Emergence client, SomaDetect, one of the “top 20 most innovative companies in Canada”

Emergence client, SomaDetect of Fredericton, New Brunswick, has been announced as  one of the “top 20 most innovative companies in Canada” by the Canadian Innovation Exchange (CIX).

SomaDetect

SomaDetect CEO, Bethany Deshpande, presents at the 2017 Ag Innovation Challenge in Missouri, earlier this month

Crossing industries from finance to health to education, the technology companies that made the cut for this year’s CIX Top 20 Program were picked by a selection committee of tech experts and investors from across the country.

The top ranked innovative companies were chosen based on a range of criteria, including their product or service offering, depth of management, market opportunity and business model.

SomaDetect was recently selected as one of “22 transformative early-stage companies” to participate in the 2017 Ag Innovation Showcase, which took place September 11-13, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. Read that story here!

SomaDetect LogoSomaDetect went to the Ag Innovation Showcase fresh off a win at Communitech’s Fierce Founders Pitch Competition, which hosted female founders to develop business skills for their startups. Read more about that success here!

Earlier in 2017, SomaDetect also won the $180,000 second-place prize in the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation’s Breakthru competition. Read more about that here!

SomaDetect helps dairy farmers check the health of their herd quickly, accurately and precisely while testing the quality of their milk. Their patented technology sends a laser beam through the milk as each cow is milked, instantly recording the fat content and somatic cell count, both of which indicate the presence of the disease mastitis and the quality of the milk. The farmer has the data instantly for each cow twice a day.

The CEO of each CIX Top 20 company will present at CIX 2017 on October 17-18, and will share their story and innovation to a crowd of more than 800 investors, partners and peers in the North American technology ecosystem.

Entrevestor reports that Atlantic Canada has done well in the CIX competition the last few years. In 2016, Gemba Software of Saint John was named to the list. In 2015, Atlantic Canada had three entries in the Top 20 – RtTech Software of Moncton, and LeadSift and SkySquirrel Technologies, both of Halifax.

The 2017 CIX Top 20 are (in alphabetical order):

Posted in Clients, News

Emergence client, SomaDetect, positioned to be “a market leader in the dairy technology industry”

In a recent article The Lane Report says that Fredericton, New Brunswick-based Emergence client, SomaDetect, is positioned to be “a market leader in the dairy technology industry, providing a total dairy herd management package in a single piece of equipment”.

SomaDetect LogoSomaDetect was recently one of “22 transformative early-stage companies from four countries” selected to participate in the 2017 Ag Innovation Showcase, which took place September 11-13, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. You can read more about SomaDetect’s success here!

Under the heading “Innovative cell detection“, The Lane Report writes of SomaDetect: “A major innovation for the global dairy industry is currently making waves. SomaDetect, a leading artificial intelligence and computer vision dairy company, has developed new methods to detect the presence of progesterone, protein, fat, trace antibiotics and somatic cell counts in raw milk without the need for reagents or consumables. These new developments will allow farmers to monitor the reproductive status and health of their herd, and manage illness while producing the highest quality milk for consumers”.

According to the Report, “These new developments position SomaDetect to be a market leader in the dairy technology industry, providing a total dairy herd management package in a single piece of equipment.”

SomaDetect has begun piloting their technology on farms in New Brunswick, and shared information about their newest technology breakthroughs at the showcase.

Posted in Clients, News

Emergence client, SomaDetect, selected for Ag Innovation Showcase: one of “22 transformative early stage ventures”

Fredericton, New Brunswick-based Emergence client, SomaDetect, was recently one of “22 transformative early-stage companies from four countries” selected to participate in the 2017 Ag Innovation Showcase, which took place September 11-13, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.

SomaDetect LogoSomaDetect went to the Showcase fresh off a win at Communitech’s Fierce Founders Pitch Competition, which hosted female founders to develop business skills for their startups. Read more about that success here!

SomaDetect is a precision-dairy company that is creating an in-line system for measuring the two most critical indicators of dairy-quality: somatic cells and fat content. It connects farmers with every cow and enables early diagnosis of problems than might arise.

