News at the University of New Brunswick

UNB’s Energia Ventures continues to offer entrepreneurs support with help from ACOA

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Jul 13, 2021

Category: UNB Fredericton

The Government of Canada, through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency’s Regional Economic Growth Innovation program, has provided a non-repayable contribution of $655,500 to the University of New Brunswick to support the development of start-ups via the Energia Ventures accelerator program. 

Energia Ventures, the accelerator for energy, cleantech, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence companies, continues to offer entrepreneurs support, guidance and mentorship to take their business to the next level.

On July 13, six company cohorts completed the 2020-2021 program and demonstrate their products as part of Energia Ventures’ Virtual Demonstration Day. Jenica Atwin, Member of Parliament for Fredericton, joined UNB officials for the virtual event.

“I am delighted to congratulate more than 40 entrepreneurs from around the world on successfully completing this program,” said MP Atwin. “This investment builds on the Government of Canada’s commitment to support growing, innovative businesses with global reach, help strengthen regional economies, and create good jobs for all Canadians.”

MP Atwin spoke on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for ACOA.

2020- 2021 graduating company cohorts include:

  • SWTCH (Toronto) – SWTCH provides end-to-end electric vehicle charging and energy-management solutions. Its platform streamlines the charging experience for drivers while optimizing usage and revenue for owners of buildings.
  • Drinkable (Halifax) – Drinkable aims to improve access to water testing by developing a nano-material-based sensor system. It also helps users more fully understand various aspects of water quality and treatment.
  • PLAEX Building Systems (Fredericton) – Plaex converts difficult-to-recycle plastic waste into durable, interlocking bricks that can be used in low-rise construction. Structures made from these bricks can withstand storms, floods, earthquakes and insects and reduce electricity usage.
  • Picketa Systems (Fredericton) – Picketa is developing a handheld scanning device that allows farmers to quickly analyze plants and soil to assess their health and maximize profits. It aims to reduce the uncertainty of farming.
  • MADA Analytics (Jerusalem, Israel) - MADA Analytics reduces the uncertainty of cash flows in renewable energy projects caused by weather and other factors. The system analyzes the costs and benefits and improving returns of integrated performance guarantees and/or energy storage solutions.
  • Smart Helio (Ecublens, Switzerland) – Smart Helio develops a deep-data analytics and decision-making tool for solar energy projects. It aims for continuous improvement in asset performance and financials and business insights.

Operated by UNB’s J Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (TME), Energia Ventures is a three-month intensive accelerator for entrepreneurs with an innovative business in the energy, smart grid, artificial intelligence, cleantech and cybersecurity sectors. During their time in the program groups are provided funding, networking opportunities, and programming to assist in many critical areas of business development. 

“We’re fortunate enough to work along some great people, who happen to be entrepreneurs working on cutting-edge companies. It is so exciting to be a part of it all,” says Joe Allen, managing director of accelerator programs at TME. “You have to be brave in order to embark on the path of entrepreneurship, but to watch these business owners step up and excel is very impressive. 

The 12-week program is free for those who take part as part of UNB’s commitment to further education and developing more innovative and flexible learning opportunities. Priority is given to Atlantic Canadian companies, however the program also recruits internationally to bring global awareness to Fredericton and Atlantic Canada, and attract new students and researchers to the region. 

“Thanks to ACOA for seeing the importance of the work, which gives us the chance to help develop and support the growth of amazing technologies,” adds Allen. “We love what we do and can’t wait to see the successes of all cohorts in the future.”

Media contacts:

Kristen Cook, Communications Officer, UNB:
Ann Kenney, Communications ACOA NB:

Photo credit: Unsplash