FREDERICTON– The University of New Brunswick’s Technology Management and Entrepreneurship Centre has launched a new accelerator for energy and cybersecurity startups in the region and beyond.
The Energia Ventures will focus on companies in smart grid, clean tech, energy and cybersecurity. The program will offer programs, seed funding and customized space on Queen Street downtown Fredericton as well as customized help and guidance in creating breakthrough products, gaining initial customer and seeking investment.
Ed Rodriguez, managing director of Energia Ventures, says what makes the accelerator unique is that it will leverage partnerships across all sectors, not just private, including the Atlantic Canadian Opportunities Agency (ACOA), UNB and Siemens Canada.
“Those kinds of partnerships are at the heart of our uniqueness because part of what we’re doing is harnessing entrepreneurial creativity together with cutting-edge research, development and collaboration between the University of New Brunswick and world class industrial partners like Seimens,” Rodriguez said. “They are working together together in solving real-world problems and those collaborations that are focused on solving real-world problems are open to the startups in our accelerator.”
Energia Ventures has received nearly $1 million in funding from both the public and private sector. The Government of Canada, through ACOA’s Business Development Program gave $405,567 to the project and the University of New Brunswick is providing $60,000. A combined contribution of $480,000 from Siemens Canada and Mitacs – a national, not-for-profit organization – is for smart-grid related research already underway within this program.
The startups in Energia’s first cohort are Stash Energy, Beauceron Security, Trispectra Innovation Inc., Rising Tide Technologies and Mbissa Energy Systems. Jordon Kennie of Stash Energy, a company that stores thermal energy from heat pumps to shift electricity usage and save homeowners money on their power bill, is already working out of the accelerator’s Queen Street location along with other companies. Kennie said what he’s looking forward to most about the accelerator is collaborating with the other startups.
“I’m really excited to work with the other companies in the accelerator. I find that our company grows really quickly when are able to work with other companies and push each other to move forward,” Kennie says. “Also there’s a shared office space in downtown Fredericton, which is extremely nice because we currently don’t have an office space, so that will really help us out with organizing our company.”