“Working with the guys from Summerside Electric and the City of Summerside has just been fantastic. They’ve been great mentors.”
Canada’s eastern seaboard is home to some of the country’s most dynamic and successful firms, and the Atlantic Canadian companies
on the 2017 PROFIT 500 ranking of Canada’s Fastest-Growing Companies are proof.
The five Atlantic Canadian firms on this year’s ranking grew their revenues an average of 376% between 2011 and 2016.
Collectively they employed 236 full time-equivalent employees in 2016.
Here is the complete list of Atlantic Canada’s fastest-growing companies for 2017.
1. Supplement King Canada
PROFIT 500: No. 85
Growth (2011–2016): 856%
Revenue (2016): $5–10 million
Headquarters: Dartmouth, N.S.
What it does: Franchises a chain of stores selling health and fitness supplements
PROFIT 500: No. 118
Growth (2011–2016): 591%
Revenue (2016): $2–5 million
Headquarters: Charlottetown, P.E.I.
What it does: Develops web-based software that controls digital displays
3. World Link Food Distributors
PROFIT 500: No. 272
Growth (2011–2016): 220%
Revenue (2016): $50–100 million
Headquarters: Goffs, N.S.
What it does: Sells seafood products from Atlantic Canada to wholesalers and retailers
4. Premiere Mortgage Centre
PROFIT 500: No. 382
Growth (2011–2016): 131%
Revenue (2016): $10–20 million
Headquarters: Halifax, N.S.
What it does: Brokers mortgages for home buyers and commercial clients
5. PQA (Professional Quality Assurance)
PROFIT 500: No. 481
Growth (2011–2016): 83%
Revenue (2016): $10–20 million
Headquarters: Fredericton, N.B.
What it does: Provides software testing and quality assurance consulting
Keir Pollard. President of Charlottetown based SpryPoint recently spoke with UMC (Utility Market Connections)
a well-known US based utilities publication.
Here is an excerpt from that interview, check out the entire interview by clicking the link at the bottom of the page.
UMC: Give me a little background history on SpryPoint. How was the company founded and what are the origins of its name?
Keir Pollard: I had been working in the utility industry with mainframe and client-server software for over a decade both in
home-grown systems and packaged ERP platforms. I saw a lot of unproductive work and stagnation in developing and delivering
software and a lot more frustration from users that work with applications on a daily basis. By 2011, one could see the revolutionary
successes of the first generations of true cloud-based software, and it was clear that this was the path to frictionless application
delivery. This was also six months after the release of the iPad. When I got my hands on a first-generation iPad, I said
“This is how I want to work!” A few months later, I founded SpryPoint and immersed myself in the craft of enterprise web
development. Since then, we have built up a talented and productive development shop and support organization.
Our senior management team has over 40 years of experience in development, sales and implementation of enterprise utility solutions.
There is an interesting backstory to how we came up with the SpryPoint name. We are headquartered in Prince Edward Island,
which on the east coast of Canada and is known for its 800 miles of coastline, beautiful beaches and brutal winters. We wanted
our brand to have a connection to our home province and also reflect our agile approach to solution delivery and customer service.
There is a small community on the coast of PEI by the name of Spry Point which is well known for the “PEI Ark” which was a
research facility for sustainable energy that was built in the wake of the 1970s-energy crisis. The name felt like it fit with the
energy, agility, and purpose that we bring to work each day.
UMC: What is the company culture like at Sprypoint?
Keir Pollard: I’m a firm believer that if you are not enjoying what you are doing, you should be doing something else.
I truly enjoy the craft of software development, and know from experience some of the things that make for productive and
enjoyable development environment. A peaceful office, a supportive team, great equipment and productive development
toolsets are the first part. The second part is a well-rested mind. Although we are a small company and we know that the work
we are doing really matters to people in the real world, we encourage our team to work regular work hours, then go home.
In order to build great software, you really need to take time to recharge and spend time with family, play sports, or do
whatever drives you. We work hard the whole time we are in the office, then leave it alone and attack it again the next day.
While we are a group of passionate web and mobile developers, you will find no Nerf cannons or video game consoles in our office.
Northeast PHP 2017 conference chair Peter MacIntyre (left) and conference participant Lincoln Maskey discuss plans for this year’s event. (CBC)
The government of P.E.I. has given a $8,000 grant to Northeast PHP 2017 — a major IT conference being hosted
in Charlottetown from Aug. 9 to 11.
