Emergence hosts “Founders & Mentors Mash-up”

As part of this year’s Global Biotech Week (September 24-30, 2018), Emergence joined in “celebrating science, innovation, and solutions“!

Founders & Mentors MashupOur “Founders & Mentors Mash-up” took place on Monday, September 24 at the Delta Prince Edward in Charlottetown as the launch event of Global Biotech Week in PEI.

SeeP.E.I. celebrates Global Biotech Week with Sept. 24 panel discussion.


PEI BioAlliance Chair, Russ Kerr, receives the Declaration of Global Biotech Week on PEI from Premier Wade MacLaughlan

The Mash-up celebrated the remarkable bioscience entrepreneurs who are pioneering cutting-edge innovations, as well as the mentors who support, guide and steer them in their endeavors.

The “Founders’ Face-Off” brought together founders whose startups are defining the future to share the lessons of high-performance entrepreneurship.


Founders: Crystal Trevors (StepScan); Tamara Seales (Seaford Pharma); Melanie Wildman (Nutracelle); Mohammed Moin (Somru Biosciences), with Emergence mentor & moderator, Betsy Bascom (partially concealed).

The focus of this interactive and engaging conversation was on how to recognize and evaluate opportunities, create viable business plans, raise funding, manage growth, and harvest value. Featuring ventures at all stages of the company life cycle, this moderated conversation served to both inspire and educate – both current and future entrepreneurs alike!

Lunch featured a keynote presentation from one of the Emergence mentors – Dr. Ken Rotondo, President & Founding Partner of MindGenomics in the US on “Machine Learning and Health“.

The “Mentors’ Insights” session created an opportunity for participants to learn from,  and engage with, a group of experienced Emergence volunteer mentors.

This session helped guide participants through the challenges of their entrepreneurial journey and demonstrated how effective mentoring can positively impact the trajectory of startups.


Emergence director, Martin Yuill, with Travis Gallant, Senior Manager at Grant Thornton, our “Nosh & Networking” sponsor – at the Delta Prince Edward.

Finally, due to the generosity of Emergence Financial Partner (and corporate sponsor), Grant Thornton, participants were able to end the day with “Nosh & Networking”: an informal wine & cheese to end off an exciting day of learning, sharing, and celebrating!


“Noshing & Networking” – courtesy of our friends and sponsor, Grant Thornton!


Posted in Clients, Conferences, News, Partner, Services

Emergence client earns $470K federal contract

The Guardian reports that PEI-based technology company and Emergence client, Island Water Technologies, has secured a $470,000 federal government contract to monitor the quality of wastewater at some Canadian municipalities, including Charlottetown and Montague. See the original post here!

IWT-header-logoThe article quotes Patrick Kiely, founder and CEO of Island Water Technologies, saying that the contract was signed under the Build in Canada Innovation Program and is for the installation of nine bio-electrode sensor systems at wastewater facilities.

According to Kiely, work at the Charlottetown and Montague wastewater facilities is already underway.

Besides Charlottetown and Montague, sensor systems are going to be installed in British Columbia, Toronto, Barrie, Ont., and Parks Canada sites around Banff and Jasper.


Patrick Kiely is the co-founder of Island Water Technologies, an organization that prides itself on being a catalyst for water technology innovation by identifying and validating next generation solutions at the intersection of renewable energy and wastewater treatment.

In addition to the contract, the company has also received a research and development grant from the National Research Council worth $250,000. The funding will be used to further develop the system and improve the sensitivity of the sensor.

Kiely explained that the bio-electrode sensors provide facility operators with a “real-time visual interpretation of the health of the biology of the wastewater” through signals from bacteria. The sensors help prevent the wastewater from contaminating the environment once released from the facility.

“The idea is that (operators) now have a sensor that allows them to view the performance of the biology instantaneously in real-time so they catch it and they can mitigate it happening or reduce the impact of it happening whereas traditionally it takes them five or six days for them to even understand there is a problem. And, it’s already after contaminating the environment,” Kiely says.

