics (N.S.)
This Truro company, which makes equipment that listens to and monitors the ocean, announced this fall that it will launch a west coast operation based in Vancouver that will facilitate real-time listening in the Pacific. The certified B-corp already has clients in Asia, Europe, and North America.

Proposify (N.S.)
Proposals are a tricky beast, but Proposify’s software aims to simplify that process with features branded templates, cloud integration and digital signoff. The software has new value during the expansion of remote working, and the company closed an unspecified “substantial” funding round this summer.

Riddl (N.B.)
Just how much of a social or environmental impact is your investment making? RIDDL’s goal is to help you find out. The company’s software provides impact data management and analytics for organizations and their investors.

Sapien (N.B.)
It’s not often an app is meant to keep you off your phone, but that’s the idea behind Lightdogs from Sapien. Users earn points by reducing their screen time and can trade those credits for fun virtual pets. It’s all part of its founder’s passion for ethical tech.

Side Door (N.S.)
Amid COVID-19, this Nova Scotia startup has facilitated recent virtual events as varied as Halifax artist Rich Aucoin’s album release shows and events for the Wood Point Writers Festival via Zoom. The company partnered with the South by Southwest festival earlier this year and quickly pivoted from matching artists with small, unusual venues when the pandemic hit.

Tranquility Online (N.S.)
The need for an anxiety coach is, arguably, higher than ever amid the ongoing pandemic. That’s where this app comes in, by providing online support for anxiety sufferers based on established Cognitive Behaviour Therapy approaches. The company partnered with a charity to provide free access to healthcare workers earlier this year.

UnBound Chemicals (N.L.)
You may have recycled the plastic pill bottles your prescriptions come in, but the medication itself? This St. John’s startup is working on a way to do that—and had a recent breakthrough when they extracted the active ingredient from the antidepressant trimipramine. •

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