Potential Motors, Chinova Bioworks, Introhive feted at New Brunswick innovation awards ceremony

Chinova Bioworks
Nine awards handed out at the first InnovateNB awards event.

Potential Motors, and Chinova Bioworks were among the winners at the first InnovateNB awards ceremony highlighting startups, and people in nonprofits, government, and other organizations in New Brunswick.

InnovateNB handed out honours in nine different categories in Saint John in late November.

“Their impact deserves to be celebrated.”
– Cathy Simpson, TechImpact

Potential Motors won the Most Innovative Startup category. The Fredericton-based startup builds artificial intelligence-powered vehicle control software for electric side-by-side ATVs, and has developed an electric off-road recreational vehicle.

Potential Motors recently secured $4 million in convertible debt seed extension funding to develop its technology, grow its team, and to begin showcasing its software. The startup previously raised a $2.5 million seed round in 2020.

Chinova Bioworks, which has developed a mushroom-based natural preservative for food and beverages, won in the category of Most Innovative Product or Service. Also based in Frederiction, Chinova raised a $2.6 million seed round in 2018 to build its team and scale up production and manufacturing of its product.

Yet another Fredericton-based startup, Introhive, picked up an award, winning the Economic Impact through Innovation award. Founded in 2012, the startup offers an artificial intelligence-enabled customer intelligence platform.

The startup claims it has over 350 employees and more than 250,000 customers in over 90 different countries. However, Introhive hasn’t come through the economic downturn unscathed and in July announced layoffs. Previously, Introhive raised $121.3 million in Series C funding in 2021.

Agunbiade Seun Richards was named Emerging Innovator. Richards is the founder of a food delivery service, Door2Door, and is an ambassador for the Global Entrepreneurship Network.

As well, Gerry Pond was honoured with the Hall of Fame Induction. Pond is the former CEO of NBTEl and was the president of its successor, Aliant Telecom. He is the chairman and co-founder of Mariner Partners, a group of four technology companies; and the co-founder of a number of Atlantic Canadian information and communications technology firms. Pond also co-founded startup accelerator Propel ICT.

Cathy Simpson, CEO of TechImpact and one of the organizers of the InnovateNB Celebration, said the success of the innovators recognized at the awards ceremony suggested good prospects for New Brunswick’s future.

“We have people in start-ups, established businesses, not-for-profits, academia and government who are executing innovative solutions at the forefront of technology right here in New Brunswick,” Simpson said. “Their impact deserves to be celebrated.”

The full list of award winners can be found here.

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel

Charles Mandel's reporting and writing on technology has appeared in Wired.com, Canadian Business, Report on Business Magazine, Canada's National Observer, The Globe and Mail, and the National Post, among many others. He lives off-grid in Nova Scotia.

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