Seven New Brunswick Startups to Watch

Over the past several years New Brunswick has continued to grow with companies making an impact not just in our region, but on the global stage.

We noticed that it has been more than two years since we looked at some of the province’s most promising startups, so here’s a look at some of the new companies we could see making some waves in the next few years.

1) SomaDetect

SomaDetect CEO Bethany Deshpande accepting first-place at 43North in Buffalo, New York.
Image: Submitted

Fredericton-based SomaDetect has created a breakthrough technology that could change the dairy industry.

The company has created an in-line sensor that measures key indicators of dairy-quality from cows at every milking. This allows farmers to find out if there are any issues or deficiencies with the milk early on, which could indicate that a cow is sick.  

The company got its start by working with New Brunswick dairy farmers, but now the business is looking south of the border. Back in October, they took home took home first place and a $1-million prize at the 43North competition in Buffalo, New York.

“In Canadian dairy farming, we have a lot of farms that are between 100 and 200 cows, which is great,” CEO Bethany Deshpande told Huddle. “But you go into the states and you get onto these farms with 5,000 cows or more and it’s a whole other beast. It’s a whole other type of operation. New York gives us the opportunity to figure that out.”

The company now has an office in Buffalo and recently hired three new executives. As reported by Entrevestor, SomaDetect is also on tap to participate in the 2018 Sprint Accelerator Cohort and the NVIDIA Inception program. SomaDetect also announced last month that it would be teaming up with Cornell University on a series of research studies to further develop and validate their product.

It’s clear that this startup is on a roll and has no plans on slowing down.  

2) FitStats

Fitstats founder François Gazzano. Image: Submitted.

When your software is used by an Olympic team to take home the gold, you know you’re onto something.

Moncton-based FitStats’ injury tracking platform is being used by the Norwegian Olympic Centre and Team Norway, which won a record 39 medals in PyeongChang this year.

“Given the fact that they had an amazing Olympics, we feel very fortunate. Very, very proud because it just illustrates that the system that we created, that we built, with people from Moncton, and even Fredericton and Halifax now – a New Brunswick product – can be used by the best Olympic team in the world,” said founder François Gazzano in an interview with Huddle back in March.

Athletes can use AthleteMonitoring.com’s app on their phones to monitor, analyze and interpret their load, risk, wellness, training, health, testing, and performance data anytime and anywhere. Their coaches and trainers can then study their data on an online platform and enhance their training regimen to boost performance and prevent injuries.

The platform is also currently being used by CSKA Moscow, one of the top basketball teams in the EuroLeague, Basketball New Zealand, sailing team LandRover BAR, the McLaren car racing team, the Winnipeg Jets and various varsity programs in North America. The company also has a partnership with the Oslo Sports Trauma Research Centre, an excellence centre for FIFA and International Olympic Committee research, to commercialize a new injury surveillance system being developed there. Not too shabby.


FITIV Founder Sylvio LeBlanc. Image: Submitted

FITIV, formally known as MotiFit, is another Moncton-based sports tech startup that’s showing big potential. FITIV allows users to track all of their fitness activities through their mobile apps, with their most popular app is their one for Apple Watch.

The Apple Watch app uses its heart rate monitor to show the intensity of a user’s workout in an engaging way by using an “intensity halo” to help users meet their goals by tracking their space, speed and heart rate.

“The [FITIV] user is definitely not somebody who doesn’t know anything about fitness,” said CEO Sylvio LeBlanc, in a previous interview with Huddle. “It’s somebody who cares and somebody who might want to optimize their time in the gym or optimize their results.”

Recently, FITIV took part in the February 2018 cohort of the Canadian Digital Media Network’s (CDMN) Get There: San Francisco program, putting them right in the centre of all things tech – Silicon Valley.

As of this month, FITIV has over 630,000 downloads, 35,000 active weekly users and has been used to track over 4 million workouts. You go, FITIV.

4) Spinzo

Spinzo CEO Emmanuel Elmajian. Image: Submitted.

Saint John-based Spinzo is helping professional sports teams bring a more experiential approach to their group ticket sales.

Founded in 2012, Spinzo is a demand-based pricing platform where corporations like sports teams can run promotions for group purchases where the final price depends on the number of committed buyers.

Prices drop as more people participate, and everyone pays the final low price. Spinzo also now offers customizable tools for professional sports teams to operate such campaigns with different groups, whether it be schools, organizations, or businesses.

“Group ticketing used to be if you’re part of a big group or a company you get a discount,” said CEO Emmanuel Elmajian in a previous interview with Huddle.