The company already has 13 systems installed at facilities in China, the Netherlands, the United States, across Canada and Germany. Some of the sensors have been installed in breweries in Europe. In the next six months, the company has plans to install 19 more systems.

In February, the company received $500,000 in total seed funding from Island Capital Partners and Natural Products Canada.

Kiely said the support from these two investors has been “instrumental in putting us in this position.”

Kiely added that the company has also been selected as one of the top-20 innovative companies at the Canadian Innovation Exchange conference. The conference is being held in Toronto on Oct. 22-23.

“That was pretty cool to get picked as one of the top-20 in Canada. So, we’re pretty happy with that,” he said.

Posted in Clients, News

Emergence hosts Atlantic Startup presentation & networking session

In the margins of Invest Atlantic 2018Emergence hosted a workshop and networking session for on the state of the Atlantic Startup Ecosystem with Peter Moreira from Entrevestor.  See: Data Presentation at Invest Atlantic.


Emergence director, Martin Yuill, with Entrevestor publisher, Peter Moreira: photographed in Charlottetown, PEI

Moreira presented a summary of Entrevestor’s 2017 Atlantic Canadian startup data.

In his presentation, Moreira said: “While it’s difficult to quantify the growth of a startup community year to year, there is one figure from our 2017 Atlantic Canadian Startup Data report that demonstrates what’s happening in the space: the report shows the four main metrics — new companies, employment, funding and revenue — all had a banner year in 2017”.

And there is one key finding of the report: Atlantic Canada has developed a core of substantial high-growth corporations founded on innovation.

Moreira’s presented the best data available on Atlantic Canada’s high-growth innovation companies — commonly referred to as startups.

Moreira revealed that revenues grew to $51.3 million, up from $26.2 million.

Other highlights of the presentation included

New companies — the report found 114 companies launched in 2017, the highest number in the five years. It pushed the number of startups and high-growth companies to 486, again the largest group of companies seen yet.

Employment — There are now 6,400 Atlantic Canadians working for the region’s startups and high-growth companies (including companies that have exited). Some startups failed last year, but the companies that reported jobs data to us grew their workforces by more than 25% last year.

Financing — East Coast startups raised $116.1-million in 2017. That was the most equity investment in one year. The financing was dominated by institutions outside the region, which are backing elite companies. This report shows that Halifax is now the cornerstone of the community, accounting for 43% of the companies and 65% of the capital raised.

Other highlights: The number of startups headed by women has tripled in three years, and more companies in Sydney are reporting revenues.

In addition: 2017 was a record year for failures, and “zombie companies accounted for almost one-fifth of the Atlantic Canadian startup community.


Peter Moreira of Entrevestor: presenting at an Emergence-hosted workshop in the margins of Invest Atlantic in Charlottetown, PEI.

“One of the hallmarks of a healthy startup community,” Moreira argues, “is that entrepreneurs experiment quickly and respond quickly. If the experiment doesn’t work, they shut down and move on. But Atlantic Canada is known for its readily available grants and penalty-free loans, so it’s easier for companies to linger here than in other startup communities.”

That’s changing. For the first time, we’re reporting a dramatic increase in the number of failures.

In 2017, 66 companies that were no longer a going concern. That’s roughly double the 32 failures in 2016 and 36 in 2015.

Of these 66 companies, 31 were less than two years old, and 53 were IT companies. This suggests that a large proportion of the companies were experiments and likely didn’t have employees who lost their jobs. Yet, 16 of the companies had raised capital.

Looking at the community today: of 486 startups across the region last year, approximately 90 of them are zombie companies.

Moreira defines zombie companies as “the walking dead”: companies older than two years that have not shut down, but they’re not moving forward. They probably have a bit of money in the bank, but the founders have not joined full time and there’s no sign that they’re getting closer to the market.

Why is it important to reduce the zombies? Moreira argues that they tie up human resources as well as financial resources. And those resources are often needed by companies that are growing.