The Rodd Charlottetown will host the IT conference, marking the second consecutive year that Northeast PHP has
been hosted on the province.
“Northeast PHP 2017 gives increased profile to the industry here and that may attract new start ups or business
expansions to our province,” said Lincoln Maskey, a senior software engineer with iWave Information Systems an a
conference participant in a government news release.
“Beyond that, this is a tremendous learning and networking opportunity for industry professionals on the Island and
one that will pay dividends for the IT sector.”
The government of P.E.I said the IT sector contributes roughly $200 million annually to to the provincial economy
and employs over 1,800 people.
“We had an amazing response from the many presenters and delegates who came to Charlottetown last year for the
2016 edition of the conference,” said conference organized Peter MacIntyre.
“This year we are trying to build on that success.”
Original Source http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/prince-edward-island/pei-it-conference-grant-1.4229135?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3BuCNylggvRDe%2BIdWzfWWDEg%3D%3D
Island Water Technologies has completed the first installations of its Regen water-treatment facility, and those two projects are providing
the company with the one thing it needs to win other contracts — data. Based in Montague, P.E.I., IWT now has two products on the market,
both of which offer efficient means of treating water away from urban locations. Regen can treat waste water for remote facilities ideally
housing 75 to 250 people. And the company also offers ClearPod, an efficient septic system for individual households.
While ClearPod is gaining traction across Canada, IWT in the past year has installed Regen facilities with the Canadian military at
Gagetown, N.B., and at a remote oil services camp in Hassi Messaoud, Algeria.
CEO Patrick Kiely said in an interview this week that these two Regen installations are giving the company data on such facets as the amount
of water treated and the overall energy consumption. And that means it can prove to potential clients that the system works. Kiely hopes he
can record a couple more installations by year’s end.
“Our big barriers to sales are the lead times it takes to do a deal, but we should be able to minimize that because
we have the data,” he said. “So now we’re ready to ramp up our business development.”
Regen is a self-contained product that provides state-of-the-art water treatment in remote locations. It all fits in a shipping container,
so it can be delivered virtually anywhere in the world. Solar panels bolt on to the exterior to power the operation.
Kiely explained that the technology is effective because it requires so little energy — it relies on a unique plastic material that can treat
water using a fraction of the energy required by competing systems. Regen uses so little electricity that it can draw all the energy it needs
from solar panels, meaning it does not need an external source of electricity. And because of its plastic system, Regen needs no chemicals
to be added during the treatment process.
The Algerian project, which was installed in a couple of days once the people and materials arrived at the camp, is successfully producing
water that is pure enough to be used to irrigate farms. At
Gagetown, IWT is working with emergency disaster relief teams so that Regen could be deployed in the event of a humanitarian disaster.
ClearPod, meanwhile, continues to gain clients in Canada and abroad. Island Water is selling the product through a distributer in B.C.,
and it just received approval from the Ministry of the Environment in Ontario. IWT’s distributor in Ontario is also active in China and
has sold demo products to potential partners in the country. IWT has also began to reach out to clients in such countries as Honduras and
Island Water now employs 10 people and is in the process of raising capital to scale up its business development team. The target is an
equity investment of $2.5 million, which would transform the business.
“Every industry is different and the waste water space requires a lot of patience,” said Kiely. “For the last four
years, we’ve been bootstrapping and purposefully been keeping costs very low. Now it’s a matt of scaling and
making sure we have the outreach with the clients.”
Original Source: http://thechronicleherald.ca/business/1484107-entrevestor-p.e.i.-firm-transforms-water-filtration?lipi=urn%3Ali%3Apage%3Ad_flagship3_feed%3BL7iJFgMdSP6M6gWPEyNA2A%3D%3D
“We’re very proud of our reputation as an energy leader in the region. But having said that we know that some of our
facilities we constructed during a time where energy efficient technology was just starting to appear,”
said Rob Philpott, the chief financial officer for the City of Summerside.
Since then there has been a lot of progress made, he added. On Thursday the city announced their partnership with Honeywell,
an energy services provider selected through a RFP process. “We decided to engage them because of their reputation for energy management and
leadership. They’ve done many of theses projects over the years with municipalities, hospitals and universities so we wanted to tap into expertise.”
