Breakthru is a start-up competition to encourage the creation and development of entrepreneurial, innovative business ventures in New Brunswick. We host this biennial province-wide competition to give participants a unique opportunity to access start-up capital, mentoring, and support.

Entrepreneurial New Brunswickers interested in pursuing the development of a new and innovative business venture in the province are encouraged to enter the competition for a chance to win start-up investment cash to help launch their businesses.

Cash investment is made in the form of a SAFE investment and in-kind services. In addition, participants receive coaching from the province’s leading professionals.

Upcoming Breakthru Start-up Competitions:
– Opens October 5th, 2020*
– Winter 2021, stay tuned!


*The fall 2020 competition is a French-speaking competition only. All communications and competition applications must be in French; English applications will not be considered for this competition. For more information on the fall 2020 competition, click here. Stay tuned for winter 2021 English competition details.

Participant Handbook

The Breakthru Participant Handbook outlines the essential aspects of the Breakthru start-up competition and has been designed to assist participants in preparing their submissions. The competition process has been carefully and thoughtfully developed to create the best competition possible. The Participant Handbook outlines 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.

Past Breakthru Award Recipients

Canum Nanomaterials

Team members: Kyle Woods, Alex Clarkin, Francois Michaud, Jayson Brown, Felipe Chibante

Canum Nanomaterials [2019] – Grand Prize, CBC Viewer’s Choice Award

Canum Nanomaterials is a manufacturing company that produces fullerenes, which are often used in flexible organic solar cells and as an antioxidant in health supplements. However, a problem in the fullerene industry has held back the growth of these applications. Fullerenes are incredibly challenging to produce, and there still isn’t a commercially viable process to produce fullerenes at reasonable prices and quantities suitable for large-scale use. As a result, the fullerene demand has remained high and current manufacturers are struggling to find a cost-effective way to improve their production. The founding team at Canum Nanomaterials has developed a highly scalable and environmentally friendly process that can produce fullerenes at costs significantly lower than competitors. This technology shows great potential and multiple prospective customers have approached Canum with written letters of intent to purchase fullerenes immediately.

Team members: Jenelle Sobey, Vanessa Paesani, Jess Peters

R I D D L [2019] – Second Place

R I D D L provides proprietary data to impact investors to guide better investment decisions. Currently, there are no standardized value indicators for impact investments as there are for traditional financial investments, therefore these investors are investing blind. R I D D L is building the tools that manage and measure impact investment to drive real outcomes in fields like climate change mitigation, health sciences innovation and poverty reduction. R I D D L is a cloud-based Software as a Service (SaaS) model propelled by artificial intelligence and machine learning that allows impact investors to better analyze their impact returns.