The community needs the constant churn of birth and death, and we’re beginning to hit a healthy mix,” conclude Moreira.

Posted in Clients, Conferences, News, Partner, Services

Emergence client, Chinova Bioworks, profiled by Rabobank

Emergence client, Fredericton, New Brunswick-based Chinova Bioworks, has been profiled by Rabobank, an international financial services provider.

This article is part of Rabobank’s Growing Ideas series, in which the bank takes a look at the future of food and agriculture and offers a platform to innovative companies,

chinova_logo_1-2-7-printIn the article, entitled “Growing Ideas: mushrooms, an all-natural preservative – A new ingredient for clean-label products“, Rabobank writes: “A chance encounter in a lab in New Brunswick, Canada, has, in just two years, led to a revolutionary preservative solution for food and beverages – and it is 100 percent natural. The magic ingredient? Mushrooms.”

In 2016, Canadian biochemistry graduate Natasha Dhayagude and biotechnologist David Brown stumbled on the preservative properties of ‘chitosan’ (pronounced kite-o-san), a naturally occurring substance found in mushrooms and shellfish,” Rabobank says.


Emergence director, Martin Yuill with Chinova COO, David Brown and CEO, Natasha Dhayagude

Two years later Dhayagude is CEO, and Brown COO, of Chinova Bioworks, a company that is pioneering mushroom chitosan as a flavorless natural preservative with a broad spectrum of applications.

See also: Emergence client, Chinova Bioworks, raises US$2 million seed financing round

About Chinova

Chinova Bioworks is a Canadian company that addresses the growing consumer demand for healthy, natural, clean-label ingredients, while providing producers with an effective solution that ensures food safety, shelf life, and the overall quality of the product. The company has developed an innovative preservative based on an ingredient extracted from mushrooms called chitosan. This technology offers broad spectrum protection against all types of microorganisms (bacteria, yeast, and mold), is easy to use, and has no organoleptic impact, all at a competitive price point.

About Rabobank

Rabobank is an international financial services provider operating on the basis of cooperative principles. It offers retail banking, wholesale banking, private banking, leasing and real estate services. As a cooperative bank, Rabobank puts customers’ interests first in its services. It serves approximately 8.4 million clients around the world. Rabobank Group is comprised of Coöperatieve Rabobank U.A. (Rabobank) and its consolidated subsidiaries in The Netherlands and abroad. It is committed to making a substantial contribution to welfare and prosperity in the Netherlands and to feeding the world sustainably.

Posted in Clients, News

Emergence client, Island Water Technologies: a “top 20 most innovative technology company in Canada”

CIX (Canadian Innovation Exchange) releases an annual list of the top 20 most innovative technology companies in Canada.

IWT-header-logoThis year’s list has just been unveiled. The companies span industries including fintech, e-commerce, medtech and more. It includes Emergence client, Island Water Technologies from Charlottetown, PEI. Congratulations! Check out the original story on Techvibes here!

These are CIX’s top 20 in alphabetical order.

  • Borrowell, Toronto.
  • Canvass Analytics, Toronto.
  • Clearbanc, Toronto.
  • Coconut Software, Saskatoon.
  • Delphia, Toronto.
  • Dialogue, Montreal.
  • eSight, Toronto.
  • inkbox, Toronto.
  • Intuitive AI, Vancouver.
  • IRYStec Software, Montreal.
  • Island Water Technologies, Charlottetown.
  • Kiite, Waterloo.
  • Klue, Vancouver.
  • Myant, Toronto.
  • Roadmunk, Toronto.
  • skritswap, Sault Ste. Marie.
  • Smooch, Montreal.
  • Validere, Toronto.
  • Vendasta, Saskatoon.
  • Zighra, Ottawa.

Companies were chosen via a selection committee featuring entrepreneurs and industry leaders from the likes of Sidewalk Labs, Scotiabank, Highline BETA and MaRS.

