A biomedical engineering company that is designing and commercializing medical devices for worldwide markets is the winner of Innovacorp’s I-3 technology start-up competition in Cape Breton.

Sydney, Nova Scotia, June 1, 2006 – A biomedical engineering company that is designing and commercializing medical devices for worldwide markets is the winner of Innovacorp’s I-3 technology start-up competition in Cape Breton. Chad Munro of Mabou-based Halifax Biomedical Devices Inc. earned $100,000 in cash and in-kind contributions toward further development of the start-up venture.

“I am pleased to congratulate Chad Munro. Halifax Biomedical Devices best demonstrated its deep understanding of the addressable market, proprietary technology, and financial and operational feasibility,” said Dan MacDonald, president and CEO of Innovacorp. “This company is one of several we’ve seen during I-3 that embody the strong entrepreneurial spirit and business ideas in Cape Breton. Innovacorp intends to work one-on-one with at least seven of these emerging entrepreneurs to assist them in moving their ventures forward.”

Based in Mabou, Halifax Biomedical Devices Inc. is a research and development company specializing in the commercialization of medical devices. The first product under development is the Spinal Fusion Assessment System, a method for assessing fusion success following spinal fusion surgery. With more than 500,000 surgeries of this nature each year in the U.S. alone, the market for this type of noninvasive, low cost, high accuracy diagnostic is large.

The two runners-up were Steve Manley of xtal design labs inc. and partners Bobby MacLean and Eric Whyte of Post Boom Inc. xtal is a Sydney company specializing in the development of customizable electronic platforms, currently shipping a digital tachometer for use in Formula race cars and able to withstand extreme cockpit vibration. Post Boom is a North Sydney company developing software to enhance collaboration between first responders to emergencies. The technology is currently being used across 34 fire stations in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.

“I-3 isn’t your average business plan competition. It goes beyond business concepts, models and theory. It’s about creating real companies, with real market potential,” said Doug Milburn of Advanced Glazings Ltd. “I think I-3 created quite a buzz in this community and has tapped into the often-underestimated pool of entrepreneurial energy and creativity in Cape Breton.”

The competition culminated in the three finalists giving oral pitches of their innovations and business plans to judges. The finalists’ business plans were previously reviewed by the judges. The entrepreneurs received training and one-on-one business guidance leading up to the pitches.

The $100,000 in cash and in-kind contributions are to be used toward implementing their business plan. The support includes $50,000 in cash and $30,000 in seed investment through Innovacorp's HPi early stage venture fund, to be used for business expenses.

The winner will also receive a $20,000 in-kind contribution of hands-on venture guidance and assistance from Innovacorp and business leaders in Cape Breton, including legal services from Rudderham Chernin Law Office, accounting services from Gary Jennings, CA, and marketing services from VMP Group.

The six-person judging committee was extremely impressed with the quality of the competition submissions.

I-3 stands for Idea - Innovation - Implementation, the early steps in the commercialization process. Launched on March 2, 2006, the competition generated more than 75 inquiries and 18 formal submissions. Entries came from across Cape Breton Island and ranged from medical devices, to information and communications technologies, to industrial and energy innovations.

The I-3 winner was announced on Thursday, June 1, at the TecSocial event, a monthly get-together for those with an interest in technology.


For further information contact:

Bob Pelley
Cell: 902.577.2689

Dawn House
902.424.8670 x 1189
Cell: 902.456.9705