The city’s Energy and Facility Renewal Program, which is cost neutral to the city, will look at areas in city facilities and the city itself to realize
areas of improvement in energy usage. At this point, there is no target reduction set. “We don’t have one in mind yet simply because right now
Honeywell is in the process of doing their audits. They’re going to be looking at the building envelopes, lighting, heating and ventilation.”
For context, said Philpott, the city’s annual energy bill, which includes heat and electricity that is consumed at all of the facilities, is
about $1 million a year. “Then if you add on the electricity it takes for the streetlights throughout the city, that’s another half a million dollars approximately.
When you look at a $1.5 million expense every year, there are hopefully opportunities to reduce it.” The first phase of the program involves an assessment
of the city’s building infrastructure, which includes validating the current conditions as well as occupancy schedules. Systems such as heating, ventilation,
air conditioning, mechanical equipment, lighting, building automation and air distribution systems will be the main areas of focus. The audit will also
look at street lighting to see if there are opportunities to save on the amount of electricity being used across the city. “We’re looking at just about all
city facilities including city hall, the fire department, the police station, Credit Union Place, the Culture Summerside properties as well as the municipal
services buildings. Once the audits are complete, the City will meet with Honeywell and discuss the upgrades that align with the City’s energy, sustainability
and other facility goals. Those selected will be aimed at revitalizing the city’s infrastructure while permanently reducing utility consumption and operating
costs as well as lower the city’s environmental footprint. There are always opportunities for improvement and we’re really trying hard to reduce our
carbon footprint especially with the possible implementation of a carbon tax system for the province pending.”
Stash Energy’s technology works in conjunction with a heat pump to store energy when it is at its cheapest point of the day for use to help heat
the home during more expensive peak hours.
Stash Energy, based in Fredericton, was co-founded by Jordan Kennie, Daniel Larsen and Erik Hatfield. Kennie and Hatfield are from New Brunswick while
Larsen is from Belfast, P.E.I. All three are students at UNB completing their masters in engineering entrepreneurship.
Since 2015 they’ve been working to create a device that uses smart grid technology to take cheap off-peak energy and store it thermally using a unique
compound they created to do the job and are working to patent. That stored energy can then be used during peak hours when electricity is more expensive.
The system works in conjunction with a heat pump. It’s comparable in size and look to a standard hot water tank
New Brunswick energy storage Startup Stash Energy is getting ready to launch a pilot program to test their technology in Summerside as part
of the Living Lab initiative. Stash Energy was founded by, from left: Daniel Larsen, Jordan Kennie, and Erik Hatfield. Rob Blanchard Photo
UNB University of New Brunswick
“Working with the guys from Summerside Electric and the City of Summerside has just been fantastic. They’ve been great mentors.”
The partnership came about because Larsen listened a presentation from the city during one of his classes at UPEI, which he
attended prior to UNB. He was impressed with the level to which the city was willing to support emerging and innovative electrical technology.
A couple of years later, when the group started to work on their technology, Larsen approached the city.
It’s great to be able to take an innovative project like this to the next level in his home province, said Larsen.
“I like that P.E.I. is doing something innovative and I think it reflects well on the Island,” he said.
“A lot of much bigger players look up to what Summerside is doing,” he added.
If the Stash Energy pilot project goes well, the company hopes to start offering units for sale within a couple
of years. They estimate their systems could save homeowners another 30 per cent on their heating
costs in addition to savings from a heat pump. “Big picture for the company would be to have one of these (systems)
in every home. But realistically, if one in four New Brunswick homes had our unit, heat pump and storage, we would be
able to decommission one of our coal generating stations,” said Kennie.
Jordan Fraser, founder of BamText, hopes to have one million people using his texting service by 2018.
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – BamText, a Charlottetown-based customer engagement company,
is projecting to increase their yearly users by nearly 400,000 in just one year.
Our business is based around how people communicate, and texting is the
fastest growing communication
tool in the world Jordan Fraser
“Our business is based around how people communicate, and texting is the fastest growing
communication tool in the world,”said BamText founder Jordan Fraser. BamText partners with
businesses across Canada and the United States, and sets up a feedback service, which allows
customers to text the store’s manager directly if they have a complaint while at there. BamText is
great for both the customers and the businesses, Fraser said. “It helps the customer get their problem
solved quickly. For businesses, it decreases the chances that the person is going to take to social media
and rant about their bad experience, which is something they don’t want to happen.”
