New and emerging businesses receive Innovation PEI grants

New and emerging businesses receive Innovation PEI grants

May 24, 2016
For immediate release

Department of Economic Development and Tourism

Island companies will receive a total of $680,000 in grants from two provincial funds aimed at helping them take their products from concept to market.

“Government continues to focus on increasing exports, creating jobs, and growing our economy — and the best way to do this is by investing in Islanders,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald said. “These funds provided through Innovation PEI support our Throne Speech commitment to provide seed capital for start-up ventures, so that our Island entrepreneurs have the early support they need to turn their dreams into reality.”

This year Innovation PEI will support 14 businesses from across Prince Edward Island through these two funds. Eight companies will receive grants from the Pilot and Discovery Fund (22 applications were received) – which supports projects in their earliest stages. Six companies will receive grants from the Development and Commercialization Fund (20 applications were received), which is intended for projects that have moved beyond the pilot phase and are ready for full commercial production.

More than 100 projects have been supported through these two funds since they were created in 2008. By encouraging entrepreneurship, the programs help develop possibilities for new and emerging business sectors, which will provide the economic growth needed to create sustained prosperity for more Prince Edward Island families.

“Airbly is thrilled to have been successful in its application to the Development and Commercialization Fund,” said Chris VanHorn, president of Airbly Inc., an aircraft technology company. “This funding will allow us to grow our team and shorten our time to market.”

Providing funding support to entrepreneurs and small businesses furthers government’s commitment to increasing exports and economic growth. Prince Edward Island led Canada in the growth of international exports in 2014 and 2015 and is forecast to do the same in 2016 by Export Development Canada.

Information on the Pilot and Discovery Fund can be found at <ahref=”http:”” pdfund”=””> For information on the Development and Commercialization Fund, please visit


The eight successful applicants to Innovation PEI’s Pilot and Discovery Fund are:

• Mighty Pebble Games

– Mighty Pebble Games is an independent video game studio located in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, which focuses on creating multiplayer games built around new innovative gameplay ideas. It will work on strengthening the development of the studio’s first game, Miner Meltdown, scheduled for release early 2017.

• Nautilus Biosciences Canada Inc.

– Nautilus Biosciences Canada Inc. aims to discover and develop bioactive agents from its in-house marine microbial library. Its discovery efforts are closely aligned with the needs of industry partners who are leaders in the pharmaceutical and personal care industries, and will work on the development of a novel platform for production of anti-inflammatory terpenes.

• Allan Equipment Manufacturing Ltd.

– Allan Equipment Manufacturing Ltd. is a PEI owned and operated designer and manufacturer of potato harvesting equipment, which has been serving the needs of its farm community by manufacturing a large variety of quality equipment for over 50 years. It will use its experience to develop and implement a cleaning module for potato harvesting equipment.

• Dr. Mark Fast – UPEI/AVC Pathology and Microbiology

– Under the direction of Dr. Mark Fast, Elanco researcher and associate professor at the Atlantic Veterinary College of UPEI, this project will develop a functional and diagnostic assay for assessing fish health and vaccine/treatment efficacy.

• Funky Finger Productions

– Funky Finger Productions is an independent development studio specializing in cutting edge applications and video games for iOS and Android devices. The company specializes in creating high quality applications for the industrial, educational, and entertainment sectors, such as its Pulse project; this two part project involves the development of the Pulse Engine, a proprietary biometric technology for Apple Watch and iOS developers as well as Adrenaline, a mobile gaming application designed to showcase the potential of the Pulse Engine.

• Gradpeek Inc.

– Gradpeek Inc. is developing an online HR ecruitment/screening tool designed to bring recent graduates (millennials) together with employers. The goal of the system is to reduce recruitment cycles and improve company/candidate fit. The platform will allow employers to target their audience by region, field of study, experience and work disposition. The next phase of developing this product will test and validate the Strength Survey tool.

• Skip the Waiting Room Inc.

– Skip the Waiting Room Inc. specializes in healthcare technology, offering full-featured walk in clinic management tools, provides clinic providers and clients with up-to-the-minute information about clinic capacity and online registration. Further to the success with its existing client base, Skip the Waiting Room will implement design changes to enable expansion to other provinces in Canada.

• R&M Welding Ltd.

– R & M Welding Ltd. specializes in manufacturing and repair services for the fishing and aquaculture industry, and is recognized as a successful rural enterprise by focusing on the needs of the aquaculture industry in Prince Edward Island and the Maritime region. It has identified a need for new technology to reduce labour costs and improve efficiency for ‘off-bottom’ oyster production.

The six successful applicants to Innovation PEI’s Development and Commercialization Fund are:

• Centre for Aquaculture Technologies Canada

– Center for Aquaculture Technologies Canada operates as a contract research organization primarily focused on aquaculture and more specifically focused on providing services in diagnostics and molecular biology, breeding and genetics, as well as contract research services including fish health and nutrition. Dr. Debbie Plouffe and her team will develop and validate challenge models for important fish pathogens in recirculation.

• BamText Corp.

– BamText Corp. is an information and communications technology start-up specializing in text messaging technology for mass communication and anonymous customer feedback. Built in response to the growing popularity of customer review websites, BamText enables customers to use their mobile devices as anonymous, instant comment cards and allows business owners and managers to provide immediate response. The BamText Scalability and Enterprise Software Project will grow product offerings and meet enterprise client demands.

• WorkLinks Inc.

– WorkLinks was launched as a first-class payroll processing solution for businesses with Canadian employees. Its payroll solution has the ability to handle statutory requirements in all 13 provinces and territories and is highly customizable to meet clients’ needs, with hosted workforce management products to help small and medium sized businesses streamline their entire pay process. The development and implementation of an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) component will provide “end-to-end” payroll solutions for its clients.

• Island Water Technologies Inc.

– Island Water Technologies Inc. is a PEI based wastewater technology company specializing in developing self-powered, self-operating treatment solutions. As part of their unique solution they have developed a bio-computer technology platform that allows for real-time communication with the active biology in a wastewater treatment system.

• King Ding Productions

– King Ding Productions principal, Alexandre Hanley, has expertise in food safety and the development, training, and implementation of food safety programs to clients around the world. He will use his expertise to develop a virtual library to catalogue best practices to help increase food safety.

• Airbly Inc.

– Airbly Inc. is a technology company with an aim to simplify aircraft ownership and make flying safer. With its innovative hardware product, the Canairy™ Cockpit Monitor, Airbly will improve the management of aircraft in the aerospace sector.


Media Contact: Brad Chatfield

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