From there, hundreds of company profiles were slimmed down to the top 20 based on product/service offering, depth of management, market opportunity, and business model. This list also features better representation of female founders and leaders.

Toronto is the most well-represented city on the list, with nine total companies hailing from the country’s largest city. Montreal has three companies on the list while Vancouver and Saskatoon both have two.

Some of the largest tech companies in Canada have been featured in the CIX Top 20, such as Wealthsimple, League, Vidyard and Wattpad. The conference, which takes place on October 22 and 23, has already named its innovator of the year for 2018: ecobee. The company’s CEO will deliver a keynote address on CIX’s opening day.

Posted in Clients, News

Emergence partners to present Invest Atlantic 2018

Emergence has announced a “Kickstart Partnership” with this year’s Invest Atlantic conference, which takes place September 19-20, 2018 at the Confederation Center in Charlottetown, PEI.

invest-atlanticAs Atlantic Canada’s largest networking event for more than 200 startups, entrepreneurs and investors, Invest Atlantic is THE place to help entrepreneurs connect and grow their ventures. 

If you’re looking to grow your business, meet investors, or network with the ecosystem you should attend! Click here to register!

Invest Atlantic brings together some of North America’s most noted investors, mentors and seasoned entrepreneurs, together with the region’s newest and fastest growing companies, for 2-days of focused discussions on everything from raising capital, getting collaborative, to partnerships and succession planning. Click here to check out this year’s agenda!

The two-days will be jam-packed with discussions on everything from raising capital and getting collaborative to partnerships and succession planning.

downloadIn the margins of Invest Atlantic 2018Emergence will be hosting a workshop on the state of the Atlantic Startup Ecosystem (which will be open to the general public) with Peter Moreira from Entrevestor. This will take  place at 10:30 am on Wednesday, September 19 in Studio One at Confederation Centre of the Arts.

In his presentation, Peter will discuss the state of the start-up landscape in Atlantic Canada, and what challenges are holding back the region. With a particular focus on PEI, Peter will share – in this exclusive briefing – some of the results from his just-released Entrevestor Data ReportRegister here for the Startup Ecosystem report-back with Peter Moreira!

In addition, Emergence mentor-in-residence, Dr. Don Ridley, will be a speaker on the “GOOD MENTORING VS BAD” panel discussion at 11 am on Thursday, September 20; while Emergence director, Martin Yuill, will feature on the PLANNING FOR AN EXIT” panel discussion at 3 pm. A full list of speakers can be found here!

For the start-up community, Invest Atlantic offers the opportunity to:

  • Find out when traditional financing and angel and venture capital are right for you
  • Hear from other entrepreneurs from around the region
  • Hone your pitching skills
  • Network for two days with top-notch investors.

As an investor, attending Invest Atlantic offers you a chance to:

  • Hear pitches from more than 25 startups, mid & late stage entrepreneurs
  • Meet with top investors
  • Meet potential investment partners
  • AND 2 days of networking with many of Atlantic Canada’s top entrepreneurs and investors.

If you’re serious about growing your business, Invest Atlantic is an event you won’t want to miss! Plus, with a new format that includes more networking, more sessions, more pitching and a kitchen party, you’ll leave feeling more focused, connected and inspired about the future success of your business.

Click here to register!

Click here to check out this year’s agenda!

A full list of speakers can be found here!


Posted in Clients, Conferences, News, Partner, Services

Emergence client, Dosecann: product strategy update & new management team

Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. has shared an update on the product strategy of the Company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Emergence client, Dosecann Inc., as well as a number of strategic additions to the management team of Dosecann.

Dosecann is positioned to play a significant role as a leading research, product development, extraction, formulation and consumer packaged goods manufacturing center in the Canadian cannabis industry, with its 42,000 square foot purpose-built facility in Charlottetown, PEI.