Fraser had the idea for the company in 2013 after he had to wait for nearly half an hour, unattended,
at a sunglass store, before leaving in anger. “There had to be a way for me to let that manager know
about how bad my experience was there,” he said. Fraser searched for apps to do this, but didn’t
find any good ones. That’s when he thought of a texting service. He approached Keir Pollard, a
developer at the electronic company Fraser had been working at, with the idea. The two began
thinking about how this would work. “We knew it had to be free, simple and instant. The whole
idea is if I have a problem at a restaurant and text the manager, they get my complaint right
away and can do something about it.” After six weeks of development, BamText launched on
Feb. 12, 2014 and had its first client within two weeks. Since then, BamText has partnered
up with companies like A&W, Circle K, Pita Pit, as well as many small, local businesses
across Canada and the United States. They’ve increased their yearly users from 30,000
in their first year, to 110,000 in their second, to 280,000 in their third, and are projecting
to have roughly 700,000 by the end of 2017. Fraser said he’s surprised by the company’s
rapid success. “We’re only six people who work at BamText, and over the past three years
roughly 500,000 people have used our system. It’s incredible.” Along with the customer
feedback service, BamText also offers a text-voting product at food events, where people
attending can vote for their favourite dish. BamText also introduced a service last year that
allows golfers on the course to text their food and drink orders to the manager, and have it
delivered it to them. Looking ahead, Fraser wants to have one million people using BamText
by 2018, a goal he knows won’t be easy. “It’s a big number. We’d have to nearly double the
number of users BamText had last year, but if things keep going like this, I’m confident
we’ll be able to hit it by 2018.”
The City of Summerside has partnered with international tech giant Samsung to test a
massive solar energy battery.
Summerside Mayor Bill Martin shakes hands with Steve Cho, president of Samsung Renewable Energy, during an announcement
at Credit Union Place Thursday.
The pilot programs’ proponents are touting it as a first in Canada.
Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. and city made the announcement Thursday. The project will coincide
with a solar energy project the city had previously announced for Credit Union Place (CUP) in an effort to
shrink the facility’s massive electrical bill. The city pays more than $380,000 annually to power the facility
and the battery and solar panels are expected to save the CUP a little more than $100,000 annually.
Thursday’s announcement was the culmination of a lot of hard work by a string of people from P.E.I.
to Korea, where Samsung is based, said Summerside Mayor Bill Martin. “This was a year in the
making … our agreement for this project is 510 pages long, for Phase I. So it took a lot of work,
a lot of back and forth. So I would say (I’m) a combination of extremely excited, proud and relieved,”
Other Samsung Renewable Energy Inc. projects going on in Canada
Martin also said that this is phase one in what could be a three-part project with Samsung. It all
depends on how this initial pilot project goes, but the two parties have signed a memorandum of
understanding regarding all three phases. Phase one involves constructing a shipping container-sized
battery and integrating it into CUP’s electric system. The battery will be fed power from 1,300
solar panels the city plans to build on a portion of the facility’s current parking lot. The battery
will store excess energy and pump it into the building during peak use hours. To accommodate
the build, one of the outdoor beach volleyball courts will be moved. The city does not expect to lose
any parking spaces as a result of the solar panels. Phase 2, if it happens, will include the construction
of a new solar/wind farm. This phase would bump the percentage of electricity the city gets from
renewable sources from 46 per cent to 70 per cent. Phase three would include investment in more electric
pilot projects, such as infrastructure for electric vehicles and a smart grid system. Martin said he expects
Phase 1 to be completed sometime this fall. The Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency is providing $1.5 million
to the battery project, as is the city, for a total of $3 million in public funding. Steve Cho,
president of Samsung Renewable Energy Inc., said Thursday that his company has been welcomed
graciously into Summerside and they are looking forward to getting to work. “Summerside has the
great potential to evolve into the best smart grid community in Canada,” said Cho.
“We believe that Summerside is the right place to adopt more emerging technology and build energy infrastructure
on the community scale. “Today’s announcement is the first step towards achieving this great vision … and
we are very excited to enter into the more refined design stage of the project.”