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Press Release: I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition Provincial Winner Announced

A Chester-based company that turns municipal waste into valuable products is receiving a $100,000 seed investment from Innovacorp to take its technology to market.

Sustane Technologies Inc. is the provincial winner of the I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition, ending a five-month search to find the best start-ups in Nova Scotia.

“Innovacorp’s I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition once again showcases that Nova Scotia is brimming with vibrant, enterprising entrepreneurs,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “Leveraging this talent is the linchpin to growing our economy.”

The I-3 competition began Sept. 3, and Innovacorp received 188 submissions from entrepreneurs.

Sustane Technologies has the potential to eliminate the need for landfills. Its technology transforms waste into clean, value-added products such as biomass fuel pellets and biofuels. After completing its initial full-scale plant in Chester, the company will deliver its solution to municipalities around the world.

The company’s founders are Peter Vinall, Javier De La Fuente and Robert Richardson.

“This competition has challenged us to recalibrate and refine our business strategy,” said Mr. Vinall. “The cash, seed investment, and in-kind services we have won, is exactly what we need to take our company to the next level.”

The Government of Canada provided a $100,000 contribution through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Business Development Program to support this year’s competition.

“I want to congratulate Sustane Technologies and all the zone and sector winners on their impressive achievement,” said Scott Brison, president of the Treasury Board. “Through competitions like this, Innovacorp is helping creative and innovative Nova Scotians get the opportunity they need to realize their dreams.

“The government is proud to support Canadian businesses at all stages, as they innovate, grow and generate new wealth for the economy. I look forward to seeing the progress these start-ups make into the future.”

The competition finds and supports high potential early stage Nova Scotia knowledge-based companies, and encourages entrepreneurship across the province. These businesses will fuel economic growth.

“Innovacorp’s I-3 competition engages the province’s most promising up-and-coming entrepreneurs,” said Stephen Duff, president and CEO of Innovacorp. “Ultimately, Sustane Technologies convinced our judges the value proposition of their start-up deserved top spot.

“With its compelling product and solid business plan, we’re confident in this company’s future growth.”

In total, $950,000 in cash, seed investment and in-kind business-building services was awarded to the winners. First place zone winners each received $100,000 in cash and services, and second place zone winners took home $40,000 in cash and services. In addition, the best overall submission in information technology, life sciences, clean technology, ocean technology, agricultural technology and waste diversion technology received a $25,000 award package.

The zone winners were Sustane Technologies Inc., Lootbag, Antigonish, Airline Employee Travel Inc., Elmsdale, Site 2020 Inc., Halifax, and Orenda Software Solutions, Sydney.

Sustane Technologies Inc. also won the top Waste Diversion Technology, Zora of Dartmouth won the Information Technology award, Treventis Diagnostics Ltd., Halifax, won Life Sciences, SATELLIGENT Telemetry Solutions Inc., Bedford, won Clean Technology, Turbulent Research Inc., Dartmouth, won Ocean Technology, and Allendale Technologies Inc., Lockeport, Shelburne Co., won Agricultural Technology.

Innovacorp’s 2015-2016 I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition is possible thanks to support from the following partners: Eastlink, Cox & Palmer, Sandler Training, WBLI, Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Entrepreneurs 3.0, Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, RRFB Nova Scotia, Build Ventures, Rho Canada Ventures, East Valley Ventures, Brightspark East, Pelorus Venture Capital Limited, BDC Capital, Davis Pier, Plum Public Relations, Famous Folks Creative Communications, Revolve Branding & Marketing, CloudKettle, Navigate Startup House, Blue Cow Creative, NATIONAL Public Relations, Planet HR, Sobey School Business Development Centre, Dalhousie University, Le Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse (CDÉNÉ), NSCC Marconi Campus, Sydney and Area Chamber of Commerce, and Discount Car & Truck Rentals.

Innovacorp is Nova Scotia’s early stage venture capital organization. To learn more about the I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition, which takes place every two years, visit www.innovacorp.ca.