Investing in Start-Ups

The Invest Nova Scotia Fund is helping more start-up companies scale their operations and raise money through a program based out of Dalhousie University.

On Friday, the fund’s independent board of directors announced that Creative Destruction Lab Atlantic will receive $1.25 million to expand its acceleration program for new technology companies in the Atlantic region.

“As a province and a region, we need to work together to drive innovation and create more high-growth companies,” said Invest Nova Scotia, vice-chair, Colette O’Hara. “With this funding, Creative Destruction Lab Atlantic can accept more startups, help more founders and play an even bigger role in strengthening our innovation ecosystem.”
Creative Destruction Lab is a milestone-based coaching and financing program for new technology companies. The program has been operating in Ontario for more than five years and expanded to Atlantic Canada in 2017 as a joint-partnership between the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and the Rowe School of Business at Dalhousie.

Participating companies receive coaching, advice and mentorship from seasoned business leaders plus connections to potential investors. Participants can also lean on graduate students at Dalhousie for research support.

More than 50 companies have already benefited from the program, accelerating their growth and raising a combined $10 million in new venture capital.

Harbr, a Halifax-based startup that is revolutionizing the construction industry through its real-time project management platform for retail construction, graduated from the program last spring. During the nine-month-long program, Harbr raised $1.75 million in new funding, added customers, improved their product features and hired seven new staff, bringing their 12-member team to gender parity.

“Participating in Creative Destruction Lab gave our company the boost we needed to improve our technology and attract more investment,” said Ashley Kielbratowski, co-founder of Harbr. “It is great to see Creative Destruction Lab growing in our region.”
Creative Destruction Lab Atlantic will use Invest Nova Scotia’s funding to work with 125 startups over the next five years. They will also place more emphasis on helping companies in our ocean and clean technology sectors reach key milestones and raise capital.

“We thank Invest Nova Scotia for this generous contribution,” said Ms. Alice Aiken, vice president of research and innovation at Dalhousie on behalf of Creative Destruction Lab Atlantic. “This investment will help us continue leveraging our unique strengths to support more companies and show the world what we have to offer.”

Invest Nova Scotia was established in 2014 as an independent fund for granting economic incentives. Projects must spark innovation, be measurable and sustainable, benefit whole regions or sectors of our economy and advance the strategic goals of the ONE Nova Scotia Coalition.

For more information visit: Invest Nova Scotia and Creative Destruction Lab.