Pfera, a birth prediction tool for horse owners to use on pregnant mares, is the provincial grand prize winner of the Breakthru Competition in New Brunswick, which was hosted for University of New Brunswick students, alumni, and staff.
The New Brunswick Innovation Foundation (NBIF), Cox & Palmer, and Deloitte hosted the competition, which had businesses pitch to industry professionals earlier this month in either the provincial or national category. More than $1 million in prizes — meant to help companies launch their business ideas — were awarded during the competition.
The provincial grand prize, which totalled $374,250, went to Pfera. Its system analyzes the mare’s milk chemistry to send data right to the users’ smartphone and determine, down to the hour, when a mare will go into labour.
“We’re so proud of everyone at UNB who has been involved with this incredibly strong showing at Breakthru,” said Eddy Campbell, University of New Brunswick president. “Not only is it a reflection of the passion, determination, and ingenuity that is so pervasive here at UNB, but it speaks to the national-calibre entrepreneurial culture we’ve long had here.”
The national grand prize winner was Newpy, a social app designed to make product photography more engaging for users and more valuable for brands. Newpy took home $301,250 in cash investments and professional services.
The runner-ups at the provincial level, SomaDetect and WEnTech, each won $180,000. SomaDetect is an agricultural technology company which uses light scattering to detect signs of a disease affecting cow udders and their milk. WEnTech is a cloud-based software that determines options for converting waste into energy.