Presenting companies showcased their innovations in the areas of precision agriculture, robotics and big data, pathogen and disease control, biologics, processing technology, and alternative food systems deigned to address a range of challenges in global agriculture. You can check out the official announcement here!

SomaDetect

Bethany Deshpande, CEO of SomaDetect

The Ag Innovation Showcase, which focuses on the convergence of agriculture and technology, has proven to be a valuable experience for startups in the agtech sector. Since inception, 150 industry technologies have been vetted and many have garnered the attention of investors. Since 2009, $510 million in capital has been raised by presenting companies.

A panel of judges selected the presenting companies from a competitive field of 63 applicants based on their ability to positively disrupt agriculture in six sectors: Ingredients & Markets, Decontamination & Disease Detection, Beneficials and Biologics, Genetics, Forecast & Visualization, and Recovery of Inputs.

Four of the participating agtech companies were founded by women: including SomaDetect.

2017 PRESENTING COMPANIES

Ingredients & Markets:

  • Bonumose Biochem, LLC– Produces sweet ingredients that lack the same negative health consequences of traditional sugar, while significantly reducing production costs.
  • Aspire Food Group– Uses robotics, IoT and automation to farm insects that have a similar protein quality to meat and environmental footprint of plants. Fully-automated and modular technology can be scaled to any size in any geography.
  • Budgeter Foods– Food products with improved nutrition value containing insect protein powders.

Decontamination & Disease Detection:

  • SnapDNA– Develops low cost, rapid, high throughput, genetic analysis for seeds and pathogens. For food safety, SnapDNA can eliminate 3-day test/hold with projected 2-hour total time-to-result pathogen analysis, elevating supply chain transparency, providing quantitative, strain specific results for rapid identification, isolation, and eradication of pathogen contamination in food production.
  • NanoGuard– A new non-thermal pasteurization technology for grain, fresh produce, spices and other food articles to reduce losses and improve the safety, wholesomeness and security of our food.
  • SomaDetect– A precision-dairy company that is creating an in-line system for measuring the two most critical indicators of dairy-quality: somatic cells and fat content. It connects farmers with every cow and enables early diagnosis of problems than might arise.

Beneficials and Biologics:

  • 3Bar Biologics Inc.– Biologics microbial inoculant delivery system, Bio-Yield, stabilizes beneficial microbial preparations improving their efficacy on farm, shelf-life, and ease of application and also expanding the types of microbes available for commercialization.
  • NovoBind Livestock Therapeutics, Inc. – Cost-effective feed additives that function as alternatives to antibiotics. Their products specifically target and neutralize specific pathogens like Salmonella, from livestock.
  • Amebagone Inc.-Natural biocontrol agents of bacterial pathogens of plants to control invasive and destructive bacterial diseases naturally, without spraying antibiotics or copper, which have limited effectiveness and can be toxic to crops.
  • Bee Vectoring Technologies– Turns bees into delivery agents for mixtures of biological inputs for crop pest management.
  • Bee Flow – Strengthening bees immune system can counteract bee fitness failure in winter and teach bees to be more efficient while pollinating specific crops. To date, the innovation has been applied to sunflower, almonds, apples, pears and blueberries; and has been tested for more than 5 years with an average increase of crop yields of 15 – 20%.

Genetics:

  • Agribody Technologies, Inc.– Genetic modification (GM) or genome editing (GE) technology delays onset of plant senescence, while increasing resistance to diseases and sub lethal stresses such as drought, heat, cold, salt, low nutrients and crowding in many key crop plants.
  • New West Genetics– Ensures stable genetics, optimizes desirable traits, and leads the industry as the first commercial organization to adapt cannabis for sustainable and large-scale production in the U.S.
  • Accelerated Ag Technologies, LLC– PowerPollenSM enables hybrid crops through cross pollination. The novel pollen handling process decreases the need for multiple resource processes in seed production and increases yield and seed genetic integrity.

Data Market: Operations:

  • iVache– A cloud based software that gathers and aggregates daire and cattle farm operations data, providing a solution to enable sustainable operations. Farmers can evaluate in real time their technical and economic efficiency, benchmark results, provide traceability into the food chainand predict future performance.
  • Farmin– A dual innovation in infrastructure and data collection. A wireless communication network capable of transmitting data more than 2 km with low energy consumption, and functional regardless of internet connectivity. An initial self-weighing system for cattle monitoring, automatically weighs individual animals each time they drink water.
  • Sencrop– A web and mobile-based platform that connects to in-field sensors and aggregates data to enable farmers to: view in-field ag-weather conditions in real time, access or push alerts and decision-making tools, simplify communication.

