Five Nova Scotia start-ups have each won $100,000 in cash and in-kind services as zone winners of a competition to find and support high potential early-stage Nova Scotia knowledge-based companies.

NOTE: A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE WINNERS IS AVAILABLE HERE.

The I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition winners announced today, Jan. 27, by Innovacorp boast innovations that kill oral bacteria that leads to tooth damage, turn woody biomass into renewable diesel fuel, help work groups communicate and collaborate better, protect organizations against network and website attacks, and improve the strength of leg muscles of people with knee trouble.

"The I-3 competition showcases the great entrepreneurial spirit that exists across our province, and provides many start-up companies an important kick-start to their success," said Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Michel Samson. "I congratulate all companies in this competition for coming forward with some very exciting business plans. Nova Scotians should be proud."

Each zone winner gets $100,000 in cash and in-kind business-building services to help further develop their start-ups. The second-place winners each get $40,000 in cash and services.

"The quality of entrepreneurial activity happening throughout the province is the highest it's ever been," said Stephen Duff, president and CEO of Innovacorp. "The 25 companies that were shortlisted from the initial 228 submissions in November left the judging panels with a very challenging task. The zone winners we're announcing today represent high-potential, knowledge-based companies that will be capable to compete and win in global markets."

Winners in each zone are:

Zone 1 (Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough counties)
1st Place: Extrify – Jim Fitt, Peter Bennett (New Glasgow)
2nd Place: Pearl and Daisy Natural Soap Company Inc. - Rebecca Taylor (Debert)

Zone 2 (Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties)
1st Place: CelluFuel Inc. – Chris Hooper, Tor Suther, Ed McKay, Veselin Milosevic (Brooklyn)
2nd Place: QNova Precision Battery Evaluation Inc. – Chris Burns, David Stevens, Tim Hatchard (Hebbville)

Zone 3 (Digby, Annapolis, Kings and Hants counties)
1st Place: Fenol Farm Inc. – Sherri McFarland (Mount Uniacke)
2nd Place: Delicious Brains Inc. – Brad Touesnard (Milford Station)

Zone 4 (Halifax Regional Municipality)
1st Place: Spring Loaded Technology – Chris Cowper-Smith, Shea Kewin, Bob Garrish (Halifax)
 2nd Place: Atlantic Motor Labs Inc. – Braden Murphy (Halifax)

Zone 5 (Victoria, Cape Breton, Inverness and Richmond counties)
1st Place: Heimdall Networks – Jim DeLeskie (Sydney)
 2nd Place: Breton SmarTek – Ian McVicar, Ken Grisham, Stephanie Timmer (Sydney)

First place winners move on to the provincial round to compete for a $100,000 seed investment from Innovacorp. The provincial winner will be announced at AN EVENT IN HALIFAX ON FEB. 12.

Four cash awards of $25,000 will also be presented at the event for the best overall submission in information and communications technology, life sciences, clean technology, and oceans technology.

The zone winners were selected through two rounds of competition. In the second round, finalists submitted business overviews and gave presentations to the judges.

Finalists were evaluated by a six-person judging panel on industry knowledge and management experience, barriers to competitive entry, market size and credibility of plans to reach key milestones.

This is the fourth provincial I-3 competition. It attracted 228 formal submissions, far exceeding Innovacorp's 150-submission goal, reflecting the high level of entrepreneurship across Nova Scotia.

Innovacorp’s 2013-2014 I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition is possible thanks to support from the following partners: COX & PALMERGRANT THORNTONSANDLER TRAININGENTREPRENEURS’ FORUMSOBEY SCHOOL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTRECANADIAN DIGITAL MEDIA NETWORK (CDMN)LE CONSEIL DE DÉVELOPPEMENT ÉCONOMIQUE DE LA NOUVELLE-ÉCOSSE (CDÉNÉ)RED BALLOON RELATIONSNOVA SCOTIA COMMUNITY COLLEGEFAMOUS FOLKS CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONSWESTCLIFFE MARKETING,  NATIONAL PUBLIC RELATIONSICON COMMUNICATIONS AND RESEARCH,ARAMAX IP, and the CAPE BRETON SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CENTRE.

For more information on the I-3 competition, visit WWW.INNOVACORP.CA.

For more information, please contact:

Stephanie Shaw
Innovacorp
T 902.424.8670 x 1197
M 902.220.3686
SSHAW@INNOVACORP.CA

Halifax, Nova Scotia, January 27, 2014