New Brunswick’s increasingly strong startup community is making a name for the province on the global tech stage. There’s also an evolving entrepreneurial “ecosystem,” with supporting organizations like Propel ICT, Fredericton’s Planet Hatch and Moncton’s Venn. New Brunswick startups may start small but they have big goals.
There are dozens of startups currently operating in the province. Here are a few with big plans for 2016 that you should keep an eye on:
HotSpot Merchant Solutions
Fredericton-based New Brunswick, HotSpot Merchant Solutions is best known for their pay-by-phone parking solution. Basically, they eliminate the need for you to run back to your car in a panic to top-up the parking meter. But that’s not all they do. Through the company’s beacon system, they also provide in-store customer engagement features for small businesses, helping improve the “downtown experience”. The company has expanded south of the border into five U.S. cities and COO Erin Flood says they’re working to launch in three of the largest cities in North America next.
Moncton’s Qimple is changing the way companies hire. Their online platform makes it easier and faster for companies to find exceptional talent, while at the same time being crazy user friendly and straightforward for applicants. Companies can create a profile, jobs postings and customized application forms. They are able to post to over 30 different job boards (Career Beacon, Monster, etc.) with just one click. The platform also offers tools that allow employers to keep track of candidates and make short-lists. The company recently teamed up with Oulton College and Dovico to offer a bursary to for student interested in technology sales.
Saint John-based SiteFlo helps consumer packaging manufacturers improve product line efficiency. The company has had a big year for fundraising. They raised a total of $650,000 in capital after their recent graduation from the Propel ICT tech accelerator. The core of the funding round came from Propel’s funding partners: a $150,000 convertible note from BDC Capital and a $100,000 investment from the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation. The company also received funding from several angel investors, bringing the total equity investment up to $400,000. CEO Brent MacDonald says the company was also able to secure an additional $250,000 in financing from other organizations. Xiplinx also has about $375,000 in economic development financing from the New Brunswick government that it has not drawn down. That means the company has access to about $1 million in operating capital. Not bad!
Based out of Moncton, Selectbidder is an online platform and smartphone app auto auctions use to connect with auto dealers to sell more vehicles while earning higher margins. The Selectbidder app allows dealer to have trade-ins appraised by local buyers and auctions in real-time. Selectbidder CEO Sean Liptay says the company has continued to grow since they launched their platform last year and is now in five markets across North America. Their most recent partner is AVDA Auction, one of California’s largest independent auto auctions.
Fredericton-based Mycodev Group is in the business of producing chitosan for a wide range of applications including gene therapy, wound care, diagnostics, drug delivery, and tissue engineering among others. Traditionally, chitosan is a sugar obtained from the outer skeleton of shellfish, but Mycodev uses fermentation technology to produce consistently high purity chitosan from fungi, which is safer and more sustainable than shellfish. CTO David Brown says Mycodev is soon launching a large-scale marketing campaign to spread knowledge of what their product can be used for.
Populus Global Solutions
Fredericton’s Populus Global Solutions is a medical technology company whose mandate it is to further spread the delivery of the world’s first and best fully integrated National Health Information System. This software is used by healthcare practitioners to log into and interact with patient records by capturing information about a patient’s visit, exchanging information electronically, reporting on that information and proactively booking appointments based on trends noted. The technology is currently being used in Belize, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Saint Lucia, Barbados and New Brunswick. Director of customer success Nigel Orfei says the company is looking to expand throughout Canada and into the US with the proven success they’ve achieved elsewhere.
Fredericton-based Resson Aerospace delivers customized agriculture solutions for large corporate clients. Resson technology allows agricultural operators to have a greater level of control over farm areas through insight about crop status and health gathered by the technology. This means farmers can make decisions based on hard data about their crops. Resson worked with New Brunswick-based McCain Foods in building out their technology. CEO Peter Goggin says the company is now expanding their customer base and is in the hiring process for a number of positions in New Brunswick.