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Celebrating women-led bioscience companies

Emergence survey indicates 45% of founders and CEOs in the bioscience incubator are female

With only 16% of Canadian small and medium-sized businesses owned by women, there is still much work to do in all sectors to support the full and equal participation of women in the economy. As an Atlantic bio-business accelerator, Emergence is committed to advancing gender equity and supporting the establishment and success of women-led bioscience companies.

According to the 2019 Emergence Company Survey, 45% of the 46 companies who responded had women founders and/or CEOs.

“We are delighted in the independent survey results that demonstrate the significant role that women entrepreneurs play in driving innovation in Atlantic Canada,” said Mark Redmond, Director of Incubation Services, Emergence. “As we review the Emergence portfolio of more than 60 companies, we see the notable presence of women in advancing initiatives with an emphasis on human and animal health and nutrition.”

The innovative work of these Emergence companies, alongside their solid leadership, is critical in growing and strengthening the bioscience sector – a key pillar of the Atlantic economy. There are many examples of women-led bioscience companies making waves in the industry to celebrate.

For example, BioTraceIT™ President, CEO and co-founder Deborah Dullen has a background in both the biotech and medical device fields with additional expertise in business development, sales, R&D, and global market entry. Her company, BioTraceIT™ recently launched PainTrace® a platform for detecting and monitoring pain in people and animals.

Chinova Bioworks is transforming the food and beverage industry with a natural, clean-label shelf-life extender extracted from white button mushrooms. Their CEO and co-founder Natasha Dhayagude has a background in biochemistry and a passion for entrepreneurship, delivering on Chinova’s mission to not only deliver clean-label ingredients, but also reduce food waste.

Because Animals CEO and co-founder Shannon Falconer has a PhD in microbial chemical biology and worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University. While Because Animals may be a small company at this stage, it has a big mission: to create nutritious, sustainable, animal-free pet food using cultured meat.

These are only a few examples of the many women-led companies in Emergence including high-performers such as Nutracelle, MicroSintesis, BioSpa, StepScan, CNS-CRO, Au Naturel Solutions, SeaFord Pharmaceuticals, SomaDetect, VetNOW, Dr. AK Gordon, and more.

For CEO of BioTraceIT™ Deborah Dullen, she credits her family’s support to dream big and the importance of passing on this encouragement to others.

“Worldwide women represent nearly 30% of researchers and in the US, women hold 31% of senior business roles,” she said. “We must thank all these individuals who are trailblazers; we are standing on the shoulders of giants.”

For more information on Emergence, visit

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