It’s the morning of Thursday the 19th of March 2015—the day of Breakthru 2015 LIVE—after months of work for our five finalists, the idea of becoming entrepreneurs remains a dream. But three of them will become exactly that overnight, receiving up to $750,000 in investments and professional services from NBIF and our partners to start their own company—and a new life. Now each team will make their final presentation before our Breakthru Selection Committee! It will culminate with our live event at the Fredericton Convention Centre on March 19th, 2015. Don't miss it!

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Breakthru Awards Dinner

Fredericton Convention Centre - March 19, 2015 - Reception 5:30 - Dinner 6:30

With up to 500 business people expected to attend, Breakthru LIVE is one of the most anticipated events of the season. In addition to a cocktail reception and dinner, the audience will get to see each finalist pitch onstage, enjoy a live band, a special musical performance by the Calithumpians Theatre Troupe. 

Breakthru is made possible with the generous support of our Presenting Partners:



Are you attending East Coast Startup Week? Get a full conference pass and save!

Below is the ticket portal for East Coast Startup Week (ECSW) where you can purchase single tickets to ECSW events as well, or a full conference pass which includes a reduced price for Breakthru! For more information about ECSW click on the logo to the left. 




Autopulse Sam Jesso

Today’s automotive industry is overpopulated with dealerships that have poor customer satisfaction and low service return and retention rates. Part of the problem is dated technology that requires the customer to bring the vehicle to the service center so its onboard computer can be plugged into a receiver and read. Plus, many customers, when faced with a vehicle maintenance problem find themselves calling or visiting multiple service centers just to get an appointment that works with their time and financial constraints.

Autopulse’s technology communicates vehicle problems and warnings to the dealership or service center of your choice, in real time. Service center staff will receive an alert about your vehicle’s issue along with all of the data from the onboard computer. Equipped with this information, the service center can reach out to the customer, give a general explanation of the problem, the time, effort and estimated cost of the repair, and book an appointment—increasing customer retention while reducing unsold service capacity.

NB BioMatrix
NB BioMatrix Keith Brunt

The industrial contamination of water with heavy metals is the most costly and challenging problem for commercial water remediation. Since heavy metals, which are dangerous to human health when accumulated in the body, occur at the nano level, they slip through most membrane-based filters. Currently, many industries dump contaminated water into well holes drilled below the water table, or boil it, at great expense, to concentrate the heavy metals. Both practices cost industry up to $700 million per year.

NB BioMatrix’s product, Naqua-Pure, is a magnetic compound that provides cost effective removal of heavy metals in waste water, and is simple to use. It is non-toxic, non-corrosive and safe to handle. An adsorbent, Naqua-Pure increases the density and facilitates the drying of post-treatment wastewater sludge to the extent that it can be used in bio, or plasma reactors for energy generation. Finally, the leftover heavy metals, now ultra dense (vitrified) can be forever removed from the environment.

Castaway Golf
Castaway Golf Josh Ogden

Finding lost golf balls, repackaging and selling them is a big business, a $400 million business. That’s because the average golfer sends at least two balls per game to the murky depth of a water hazard. Today, reclaiming companies pay scuba divers to manually retrieve the balls, a practice that is expensive, time consuming, and dangerous—especially where there are alligators. Currently, divers retrieve about half of the balls that are actually there.

Castaway Golf has developed a new machine that will dredge and clean almost all the balls at the bottom of the bog. Additional technology sorts the balls into the 200 different models so they can be repackaged and resold by brand and kind. Castaway’s system will increase major ball makers’ revenues on resold balls while saving millions dollars per year in manual sorting costs.

SimpTek Technologies
SimpTek Technologies Keelen Gagnon

Since the beginning of power generation there has been lack of meaningful energy usage information from people’s homes other than what’s needed to issue a bill. Both utilities and consumers are missing out on the opportunity specific real time measures can bring, which according to SimpTek Technologies, causes consumers to spend up to 30% more on electricity than they need to. At the same time, utility companies spend millions of dollars on running, maintaining and building power plants to meet energy demands that, with new technology, can be less.

