NBIF Announces Breakthru Semi-Finalists, Narrows Field to 10 Competitors - NBIF - FINB
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NBIF Announces Breakthru Semi-Finalists, Narrows Field to 10 Competitors

NBIF Announces Breakthru Semi-Finalists, Narrows Field to 10 Competitors

The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation is excited to announce the semi-finalists for its 2019 Breakthru Competition.

The premiere event celebrating entrepreneurialism and innovation in New Brunswick, Breakthru asks aspiring entrepreneurs across the province to submit their business plans for the chance to gain access to start-up capital, mentoring and support from successful founders and companies in several different industries and fields.

“We use the same criteria to judge these business plans that we do for all our investments: analysis of the product, team, market and financials,” said Daniel Hoyles, an investment analyst at the NBIF. “All of the applicants [this year] were great, but the teams that are moving on were really successful in demonstrating customer validation, and showing that there was a viable pipeline for their product.”

This year, the NBIF team received business plan submissions from 36 people, which they have managed to whittle down to 10 semi-finalists:

  • Aurea Technologies: Portable wind turbine to create and store energy for USB devices

            Entrepreneurs:  Cat Adalay and Rachel Carr

  • Better Than Reality: Virtual reality training platform for nuclear facilities and utility operators

            Entrepreneurs: Daniel Kane, Esther Sangodoyin, and Harpreet Kohli

  • Canum Nanomaterials Inc.: Nanomaterial manufacturing technology that produces fullerenes, which are often used in the skin-care industry for their anti-oxidant and anti-aging properties

Entrepreneurs: Kyle Woods, Alex Clarkin, Francois Michaud, Jayson Brown, and Felipe Chibante

  • Enso Beverage Company Inc.: Premium wine packaged in convenient single serve cans

            Entrepreneurs: Henry Yates

  • Gray Wolf:  Analytics platform and analysis tools for enterprise blockchains in the energy utility sector

            Entrepreneurs: Matthew Sampson, Paul Aaron Frank, Ekta Sharma, and Jasmine Le Anne Lim

  • Air Clarity Solutions: Particulate-reduction system that improves air quality and reduces particulate matter quantities in polluted workplace environments

            Entrepreneur: Mike Rushton

  • Potential Motors: Electric conversion kit that simplifies the process of converting fossil fuel vehicles to electric

            Entrepreneurs: Nick Dowling, Sam Poirier, and Isaac Barkhouse

  • Punchfiles.com: Web application that helps farmers capture food safety compliance and maintenance records more efficiently

            Entrepreneurs: Ross Culberson

  • R I D D L: Cloud-based software that provides investment foundations with the information and data needed to make the right investment decisions

            Entrepreneurs: Jenelle Sobey, Vanessa Paesani, and Jess Peters

  • Sensory Friendly Solutions: Mobile app that allows people with sensory sensitivities to find, share and rate    sensory friendly spaces

            Entrepreneurs: Christel Seeberger

The Breakthru competition is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs in New Brunswick, and it’s given everyone listed above the chance to bear down and focus on what really makes their business tick. “Stopping to put all the pieces together has required a lot of focused work – and pulled us out of working in the business to working on the business,” says Jenelle Sobey, Co-Founder of R I D D L. “After working with the NBIF, we realize our business plan will continue to change and evolve – and we now see it as a playbook for how to execute.”

The NBIF is extremely pleased with the breadth of responses received from entrepreneurs and researchers across New Brunswick.

“We had really strong applications from companies ranging from clean tech to blockchain to augmented reality,” said Hoyles. “The Energia Accelerator at UNB in particular was able to produce some great candidates, which is fantastic because it feels like the competition has benefited from the presence of an innovative provincial accelerator.”

The Breakthru competition will continue with a second entrepreneur ‘bootcamp’ focused on pitching to investors and creating a slide deck. After the bootcamp is finished, teams are given one more chance to adjust their business plans before the NBIF investment team chooses which five teams get to pitch to a selection panel of judges on March 14th.

Winners and prizes will be announced at the Breakthru LIVE Awards Dinner on March 21st. If you’d like to attend the ceremony and show some support for these brilliant entrepreneurs, there are still tickets available on Eventbrite for $100 + tax for an individual ticket, and $750 + tax for a table of 8. You can also purchase table tickets directly from the NBIF by contacting Joanne Johnson at joanne.johnson@nbif.ca or 506-452-2884 or by clicking here.

Best of luck to all competitors, and we hope to see you there on March 21st