Five Atlantic Canada companies were recognized for their community impact at the Ecosystem Impact Awards this week, hosted by Halifax-based accelerator Volta and RBC.
“Organizations like the ones recognized here today are helping put Atlantic Canada on the map.”
The Ecosystem Impact Awards was launched this year to celebrate Atlantic Canada’s startup community with five awards that were presented to founders, companies, and their supporters in the Volta Event Space. There were more than 40 nominations, and the recipients were selected by a panel of judges, comprised of regional business leaders.
“The support and leadership within the startup community is one of the reasons why Atlantic Canadian companies are experiencing growth and success on national and international levels,” said Jesse Rodgers, CEO of Volta. “Organizations, like the ones recognized here today, are positively shaping our ecosystem, and are helping put Atlantic Canada on the map.”
Ignite Labs received the Catalyst Award, which recognizes a startup that has helped create cohesion and growth in the Atlantic Canadian startup ecosystem. Ignite Labs is a tech incubator that provides structure, mentoring and partnerships for startups in the Southwestern region of Nova Scotia.
Square Roots received the Positive Impact Award, which recognizes a founder or company that has developed and implemented solutions for social, cultural, or environmental issues, to the benefit of the community-at-large. Square Roots aims to redirect good food that would be thrown away, into the hands of communities who need it. The company seeks to tackle the issues of food waste and food insecurity at both farms and restaurants.
Build Ventures received the Community Leader Award, which recognizes a company that has directly impacted the growth and development of the entrepreneurial landscape in Atlantic Canada. This organization is dedicated to the startup community, and gives back through the donation of time, mentorship and serving as a resource in a peer to peer environment. In August, the company received a $10 million commitment from the government of New Brunswick for its second fund.
McInnes Cooper, among the 25 largest business law firms in Canada, received the Corporate Supporter Award recognizes a corporate partner who has been a gracious supporter of the tech startup community in Atlantic Canada.
SomaDetect received the Disruptor Award, which recognizes an up-and-coming business in Atlantic Canada that has experienced significant entrepreneurial success over the past year. The company has created a sensor that helps farmers measure milk quality. In 2017, the company won a $1 million grand prize at 43North, a Buffalo, New York-based startup competition.
“Atlantic Canada is a powerhouse for technology and innovation talent, and the Volta Ecosystem Impact Award recipients are proof of that,” said Jules Andrew, senior vice president of Enterprise Operations and Payments at RBC. “Volta’s support for diversity, inclusion and innovation in this growing community is truly commendable.”
Volta’s innovation hub houses more than 40 different tech ventures, three innovation outposts, and five service and community partners, that employ more than 300 people who work out of Volta’s space. Along with investments, Volta offers cohort companies workspace, programming assistance, and mentorship.
Image courtesy Volta