Spark West Winners Named in Startup Challenge

first_imgA new e-bicycle company in Hubbards, Lunenburg Co., is receiving $50,000 in funding and business guidance through Innovacorp’s Spark Innovation Challenge. The business, SURU, is one of five winners selected in the Spark West region of the province. SURU’s co-founders, Michael Uhlarik and Kevin O’Neil, are developing zero-emission, electric-powered bicycles that can travel up to 50 kilometres without fuel or pedalling. The bikes are made without tools or special moulds and manufactured entirely in Nova Scotia. “Participating in the Spark Innovation Challenge has guided the trajectory of our business,” said Mr. Uhlarik. “The coaching we received through Spark and the funds being awarded will help us build better products and win in the marketplace.” The challenge expanded across the province this year, with winners in each of the four competition regions receiving up to $50,000 in funding and mentorship from seasoned business professionals. The four regions were Spark West, Spark North, Spark Halifax and Spark Cape Breton. The first provincewide Spark Innovation Challenge attracted 136 submissions. Eleven finalists in the Spark West region pitched their ideas to a panel of judges. Finalists also participated in several business workshops and were mentored by seasoned business professionals. The other winners in the Spark West region are: Alias Earth, a set database company founded by Jim Dorey of Morden, Kings Co., $50,000 Electric Puppets, a virtual reality company founded by Ryan Cameron of Chester, Mahone Bay, $50,000 Finleaf, an aquaponics company founded by Myrna Gillis of Brooklyn, Queens Co., $25,000 Nexus Robotics, an autonomous farming robotics company founded by Teric Greenan, Jad Tawil and Thomas Trappenberg of Barss Corner, Lunenburg Co., $25,000 Winners must use the prize money to build prototypes or take new products and services to market. Innovacorp and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency each contributed $400,000 towards this year’s Spark Challenge. “Spark is a great program that’s helping new technology companies across Nova Scotia get started,” said Geoff MacLellan, Minister of Business and Minister responsible for Innovacorp. “The winners of this year’s challenge will build stronger products and create jobs for other Nova Scotians, particularly young Nova Scotians.” “Congratulations to all of the finalists in the first ever provincewide Spark competition,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA. “This competition has been an excellent showcase of talented entrepreneurs from across Nova Scotia whose spark of innovative ideas have real potential to be commercialized and grown into thriving businesses. I look forward to seeing how the winners advance their ventures and bring their ideas to fruition.” For the full list of winners, visit read more

The 9 at 9 Saturday

first_imgEVERY DAY, brings you nine things you need to know with your morning cup of coffee.1. #LEICESTER FIRE: Three people have been arrested in connection with a deadly street attack which took place just hours before a house fire killed a mother and three children of a Beaumont Hospital doctor, Taufiq Sattar. Police are investigating if the murder is possibly linked to the fire.2. #ANTRIM: It is understood that the PSNI are not looking for anyone else in relation to the shooting dead of two men in the county, who are believed to be a dairy farmer and one of his workers. [RTE]3. #REFORM ALLIANCE: Dublin South TD Peter Mathews, one of the members of the new Reform Alliance (RA) group, told that he is still a member of Fine Gael and that there will be no new party and “there never will be”.4. #CRIME CRACKDOWN: As part of a large-scale inter-country operation called “Operation Majesty” gardaí carried out seven searches in Dublin and Meath yesterday, arresting two men in connection to a major drugs network worth €40 million.5. #BUDGET: The European Commission could demand changes to Ireland’s budget next month if the Government is deemed to have made insufficient fiscal adjustments, writes Suzanne Lynch in The Irish Times.6. #SYRIA: US-Russia talks on eliminating Syria’s chemical weapon’s programme has entered its third day in Geneva, with a US official saying the two sides were “coming to agreement”. [Reuters]7. #COLORADO: At least four people have been killed and 172 people are unaccounted for amid floods in Colorado in the US. [CNN]8. #CANCER: Majella O’Donnell, wife of Donegal singer, Daniel O’Donnell had her head shaved for charity live on the Late Late Show last night. She was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year.  [The Independent]9. #ALCOHOL-FREE: UCC confirmed to that 25 students have indicated they would be interested in availing in the new alcohol-free accommodation on offer this year.last_img read more