Dosecann has successfully obtained a Dealer’s Licence for Controlled Drugs and Substances from Health Canada and has commenced operations related to the creation of value-added cannabis products, as permitted by the Licence and applicable laws. Dosecann has further subdivided its cannabis activities into two segments, Medical Products and Consumer Packaged Goods.

The Medical Products segment, led by Dr. Christina Woollard and Dr. Bob Chapman, is focused primarily on research and development of new value-added cannabis products for sale to domestic and global medical cannabis and wellness markets.

Part of this segment’s activities will include observational studies and clinical trials to validate the efficacy of new cannabis formulations and intellectual property.  It should be noted that, while current regulations do not allow for the creation of Natural Health Products containing cannabis, the Medical Products segment of Dosecann’s business will also focus on addressing market demand for wellness products containing cannabinoids through the research and development of such products within the parameters of applicable legislation.

The Consumer Packaged Goods segment, led by Mr. Peter Crooks and Dr. Bob Chapman, is focused on the creation of novel consumer packaged products for the medical and non-medical cannabis markets. Initially, this segment of Dosecann’s business will be focused on the creation and manufacturing of cannabis edible and cannabis concentrate products for sale within Canada in anticipation of Health Canada permitting the sale of such products in 2019.

The Company is also excited to present Dosecann’s world-class management team as follows:

Greg Boone
(Founder & Chief Executive Officer)

Mr. Boone is a seasoned entrepreneur with over 20 years of experience in the Executive Search and Management consulting field through his company HEC GROUP. He specializes in building high performance teams for his clients in the automotive, food, pharma and chemical industries. For the past 5 years, Mr. Boone has applied his talents to the rapidly emerging medical Cannabis industry as an investor and trusted advisor to companies throughout the world looking to enter this space. Mr. Boone founded Dosecann with the primary goal of bringing the best cannabis innovations to domestic and international consumers across medical, wellness and recreational market segments.

Dr. Christina Woollard
(Chief Scientific Officer)

Dr. Woollard has more than 20 years’ experience in the pharmaceutical development industry, across big and small pharma. Prior to joining Dosecann, Dr. Woollard worked as a Formulation Scientist at Pfizer for 4 years and then joined GW Pharmaceuticals, a British biopharmaceutical company. She spent 16 years with GW Pharmaceuticals managing the Product Development team and working on multiple cannabinoid projects including Sativex, Epidiolex, injectables, solid oral dosage forms and THCV products. Dr. Woollard received her degree in Pharmacy from the University of Wales, Cardiff, followed by a PhD, studying the use of liposomes to deliver gene therapy to the lung.

Peter Crooks
(Chief of Product Innovation)

Mr. Crooks brings more than 20 years of senior leadership experience in product and brand development across food & beverage, natural health products, medical devices and pharmaceuticals. Most recently as the Executive Director of Canada’s Smartest Kitchen (Canada’s leading food development laboratory) for which Mr. Crooks was recognized in 2017 as one of Atlantic Canada’s Top 50 CEOs, Mr. Crooks successfully led a multi-disciplinary team of chefs, food scientists, marketing professionals and product developers to become Canada’s leading food product development center. In his career, he has overseen the development of over 2,100 products and raised more than $160M to support product innovation and commercialization. He also has been involved in the conceptualization, design and build of three Maritime-based innovation and applied research centers and currently advises several Federal departments on the future of food and innovation.

Dr. Bob Chapman 
(Chief Operating Officer)

