Seven new technology companies in Cape Breton have been named winners in the 2016 Spark Cape Breton Innovation Challenge.

A total of $225,000 in cash will be awarded to the following ‎companies:

Advocate Cognitive Technologies Inc. (ACTI) – Anna Manley – Sydney
Amount: $45,000
ACTI’s legal software (Hux) uses artificial intelligence computing technologies to analyze and extract meaning and relationships from text and voice material, identify relevant information, and complete legal documents.

Arista Data Solutions – Laird Wilton, Darren Gallop, Darryl MacLeod – Sydney
Amount: $45,000
Arista is a web-based software that provides clients with data security tools and resources.

Digital Diesel Industries – Matthew Dilney – Howie Centre
Amount: $20,000
Digital Diesel Industries provides a security device for heavy equipment that reduces tampering, theft and unauthorized use and can increase recovery rates of stolen equipment.

Geter Done Applications – Donald Hanson, Darren Hanson, Todd Chant – Sydney
Amount: $30,000
Geter Done is a mobile platform designed for busy people to get small jobs done by connecting users with contractors and managing everything from job posting to payment processing.

The Instant Chaga Tea Company – Kevin Chisholm – Barrachois
Amount: $20,000
The company will manufacture instant chaga tea and conventional chaga products for the nutritional and health food markets around the world.

Perata Data Systems – Glenn Laughlin – Point Edward
Amount: $20,000
Perata uses real-time data analytics on mobile carrier networks to locate, identify and assess the movement of people, enabling businesses to engage with local prospective customers. 

Punch Club – Marc Botte, Shawn Green, Shaun Stevens, Keith Buckland – Sydney
Amount: $45,000
Punch Club offers a cloud-based platform that allows small businesses to automatically create, track, and deploy loyalty and marketing programs for both existing and new customers based on their individual shopping patterns.

Funds awarded are to be used to support the completion of prototypes or preparation for taking the product or service to market. In addition to the funding, winners will receive mentoring from seasoned business people through Cape Breton’s MentorConnect program.

Spark Cape Breton is a competition for early stage technology companies in Cape Breton and the Mulgrave area. It is presented by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and Innovacorp.
The fourth edition of the Spark competition attracted 25 submissions by June’s deadline. Ten companies were invited to pitch their ventures to judges on August 30. 

The shortlisted companies also participated in what was dubbed “Super August” – a jam-packed month of entrepreneur-focused events in Cape Breton, including a summer TecSocial gathering, a women in tech session, a Kickstarter get-together, a marketing workshop, and MentorCamp.

Entrants were required to be a start-up based in Cape Breton or the Mulgrave area and have a new knowledge-based product or service and zero sales revenue since inception. 

A six-person judging committee selected the winners after evaluating the quality of the product or service, the strength of the management team, and the clarity and persuasiveness of the written and oral presentation. Ultimately, entries were judged on which had the highest probability of entering the market in a competitively sustainable fashion and on commercial potential.

The winners will be introduced and celebrated at tonight’s TecSocial

Details about Spark Cape Breton can be found at www.innovacorp.ca/spark.

For more information, please contact:

Bob Pelley
Innovacorp
T 902.564.2951 or 800.565.7051 ext. 1300
M 902.577.2689
bpelley@innovacorp.ca 
www.innovacorp.ca 

Sydney, Nova Scotia, September 1, 2016