Forecasts & Visualization:

  • Climate Forecast Applications Network, LLC– AgriCast, integrates meteorological forecast information, crop specific forecasts, yield/development models and web-based interactive decision tools. It has the potential to change the current dynamics of the agricultural sector through reducing yield loss and disaster payouts, reducing on-farm resource use, stabilizing food and input prices, making commodities trading more profitable and supporting long-term investment strategies.
  • Visual Farms, LLC – Improves farm profitability and sustainability by providing independent machine learning systems to farms with algorithms that match optimal hybrids from virtually the entire available market to each farm’s growing conditions and over time, become farms’ Machine Learning system
  • Wisran– Identifies operation logistic inefficiencies in real-time for growers to capture profits.

Recovery of Inputs:

  • Renix Inc.– Delivering excellence in Ion Exchange, Renix provides innovative and integrated solutions for agricultural and industrial liquid purification and recovery of valuable solids
  • Compact Membrane Systems– CMS has developed technology to enable gas separation and purification with lower CapX, greater flexibility, lower energy consumption, and less environmental impact for a variety of industrial feedstocks. Serve a growing need, serve the future to open up separations at lower CapX, provide modular flexibility, serve variety of feedstocks, gaseous inputs and outputs.

About the Ag Innovation Showcase:

Established in 2009 the Ag Innovation Showcase is the world’s premier event focusing on the convergence of agriculture and technology. It brings together those with a significant stake in agriculture and agricultural technology – innovators, researchers, government agencies, corporations, investors and others – to promote investment in cutting-edge technology and biotechnology to meet the world’s growing food supply needs.

Posted in Clients, Conferences, News

Emergence client, Somru BioScience, signs international joint venture – deal expected to generate $50 million in export sales and create 100 new jobs

Charlottetown, PEI-based Emergence client, Somru BioScience, has announced a joint venture with Radiant Pharmaceuticals of Bangladesh that will greatly improve the tools available for early diagnosis of diseases like diabetes and cancer in that country.

SOMRU1The joint venture, expected to create $50 million in export sales over the next five years and add 100 new jobs to Somru’s PEI operation, was announced Friday, August 25,  by Mohammed Moin, Vice President of Somru, and Abu Shahriar Zahedee, Executive Director of Radiant.

The companies were joined by MP Sean Casey, representing the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA); and the Honourable Heath MacDonald, provincial Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, at a signing ceremony.

Based on strong market demand, both companies have agreed to enter into a joint venture agreement to establish and operate an independent state-of-the-art diagnostic laboratory in Bangladesh.

Radiant will market Somru-developed biomarker-based laboratory test kits for diabetic and oncology patients in Bangladesh.

SOMRU2By setting up the joint venture, the companies will take a major step forward to bring the first affordable, reliable and accurate advanced diagnostic service to Bangladesh.

“We look forward to a fast expansion in Bangladesh to strengthen our footprint in the growing health sector, leveraging our own unique products and technical expertise developed in Canada for international markets,” Mohammed Moin, Vice President of Somru, told us.

“We are committed to further improving health services through collaborations and partnerships, working in concert with our Canadian partner Somru to address the growing health care needs of citizens of Bangladesh,” said Mr. Abu Shahriar Zahedee, Executive Director of Radiant.

MP Sean Casey extended his congratulations and said that “It is rewarding to see Somru Bioscience succeeding in global markets.”

With the goal of making a better life for his family, Mohammed Moin immigrated to Prince Edward Island on a student visa – and ended-up building Somru BioScience from scratch.

According to PEI’s Economic Development and Tourism Minister, Heath MacDonald, “[Somru] is helping grow our bioscience industry into the kind of economic force that demonstrates – despite our small size – how mighty Prince Edward Island can be.”

