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Empowering entrepreneurship

Three technology companies graduate from Genesis Centre

Campus and Community

By Jeff Green

A trio of emerging technology startups, already making waves in the international business community, graduated today from the Genesis Centre, Memorial’s award-winning business incubator.

Whitecap Scientific CorporationSeamatica Aerospace and Agile Sensor Technologies were recognized for their rapid growth and innovative products during a ceremony on the St. John’s campus.

Each company has benefitted from the mentorship, marketing and technical resources offered by the Genesis Centre, which accelerates startups through all stages of idea development: from pre-incubation and business model development, to investor readiness.

Succeeding globally

“As the only business incubator in Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial’s Genesis Centre is a key driver of innovation and an essential partner in our province’s economic future,” said President Gary Kachanoski.

“Since 1997, the centre has helped more than 150 startups develop and commercialize their ideas, connecting entrepreneurs with leading business mentors and giving them the opportunities to succeed nationally and internationally with locally relevant and globally significant enterprises. Memorial is proud to play a role in the current success of today’s graduates. I wish each company much success in the future.”

Brian Terry; Dr. Nick Krouglicof; Dr. Sam Bromley; Dr. Richard Charron; and Dr. Siu O’Young
Brian Terry; Dr. Nick Krouglicof; Dr. Sam Bromley; Dr. Richard Charron; and Dr. Siu O’Young
Photo: Chris Hammond

Ideas into business ventures

“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I would like to congratulate today’s graduating companies as they take that next step towards commercialization and building successful companies right here in Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Nick Whalen, member of Parliament, St. John’s East.

“Your experience at the Genesis Centre has provided you with the tools, opportunities, resources, knowledge and guidance needed to turn ideas into successful, prosperous business ventures.”

Proud to support Genesis Centre

“In Newfoundland and Labrador, we have an economy dominated by small business and a need to arm them with the resources required to succeed,” said Christopher Mitchelmore, minister, Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development.

“Through its business support initiatives and entrepreneurship training programs, the Genesis Centre is providing startups with the invaluable know how that increases their rate of success. As a government, we are proud of the commitment we have made to the Genesis Centre and the contributions the centre has made to help entrepreneurs advance their ideas into commercial innovations. Congratulations to today’s graduates. I look forward to hearing more success stories in the future.”

‘More than an incubator’

Whitecap Scientific Corporation has developed the world’s first remotely operated vehicle-3D surveyor – an underwater scanning system using traditional camera technology.

“Whitecap Scientific would not be in the strong position it is now without . . . our time within the Genesis Centre.” — Dr. Sam Bromley

The company was created in 2011 by Memorial alumnus Dr. Sam Bromley and Dr. Richard Charron, a former mathematics and statistics professor in the Faculty of Science.

“The Genesis Centre is more than an incubator,” said Dr. Bromley. “It’s a community of helpful, competent people striving together to help you and your business succeed. It accelerates your exposure to the broader business community, bolsters your morale when times inevitably get tough, fosters business acumen and formalizes the processes behind a growth mindset. Whitecap Scientific would not be in the strong position it is now without the experiences and mentorship gained from our time within the Genesis Centre, surrounded by the greatest assets possible: other entrepreneurs fighting the good fight.”

Ready for next chapter

Seamatica Aerospace designs and operates unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), commonly called drones.

“The Genesis Centre has provided us with a nurturing ‘sandbox’ to allow us to take business risks in a safe environment.” — Dr. Siu O’Young

The company also develops cutting-edge UAV technology, providing the most extensive UAV services in Atlantic Canada. Seamatica is led by its president, Dr. Siu O’Young, a professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

“Seamatica Aerospace clears the airspace for safe UAV operations using its Zeus radar and Apollo ADS-B transceivers,” explained Dr. O’Young. “The Zeus radar can also be used in counter-UAV measures for preventing the use of UAV for terrorist and illegal activities. Our advisory board has given business advice and feedback which guided our growth. The Genesis Centre has provided us with a nurturing ‘sandbox’ to allow us to take business risks in a safe environment. Upon graduation, Seamatica Aerospace is ready to foster further innovation and entrepreneurship in the aerospace sector in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

‘Someone who always has our back’

Agile Sensor Technologies develops robotics technologies for the industrial automation and aerospace and defence markets. Under the direction of its president and CEO, Brian Terry – who is a former employee of the Genesis Group – the company’s roots date back to late 2014, when it was formed to commercialize technologies resulting from an Atlantic Innovation Fund project in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science.

“It’s great to know we have local support and someone who always has our back.” — Brian Terry

Dr. Nick Krouglicof, a former faculty member, was the principal investigator on the project that underpinned the technology and is now Agile’s chief technology officer and vice-president of research and development. Memorial also holds a small equity interest in Agile, and works closely with the company to help facilitate its success.

“Being a client of the Genesis Centre was important in accelerating Agile’s success,” said Mr. Terry. “It helped us keep operating costs low, provided access to first-rate facilities, in-house and external advisors, networking opportunities, and, above all, was an environment with great camaraderie among startups. Since we moved out of the centre in April, we’ve raised additional equity, grown the company to nine employees and are now securing early adopters of our technology. However, despite moving out of our first home, we still rely on the support and guidance from each and every member of the Genesis team. It’s great to know we have local support and someone who always has our back.”

Since its establishment nearly two decades ago, the Genesis Centre has helped more than 150 startups raise more than $90 million in private investments. Genesis Centre alumni are among some of the top companies in Canada, including Rutter Technologies, Verafin, Virtual Marine Technology, and Genoa Design. More about the Genesis Centre and its innovative programming is available online.

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