Dr. Chapman has been applying his broad practical experience in organic and analytical chemistry for the past nineteen years to solve problems of industrial relevance.  Most recently, Dr. Chapman was a Principal Research Officer with the National Research Council Canada (“NRC”) Aquatic & Crop Resource Development Research Centre based out of Charlottetown, PEI. With the NRC, Dr. Chapman was responsible for leading a national program and strategic projects focused on the development of Natural Health Products and functional ingredients with private sector companies. In particular, he was responsible for leading strategic projects that aim to develop new functional ingredients based on nutritional oils and plant-based proteins which led to research on cannabinoid-based mixtures. Prior to the NRC, Dr. Chapman spent 6 years working as a Senior Scientist for two venture capital funded bioscience startup companies in San Francisco, California.  Dr. Chapman is an Adjunct Professor with the Chemistry Department at the University of Prince Edward Island, the Vice-President of the NHP Research Society, a member of several international standards groups including ASTM D37 committee on cannabis serving as the recording secretary for the processing and handling subcommittee.  For NRC ACRD’s research center, he served on national advisory committees supporting the standardization needs for the emerging cannabis industry to ensure quality and safety of cannabis supply.  Dr. Chapman is an active member of the Canada’s bioscience community serving on several boards and advisory boards. He holds a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the University of British Columbia, has published widely, holds several patents, and has presented at numerous scientific symposia.  Dr. Chapman is the recipient of many awards, including a postdoctoral fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) tenured in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University with Professor George Whitesides.

Allan Arsenault
(Director of Operations)

Mr. Arsenault has more than 17 years of senior management experience within the food industry. He has extensive experience in GMP, HACCP, budgeting, production planning, human resources, materials management, equipment planning, training, auditing, and facility management. He has experience with CFIA, FDA, and SQF audits and has managed facilities that met and exceeded government food safety standards and has led plants to be industry leaders in food safety. Allan has a business degree in Management and a degree in Socio-economics from UPEI in addition to an engineering certificate from Holland College.

Sandra LeClair
(Director of Quality)

Ms. LeClair has been working within the PEI scientific community for over 20 years, with a wide range of experience in multiple roles in academia, government, and private industry. For the past 6 years, she managed the Quality Control department in a GMP facility manufacturing animal vaccines that were distributed worldwide. Prior to this, Ms. LeClair spent 5 years as a Senior Scientist for a global animal health company, working on developing new and unique animal health products. Ms. LeClair graduated with honors from UNB with a Bachelor of Science, and proceeded to enroll in the Masters of Science program at UPEI, completing her Master’s thesis in 2000.

Jeremy Stiles
(Regulatory Affairs/GMP Consultant)

Mr. Stiles is an experienced quality professional in the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry.  With over 30 years’ experience as a leader in the public and private sector he has worked extensively to design, develop and implement quality and environmental management systems. He is well versed in a variety of quality assurance standards and the regulatory requirements associated with pharmaceutical filings such as CMC, DMF’s, NDA’s or ANDA’s. Prior to joining Dosecann, Mr. Stiles spent 20 years with BioVectra, most recently as Director, Quality Assurance and Regulatory Affairs. Mr. Stiles graduated from the University of London England with a Masters of Science in Environmental Management.

“On behalf of the Board of Directors and Management, it gives me great pleasure to congratulate Greg on building a world-class operation and to welcome the incredible team he has assembled at Dosecann to the Auxly Cannabis platform,” said Hugo Alves, President of Auxly.

“Dosecann is the cornerstone asset in the midstream segment of our business and we feel strongly that the team that has been assembled and the product innovation and development strategy that Dosecann has developed distinguishes Auxly from its peers and puts us in a position to become one of the leading cannabis products companies in the world.  We are hugely excited to see these products come to life at Dosecann and offering consumers innovative quality products backed by research and science!”

About Auxly Cannabis Group Inc. (TSX.V: XLY)

Auxly Cannabis Group is a collective of entrepreneurs with a passion for the cannabis industry past, present and future. Our mandate is to facilitate growth for our partners by providing them with financial support and sharing our collective industry experience. Our partners all have different visions, voices and brand values, and all share a common goal—to build a world-class industry based on ethics, diversity, quality and innovation.

About Dosecann

Dosecann is a Canadian Licensed Dealer dedicated to developing cannabis solutions for the cannabis industry. Located in Charlottetown, PEI, Dosecann’s purpose-built, 42,000 square foot facility will be the hub for cannabis extraction, quality testing, research and development, product formulation and manufacturing.

Posted in Clients, News