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PEI companies well-represented as semi-finalists at BioInnovation Challenge pitch event

PEI companies will represent three out of the eight semi-finalists slots at the 2021 BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) pitch event. Hosted by BioNova, the BioInnovation Challenge is one of the longest-running business competitions in Atlantic Canada, celebrating and propelling the region’s next top innovators.

This year’s BIC will be held virtually during BioNova’s annual BioPort conference, Nov. 2-5, 2021. The finalists from PEI, who are also all Emergence clients, are: Au Naturel Solutions, Bactana Canada, and Remidose Aerosols. Two additional Emergence clients were also selected: Pivotal Health Sciences and Takaya Technology.

Both a pitch competition and business accelerator, BIC has supported the creation of over 70 new companies in the sector and distributed $465,000 in prize value since 2011. Last year’s eight BIC semi-finalists raised over $1 million in 2020, despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The eight semi-finalists will present their business ideas on November 3rd to an experienced panel of judges who represent industry and investment organizations knowledgeable about health and life sciences. Three finalists will then be selected to pitch in the finals on November 5th, with a winner to be announced that afternoon at the closing of BioPort. This year’s winner will be awarded a grand prize valued at $55,000, comprised of $25,000 in seed funding to develop their business idea and an advisory services package exceeding $30,000.

These eight semi-finalists were selected from a group of high-caliber applicants developing medical technologies, bioproducts, and natural health products with a shared focus on better health outcomes and environmental sustainability. Learn more about the entrepreneurs who will be pitching virtually on Nov. 3 during BioPort 2021:

Au Naturel Solutions Inc. — PEI (Emergence)
Simone Cormier, Founder
Specializes in the manufacturing of an all-natural materials breast prosthesis made of sustainable and environmentally-friendly materials and an innovative attaching system which does not require purchase of a specialty bra.

Bactana Canada Corp. — PEI (Emergence)
John Kallassy, CEO
Bactana Canada Corp. uses a microbiome discovery platform to develop innovative products through use of cutting-edge molecular and DNA sequencing methods to improve animal productivity and ultimately animal protein production. Their initial product is a patented feed additive for poultry and potentially swine.

Remidose Aerosols Inc. — PEI (Emergence)
Dr. Michael Mayne, President
Manufactures medical grade devices that deliver accurate dosing of purified cannabis oil. Their three primary products are an inhaler, an oral spray, and a topical aerosol device, each of which enable rapid onset of premium bioactive cannabinoids to avoid over consumption.

Pivotal Health Sciences Inc. — NB (Emergence)
Craig Jackson, CEO
Uses sustainable extraction and encapsulation technologies without the use of high energy or chemical additives to reduce the number of steps required to transform raw feedstock to high-value nano encapsulated bioactives.

Takaya Technology Inc. — NS (Emergence)
Erin MacKean, Co-founder & COO; Jennifer McFarland, Partner Development
Takaya Technology Inc. has developed a novel, medical grade N95 mask with advanced respirator seals to provide healthcare workers greater protection against COVID-19 and other airborne pathogens.

Axtion Independence Mobility Inc. — NS 
Tracey McGillivray, CEO; Liam Maaskant, CPO
Created a mobility device that combines a four-wheeled rollator walker with an elevating seat to prevent falls and enable independent recovery from a fall should one occur.

MycoFutures North Atlantic — NL 
Stephanie Lipp, Co-founder
MycoFutures North Atlantic is developing a highly-durable mycelium-based leather alternative using the root system of fungi. This product will reduce the environmental impact of apparel and footwear manufacturing.

Picketa Systems Inc. — NB 
Dominic Levesque, Co-founder & CTO
Picketa Systems Inc. created a soil and plant scanning technology and software platform to log and manage user data to optimize crop fertilization.

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