SimpTek Technologies provides customers with the ability to control and understand how energy is being consumed in their homes using innovative artificial intelligence technology. As many jurisdictions move towards “Smart Grids” and “Smart Homes”, SimpTek’s solution has the ability to understand consumers’ energy usage behaviours, while making predictions and providing actionable recommendations. At the same time, the system will allow utilities reduce their peak loads and base loads with in a more precise and predictable way

Smart Castle Labs
Smart Castle Labs Elaheh Biglar

Today’s children are exposed to the Internet at a very early age. They play with tablets, smartphones and all sorts of digital devices, but the safety measures of most are far from adequate. With cybercrime on the rise, it is increasingly difficult to protect our loved ones from the dangers of the hyper-connected world. This includes shielding children from being inadvertently exposed to inappropriate material, and to protect elderly parents—a growing target for cybercriminals.

Smart Castle Lab’s product, DrawBridge, is a hardware device that once plugged into a home network, will help protect children by filtering content they receive through their browser or apps, including inappropriate content, cyber bullying and child luring—including an alert to their caregivers.


Description & Provider GRAND  SECOND  THIRD 
Cash investment by NBIF Breakthru $100,000 $50,000 $50,000
Cash investment by NBIF Startup Investment Fund* $100,000 $100,000 $100,000
Cash incentives by NB Growth Program** (up to) 45,000 45,000 45,000
Legal services from Cox & Palmer 5,000 5,000 5,000
Financial advisory services from Deloitte 5,000 5,000 5,000
IT Services from Blue Spurs 5,000 5,000 5,000
Executive coaching services from Vision Coaching 5,000 5,000 5,000
Branding and digital design services from Orange Sprocket 15,000    
Web and video production from Outreach Productions 5,000    
Branding and design services from Ginger Design   5,000 5,000
Electronics Engineering Services from Epsilon5*** 5,000    
Company launch event at a Cineplex 2,250 2,250 2,250
More to be announced      
TOTAL $287,250 $222,250 $222,250

* Note that investments in the Breakthru winners will be completed in two parts and timed based on reaching specific milestones.

** The Department of Economic Development will provide NB Growth Cash incentives of up to $45,000 per Breakthru winner, subject to NB Growth program eligibility requirements.

*** If the grand prizewinner's business model does not require electronics engineering services, the prize will default to the 1st runner-up or 2nd runner-up in that order.

Selection Committee

  • Styve Dumouchel - President, Lorneville Mechanical
    Styve Dumouchel President, Lorneville Mechanical
  • Ross Finlay - Director, First Angel Network
    Ross Finlay Director, First Angel Network
  • Jill Green - CEO, Green Imaging
    Jill Green CEO, Green Imaging
  • Donald Hammond - ADM, Economic Development
    Donald Hammond ADM, Economic Development
  • Mike Jennings - VP, Brunswick Valley Lumber
    Mike Jennings VP, Brunswick Valley Lumber
  • Calvin Milbury - CEO, NBIF
    Calvin Milbury CEO, NBIF
  • Beth Webster - VP, Populus Global Solutions
    Beth Webster VP, Populus Global Solutions

Viewers Choice Award

Have your say and tell us who YOU think will win. Here's how:

A feature story on each team will be broadcast on the CBC News New Brunswick with Harry Forestell in March 2015 and uploaded to the CBC website where you can watch them again and vote via social media for who YOU think should win the Viewers' Choice Award. The winners will receive round trip airfares to Toronto courtesy of Air Canada to appear on CBC's hit show Dragons' Den. Stay tuned for more information about voting as the date approaches.

Participant Handbook

The Breakthru Participant Handbook outlines the essential aspects of the Breakthru Startup Competition and has been designed to assist participants in preparing their submissions to compete. The competition process has been carefully and thoughtfully developed to create the best competition possible. The Participant Handbook outlines the eligibility requirements, the competition process and the terms and conditions.

All participants must fully read and understand the Breakthru Participant Handbook prior to entering the competition. 

Corporate Partners