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BDC Funds Eigen, FoodTender, Toplog

BDC Venture Capital has invested $150,000 each into Eigen Innovations, FoodTender Solutions and TopLog, aiding the funding process of three recent graduates from Moncton-based technology accelerator Launch36.

Halifax-based TopLog has also received a $250,000 equity investment from Innovacorp, meaning it now has landed about 80 per cent of its seed-round target of $500,000.

The venture capital arm of the Business Development Bank of Canada said last summer it would extend convertible notes of $150,000 each to recent graduates of Canadian accelerators that it deems to be investment ready. As well as Launch36, it makes this offer to such accelerators as GrowLab in Vancouver and FounderFuel in Montreal.

The three latest recipients from the region are courting other investors for money, and being backed by BDC brings credibility to the company.

“Most of these things take place in the backroom,” said Richard Jones, CEO of Fredericton-based Eigen. “The good thing about this BDC note is it’s very public. … It allows us a lot of help in our search for new investors. It’s an important validation.”

Fredericton-based Eigen has developed industrial Internet algorithms that can help companies automate a range of actions in their manufacturing processes. Its first product uses thermal cameras to help food companies cook or freeze products more efficiently.

As a tenant at the Planet Hatch incubator and the Accelr8 program in Fredericton, Eigen has received a $25,000 funding package, which it used to court and learn from potential customers. The company, which is aiming for a total seed round of $500,000, will use most of the BDC money to launch its early adopter program and adapt its product for new customers.

FoodTender, of Moncton, acts as an online marketplace between restaurants and suppliers, ensuring the restaurateur gets the best price and the supplier gains exposure to new customers. It now has 75 clients, mainly in Moncton, and is expanding into Halifax. Co-founder Andre Pellerin said FoodTender is now signing up suppliers in the Nova Scotia market, which it must do before it signs up Halifax restaurants. He said the new funding will help to accelerate growth in the company, which aims to raise $800,000.

“It means that some of the things we were holding back on as far as marketing, or attending trade shows, all these we were putting on the back burner because we were stretching our dollars,” he said. It can now proceed with growing the business, including hiring in-house IT and marketing personnel.

TopLog makes life easier for network system administrators by analyzing the events that take place over the network and identifying things that depart from the norm. This knowledge can prevent the system from going down, and alert the network system administrators when anything out of the ordinary happens.

The company, which is a tenant in the Volta incubator in Halifax, was recently chosen as one of six companies to present to the National Capital Angels Summit — a national meeting of angel investors — in Banff, Alta.

CEO Ozge Yeloglu said she was proud to compete against companies from leading accelerators and deliver a pitch that was well received by the audience.

“I was able to go there and stand on the same stage as FounderFuel and GrowLab companies and be as good as them. We really can come out of Atlantic Canada and kick ass.”