A new wearable technology company in Halifax is receiving $50,000 in funding and business guidance through Innovacorp’s Spark Innovation Challenge. The business, Axem Neurotechnology, is one of four winners selected in the Spark Halifax region of the province.

Axem co-founders, Tony Ingram and Chris Friesen, are developing wearable devices that help professional athletes track and monitor performance. Their product is a brain-sensing headset that measures the quality of mental practice and connects to a smart phone application.

“Participating in the Spark Innovation Challenge will help us further develop our business,” said Mr. Ingram. “Now we’re closer to finishing our prototype and testing our devices with local athletes.”

The challenge expanded across the province this year, with winners in each of the four competition regions receiving up to $50,000 in funding and mentorship from seasoned business professionals. The four regions were Spark West, Spark North, Spark Halifax and Spark Cape Breton.

The first province-wide Spark Innovation Challenge attracted 136 submissions. Thirty-eight finalists pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. Finalists also participated in several business workshops and received one-on-one financial advice.

Winners must use the prize money to build prototypes or take new products and services to market.

Innovacorp and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency each contributed $400,000 towards this year’s Spark Challenge.

“Spark is a great program that’s helping new technology companies across Nova Scotia get started,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Business and Minister responsible for Innovacorp. “The winners of this year’s challenge will build stronger products and create jobs for other Nova Scotians, particularly young Nova Scotians.”

“Congratulations to all of the finalists in the first ever province-wide Spark competition,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA. “This competition has been an excellent showcase of talented entrepreneurs from across Nova Scotia whose spark of innovative ideas have real potential to be commercialized and grown into thriving businesses. I look forward to seeing how the winners advance their ventures and bring their ideas to fruition.”

For the full list of winners, visit www.innovacorp.ca/news/spark-winners-2017

For more information, please contact:

Michaela Meltzer Gardner
Innovacorp
902.499.2308
mmeltzergardner@innovacorp.ca

Marla MacInnis
Department of Business
902.499.6428
marla.macInnis@novascotia.ca

Alex Smith
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
902.426.9417
902.830.3839
alex.smith@canada.ca

Nova Scotia, November 3, 2017