Innovacorp has announced the first- and second-place award winners in the 2011-2012 provincial I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition, an innovative competition to find and support high potential Nova Scotia knowledge-based businesses.

First-place zone winners each receive a $100,000 combination of cash and in-kind services from firms in their zones to help further develop their start-ups. The second-place winners get $40,000 combinations.

Winners in each zone are described below. Click here for the full news release.

Zone 1 (Cumberland, Colchester, Pictou, Antigonish and Guysborough counties)

Zone 1 - 1st Place
Water Drills International Inc.
Jim Proudfoot, Lynn Christie – New Glasgow

Water Drills International Inc. has developed a product that uses high pressure water-cutting technology to clear clogged drains. Currently on the market, the device offers an environmentally-friendly solution for a common household problem.

Zone 1 - 2nd Place
Tim Houston, Jim Fitt – New Glasgow

znanja is developing a technology that will automatically convert Word and PowerPoint files (and other file formats) into SCORM-compliant eLearning that can be played on any learning management system. With learning increasingly happening online through the internet and mobile devices, znanja has a large potential target market with corporations, governments and academic institutions.

Zone 2 (Lunenburg, Queens, Shelburne and Yarmouth counties)

Zone 2 - 1st Place
Ventgrid Inc.
Gord McPherson, Andre Veinotte, Anthony Smith – Chester

Ventgrid Inc. has introduced a new technology to the construction industry. Ventgrid12 is a 2” square grid in a rigid 4’x8’x1/2” sheet made from 100 per cent recycled polyolefin that provides the needed airspace behind wall cladding/siding, beneath basement flooring, and underneath wood roofing shakes/shingles. Known in the construction industry as a rainscreen assembly, the technology allows moisture to drain or evaporate from behind siding and roofing, reducing the risk of mould growth and wood decay.

Zone 2 - 2nd Place
Van Dyk Specialty Freezing Innovations
Peter Van Dyk, Jeannie Van Dyk, Charles Van Dyk – Caledonia

Van Dyk Specialty Freezing Innovations proposes the development of a facility to provide Individual Quick Frozen (IQF) technology and infrastructure for processing horticultural products in the Halifax to Yarmouth agricultural regions. As a subsidiary of Van Dyk Blueberry Enterprises Ltd., the IQF infrastructure would allow the Van Dyks to freeze their output and increase exports. Excess capacity of the IQF facility would allow other regional growers to enjoy similar opportunities.

Zone 3 (Digby, Annapolis, Kings and Hants counties)

Zone 3 - 1st Place
The Bait Savour™
Vince Stuart – Meteghan Centre

The Bait Savour™ is a time-delayed bait dispenser for the trap fishing industries. The device is installed in a trap, where it protects bait from degradation caused by water current, from consumption by a non-target species (e.g. fish, sand fleas), and from preliminary consumption by the target species (e.g. lobster, crab) before the ideal trapping time. Fishermen save significant time and money from reduced fuel, labour hours and, of course, bait. Quantifiable reductions in CO2 emissions also result from far fewer boat trips to check traps.

Zone 3 - 2nd Place
Nova Ergonomic Tool Technologies Inc.
Eric Bourque – Comeauville

Nova Ergonomic Tool Technologies Inc. has developed a unique tool for the construction trades – the Nova Gripper.  The Nova Gripper is a hand-held device that serves as a temporary handle to safely and comfortably grip, lift and carry various building materials (e.g. drywall, plywood, steel/aluminum plates). The light-weight, easy-to-use tool that fits in your tool belt also has a quick-release feature that lets go of the materials instantly and painlessly.

Zone 4 (Halifax Regional Municipality)

Zone 4 - 1st Place
DeNovaMed Inc.
Christopher McMaster, Donald Weaver, David Byers – Halifax

DeNovaMed Inc.’s founders used computer-aided drug design to develop a new class of compounds with the potential to treat infections caused by drug-resistant bacteria, or “superbugs.” In the next 12-18 months, the company plans to evaluate its best compounds in animal models of infection, with an ultimate goal of bringing to market a truly new antibiotic.

Zone 4 -2nd Place
BIKE Scientific
Michael Barr – Halifax

BIKE Scientific has developed a new type of cartridge used in common centrifuges to prepare mass spectrometer samples in the field of protein research. Existing manual multi-step procedures make it difficult to consistently produce enough protein samples that meet quality specifications. BIKE has automated the process to a simple single-step method that recovers more protein material at higher purity levels faster than anything in market.

Zone 5 (Victoria, Cape Breton, Inverness and Richmond counties)

Zone 5 - 1st Place
J&K Scientific Inc.
Krishnat Naikwadi – Edwardsville

J&K Scientific Inc. has developed a proprietary nanotechnology application used in gas chromatography (GC) machines. The product enables scientists to increase the throughput of sample analysis and helps lab managers reduce the costs of labour and materials used in sample analysis. J&K's suite of proprietary GC columns provides highly selective separation of components in a very short processing time. The company will target worldwide analytical chemistry labs in industry, universities and government.

Zone 5 - 2nd Place
GoVenture World Inc.
Mathew Georghiou – Sydney

GoVenture World Inc. is developing a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game with a theme of business and entrepreneurship. GoVenture World will apply popular features from virtual worlds, social games, casual games, simulation, collaboration, and just-in-time training – all with a foundation of learning. The product will target consumer, education and corporate markets.

For more information, contact:

Stephanie Shaw
T 902.424.8670 ext. 1197
M 902.220.3686

Halifax, Nova Scotia, January 26, 2012