Five startups in Volta’s new cohort each receive $25,000 investment

Volta November

Halifax-based accelerator, Volta, has announced five early-stage tech startups entering its latest cohort. The startups were selected from a pool of 14 during a pitch event in Halifax this week.

“The talent, passion and diversity of the ideas displayed were quite impressive.”

All five companies will receive a $25,000 investment from a fund co-founded by Volta, BDC Capital, Innovacorp, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency. The startups will also receive mentorship from fellow entrepreneurs and resources to scale. The fund’s co-founders intentionally collaborated to ensure startup founders across Atlantic Canada have provincial, regional, and national support.

“Injecting early-stage startups with a small investment, and pairing [that investment] with mentorship and support early on has provided a tremendous boost to our regional ecosystem by helping companies get to a venture path more quickly,” said Meghann Coleman, director of strategic projects at Volta, who served as a judge at the semi-annual pitch competition. “The talent, passion, and diversity of the ideas displayed were quite impressive, and we look forward to helping the founders and their teams as they continue to grow.”

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Launched in 2017, Volta’s cohort program is intended to tackle the shortage of early-stage investment and resources available to Atlantic Canada’s tech startups. Volta said 51 full-time employees have been hired through cohort companies, and $5.5 million in investments have been raised, including $3.4 million in funds closed and $2.1 million pending. Volta’s cohort startups have also apparently received a cumulative $587,500 in grant dollars.

The companies selected to join the next Volta Cohort include:

Bloxo ​(Halifax, NS)

Bloxo is a mobile and web-based platform that simplifies the process of organizing and participating in sports, by connecting organizers, players, and facilities. The startup was founded this year by Abdullah “Mubdu” Alali, a student at St. Mary’s University.

Bursity (Halifax, NS) is developing a web platform that helps post-secondary students pay their tuition by finding and applying for financial awards in a few easy steps. Their platform uses one universal form to connect students to more than two-million funding opportunities.

Electric Owl Solutions ​(Halifax, NS)

​Electric Owl is developing a subscription-based software that allows community gardens, urban gardeners, and small-scale farmers, using plant science and computer science to help people grow food. Another spin-out from St. Mary’s University, the company was founded by Margaret Don.

Riddl ​(Fredericton, NB)

Riddl offers proprietary data to impact investors aimed to guide better investment decisions. Riddl was one of the 32 startups selected to participate in New Brunswick-based accelerator Propel’s Phase 2 of Incite.

Sparrow Acoustics ​(Halifax, NS)

Sparrow Acoustics aims to help healthcare professionals triage a cardiac patient in less than 10 minutes using their software. The technology combines a decade of auscultation (listening to the internal sounds of the body) research, along with novel computer visualization, proprietary acoustic algorithms, and AI, to help interpret complex heart sounds and distinguish degrees of heart valve issues.

Image courtesy Volta

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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