Somru is currently building a new 5000 square foot lab and manufacturing facility in the BioCommons Research Park in Charlottetown, and has facilities in the West Royalty Industrial Park and the Duffy Research Centre at the University of Prince Edward Island. A partnership with the Atlantic Veterinary College, and financing from ACOA and Finance PEI have been key to the company’s growth to date.

SOMRU3

About Somru BioScience Inc.

Somru Bioscience Inc. is an innovative biotechnology company based in Prince Edward Island, Canada. Somru has developed and qualified innovative proprietary tools, apparatus, with global quality, for assessment of the disease indicative biomarkers, both protein and genes, therapeutic drug and anti-drug antibody monitoring.

About Radiant Pharmaceuticals Ltd.

Radiant Pharmaceuticals Ltd. is a company based in Bangladesh, engaged in manufacturing, importing, marketing and distributing of pharmaceutical, herbal, nutraceutical and diagnostic products. From the very inception, Radiant has been instrumental in promoting technology transfer through establishing collaborative relations with internationally reputed companies.
 

Posted in Clients, News

Emergence client, PFERA, a semi-finalist in the 2017 BioInnovation Challenge

The semi-finalists have been announced for the 2017 BioInnovation Challenge (BIC).

Scott Moffitt, Managing Director of BioNova, the host of BIC, has announced the semi-finalists who will take part in the program. The semi-finalists will receive professional training between now and the semi-final run off, which will be held in Halifax on October 17.

The program is part of a regional collaboration between BioNova, BioNB and PEI BioAlliance, its sister organizations in NB and PEI. The program allows up and coming life sciences companies to compete in the challenge and kick start their success.

LisaPfister

Lisa Pfister of PFERA Inc.

One of this year’s semi-finalists is Emergence client, PFERA, whose first product – a biotech chemistry plus IT solution – allows horse breeders to more accurately predict birthing in mares.

PFERA’s patent-pending product includes technology that interprets milk analysis of mares and reduces the variability of results from 61% down to 3-7%. (Read more about PFERA here!)

Two of the semi-finalists from the 2016 BioInnovation Challenge – Chinova Bioworks and SomaDetect, both from Fredericton, New Brunswick – are current Emergence incubator clients.

“We’re very excited about this year’s BioInnovation Challenge,” said Moffitt. “We have a number of brand new semi-finalists which shows that, year over year, this region is producing great life science ideas and great innovators.”  

Moffitt also notes that, “we are continuing to see exciting, new innovations as the BioInnovation Challenge evolves to offer more and more support for early stage companies.”

The 2017 semi-finalists include:

  • Tieös Pharmaceuticals Inc. from New Brunswick
  • Neck Tronics Inc. from Nova Scotia
  • iPSNP Computing Inc. from New Brunswick
  • Heterogeneous Nanosystems Ltd. from Nova Scotia
  • Zecken Laboratories from New Brunswick
  • ADDtext Inc. from Nova Scotia
  • Pfera Inc. from New Brunswick
  • Canuevo Biotech Inc. from New Brunswick

The winner of the BioInnovation Challenge will receive a $15,000 seed investment and a package of support services and mentoring valued at more than $30,000.

The 2017 BIC is presented by BioNova in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, BioNB, Emergence, Dalhousie University Industry Liaison and Innovation, Springboard Atlantic, Jennifer Cameron PR, JLT, Sandler Training and Grant Thornton.

BIC will take place over two days in October. The 8 semi-finalists will present to a panel of judges on October 17 at the Life Sciences Research Institute. The top three presenters will then pitch to the judges and the conference audience at BioPort Atlantic, BioNova’s annual conference, the following morning.  The winner will be announced at the close of BioPort Atlantic on the afternoon of October 18.

BioPort Atlantic will take place at the Halifax Marriott Harbourfront Hotel on October 17 and 18. Register here! BioPort provides a forum to educate, inform and inspire the life sciences community to develop their ideas, commercialize their technologies and build links within the region and with guests brought in from the US and from around the world.

Posted in Clients, News

Emergence client, Somadetect, wins $50,000 at “Fierce Founders” Pitch Competition

Fredericton, New Brunswick-based Emergence client, SomaDetect, was a big winner at Communitech’s Fierce Founders two-week Bootcamp Pitch Competition, which wrapped up August 24. Over 20 ventures took part. The two-part bootcamp hosted female founders to develop business skills for their startups.