“It’s changing from that to be a lot more experiential. In other words, if you go to schools, for example, you could say, ‘hey the top-selling school gets a player to visit them at an assembly.’ So you can have a competition in a school district, the top-selling school gets that perk.”

Spinzo has gotten the attention of the pretty big names over the last several years, signing on clients such as the Arizona Coyotes, Brooklyn Nets, the New York Islanders , the New York Jets, the San Jose Sharks, the Anaheim Ducks, St. Louis Blues, the Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, and Columbus Blue Jackets.

Spinzo is poised to continue to expand its client-base of professional sports teams, but they are also getting ready to enter the very new concert group ticketing market.

“We’re at that stage now where the concert promoters are trying to figure out what kind of group experience functionality can be embedded into the concert experience,” said, Elmajian. “Once that’s figured out, we’re ready to power all aspects of group experiences for them.” Game on.

5) Beauceron Security

David Shipley, CEO of Beauceron Security.
Image: Submitted

New Brunswick has done a lot of work over the last few years to establish itself as a cybersecurity hub. Being home to a company like Beauceron Security, it’s not hard to understand why that would be.

Beauceron helps business and organizations assess their cybersecruity risks and whether or not they have the right systems and processes in place to protect themselves.  

The comprehensive, automated cybersecurity platform covers cybersecurity education, social engineering simulations, executive surveys and dashboards as well business process and technology gap assessment and analysis.

“Most cybersecurity companies are founded by people steeped in math, computer science and engineering — let’s call them systems thinkers,” said Beauceron CEO David Shipley, in an interview with Entrevestor last year.

“There’s a bias (among them) that says that people are stupid. They’re going to click on links so you need a better system. But we believe that if a company is full of stupid people, then cybersecurity is not its greatest problem.”

The work Beauceron is doing is going beyond Atlantic Canada. Last year, the company was one of 12 companies chosen for an invitation-only product pitch session during Cybercon 2017, an annual conference focused on the evolving issues affecting cybersecurity and the flagship event of Atlanta Cyber Week next month.

Around that same time, they announced that it received $500,000 in equity funding from private and public investors. Hackers, watch yourself.

6) Stash Energy

Jordan Kennie, CEO of Stash Energy.
Image: Rob Blanchard/UNB.

Born out of Energia Ventures at the University of New Brunswick, Stash Energy is developing a cost-effective system that works with conventional heat pump technology to store energy.

Even before their product has officially launched, it has already recognized for its potential. Back in September, CEO Jordan Kennie took home the Young Entrepreneur Award at the regional Startup Canada Awards.

Also last fall, Stash Energy was chosen to participate in the Canadian Technology Accelerator (CTA) for clean-energy based in Denver, Colorado. The accelerator helps with selected high-growth, high-potential startups raise capital, do research and development, and explore markets opportunities in the U.S.

“We were really excited to hear that we got accepted into the Denver accelerator because we are at a growth stage right now for our company,” Kennie told Huddle back in February. “We’re launching a few products in the fall in P.E.I. and hopefully in New Brunswick in 2019. There’s a lot of challenges that come with that that the Denver accelerator has helped with so far.”

The accelerator wraps up this month and we look forward to seeing what the company’s official launch will bring.

7) Mbissa Energy

Caleb Grove (left) working on a wind turbine prototype.
Image: Submitted

Mbissa has both a scalable and sustainable model for bringing energy to off the grid communities in Africa. The company is named after the island of Mbissa, where the company is currently running a pilot program.

The company establishes central “hubs,” like substations, throughout the island. They are at places like clinics, businesses and community centres.

Using solar panels, the hubs serve as a battery charging stations. Residents pay a small service fee for a battery which they can take to a hub to charge.

Once the battery is charged, residents take the batteries back to their homes where they can provide electricity for several days.  

Founder Caleb Grove says providing sustainable electricity to these rural areas have the power to transform communities in both quality of life and economic growth.

“The idea is when you have even just small amount of electricity, then you’re able to do more things,” said Grove in a previous interview with Huddle. “You can also look at using small computers to keep data, you can look at doing micro business whether you’re running things like a sewing machine or other pieces of equipment you might have to address a need in that area. It acts as a basis for things like health care.”

Back in December, Grove also wanted to show New Brunswickers that they could transform their lives from too. He showcased a micro home in Douglas that uses 100 per cent renewable solar and wind energy in order to run basic electrical services.

At the end of last year, the company completed 40 renewable energy installations in homes, clinics, and businesses on and around the island Mbissa. Grove said he planned to return to Cameroon in January to train another team of technicians who he hopes can complete installations across the entire island of Mbissa within eight months.

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