Canum Nanomaterials Wins NBIF’s Breakthru $335,000 Grand Prize

March 21, 2019

Canum Nanomaterials Wins NBIF’s Breakthru $335,000 Grand Prize 

–RIDDL takes runner-up title at NBIF’s flagship entrepreneurship competition–

FREDERICTON, NB— The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation’s Breakthru competition came to a triumphant end on Thursday at the Fredericton Convention Centre with Canum Nanomaterials taking the top prize and RIDDL finishing in second place.

The competition’s grand prize is valued at $335,500 in investments and professional services, highlighted by cash investments of $200,000 from NBIF and $100,000 from Opportunities New Brunswick (ONB). Second prize has a value of $175,500, with $100,000 of that coming from NBIF and $50,000 from ONB. Companies supporting Breakthru by providing professional services are Deloitte, Cox & Palmer, Symplicity Designs, Momentum, Bonfire Communications and Amy Parrill (LMI).

The winning team of Canum Nanomaterials, led by President and CEO Kyle Woods, COO Alex Clarkin, CTO Francois Michaud and Director of Research Dr. Felipe Chibante, is a carbon nanomaterials manufacturing company that produces high-quality fullerenes for use by manufacturers and researchers. Fullerenes are carbon allotropes that can be used in a wide variety of applications, including as antioxidants, antiviral solutions, solar cell components, hydrophobic drug deliverers and photosensitizers. Spun out of Dr. Chibante’s innovative research at the University of New Brunswick, Canum’s unique product processes allow for the affordable and environmentally friendly manufacture of these complex and versatile molecules.

The runner-up team at RIDDL developed a cloud-based software platform that harnesses the power of advanced machine learning to provide investment managers and donors with actionable data about how they can use their investments to effect change in fields like climate change mitigation and poverty reduction. Founded by Janelle Sobey, Vanessa Paesani and Jess Peters, RIDDL’s pragmatic solution to this real-world problem is an important contribution to the corporate social responsibility movement.

“From the initial batch of 34 startups that began the competition through our semi-finalists and finalists, we were consistently impressed with the quality of the ideas coming from this province’s entrepreneurs,” said Jeff White, NBIF’s CEO. “New Brunswick always punches above its weight. From virtual reality to bioscience to neural networks, New Brunswick researchers and startups are at the forefront of some of the world’s most promising industries. We’re thrilled to offer them a platform and support network through the Breakthru competition.”

Breakthru is a biennial, province-wide startup competition designed to encourage the creation and development of entrepreneurial, innovative business ventures in New Brunswick. Offered by the NBIF, Breakthru gives participants a unique opportunity to access start-up capital, mentoring, and support from industry leaders and other successful entrepreneurs.

About NBIF

Since its launch 15 years ago, the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation, an independent, non-profit corporation, has invested over $100 million in New Brunswick startups and researchers and leveraged $457 million more from other private and public sources. Those strategic investments have helped launch over 100 companies and funded nearly 500 applied research projects. Profits from NBIF’s investments go back into the foundation for reinvestment in other startups and research initiatives that drive innovation, attract investment and create jobs in New Brunswick.

For further information:

Allan Gates



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