IMG-3074This year’s winners were SomaDetect Inc. from New Brunswick, and Furnishr from Toronto and New York, which shared $100,000 in prize money.

SomaDetect provides farmers with the information they need to produce quality milk by monitoring herds with data.

Bethany Deshpande, SomaDetect’s CEO, told us that winning this funding “is a dream come true”.

“When you’re building a startup, you believe in your business, but it’s a challenge to get other people to believe in your business too. So this award from Fierce Founders is like a big validation that not only do I believe in my business, but that I have their support as well.”

Throughout the bootcamp the women participated in intensive workshops on customer validation, design-led innovation, product management, financials and investment as well as pitch coaching.

The top 9 companies were judged by Michelle McBane of MaRS, Joseph Fung of Kiite Inc., Nicole LeBlanc of BDC, Lisa Rowsell of Thomson Reuters and Deloitte’s Zahra Jivan.

“We look to the Fierce Founders program as a pipeline to prepare early-stage startups for investment readiness,” Nicole LeBlanc of BDC and pitch competition judge told us. “These women are thrown into the startup arena and develop a strong sense of deal flow, preparing them for what’s next.”

The top three winners are also welcomed to claim the first spots in the third cohort of the Communitech Fierce Founders Accelerator, which focuses on women-led businesses and starts October, 2017.

“The Fierce Founders Bootcamp is an opportunity for like-minded women entrepreneurs to hone their required startup skills in an intensive six-day, hands-on format. This culminates in an investor pitch competition where participants get to showcase their companies and be judged on all the skills they’ve learned,” said Seema Esteves, Fierce Founders senior program manager, Communitech.

Since the bootcamp’s launch in 2014, Communitech has seen an increase in women engaging in its startup services, and now sees 25.9% of active startups with at least one female founder.

The Communitech Fierce Founders Bootcamp is sponsored by BDC, Bereskin and Parr, Deloitte, FedDev Ontario, Google Developers, Kognitiv, Scotiabank, and Thomson Reuters. For more information about Communitech’s women in technology programming, please visit www.communitech.ca/fiercefounders.

Posted in Clients, News

Emergence client, SomaDetect, begins pilot program two months ahead of schedule

Fredericton, New Brunswick-based Emergence client, SomaDetect has announced the launch of its pilot program – two months ahead of schedule. Congratulations!

SomaDetect LogoSince July 19, SomaDetect has installed its sensors on two robotic milking systems. This is a significant milestone in the product development process for SomaDetect, and helps demonstrate that the sensor can run unsupervised without intervention, and provide accurate data.

“Feedback gained from the pilot project will be used to further develop and commercialize our technology,” SomaDetect CEO, Bethany Deshpande, told us.

soma1Want to learn more? Check out SomaDetect’s new video: SomaDetect – The Future of Dairy! Or click here!

Entrevestor, meanwhile, reports that SomaDetect been validating the international demand for its product. Entrevestor reports that SomaDetect recently signed letters of intent with three-quarters of the 80 farmers it met with during a recent four-day road trip to Vermont. The trip to Vermont was used to assess the market for SomaDetect’s product, which can quickly detect diseases in cows.

SomaDetect helps dairy farmers check the health of their herd quickly, accurately and precisely while testing the quality of their milk.

The venture’s patented technology sends a laser beam through the milk as each cow is milked, instantly recording the fat content and somatic cell count, both of which indicate the presence of the disease mastitis and the quality of the milk. The farmer has the data instantly for each cow twice a day.

By catching the disease early enough, SomaDetect can prevent mastitis disease from moving through the herd, save the lives of some cows, and reduce the amount of antibiotics used by dairy farmers. The product also captures each farm’s data in the cloud, which can produce reports in real time for the farmer.

Soma detect believes that the trip validated their belief that SomaDetect can find a market beyond Atlantic Canada. Over the four days, Deshpande met with 80 farmers and 60 of them signed letters of intent to buy the product once it’s on the market.

SomaDetect is looking to Vermont and Maine to be beachhead states for the company’s advance into the U.S. market.

 

 

 

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