Homegrown Innovation


It is the aspiring entrepreneurs that push their dreams beyond the limit to create something incredible, and with the help of Innovacorp, entrepreneurs soar past the limit every day.

Innovacorp gives entrepreneurs the means to make their dreams happen through finding, funding, and fostering innovative Nova Scotia start-ups that strive to change the world.

“Innovacorp is an early-stage venture capital firm that supports innovative Nova Scotia start-ups,” shares Holly Chisholm, Program Coordinator with Innovacorp. “Our team is dedicated to serving Cape Breton Island through providing programming and support tailored specifically for the community needs. Our Cape Breton office also runs the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace, which provides space, equipment, materials, and education for the community to design and build innovative products.”

Innovacorp is short for Nova Scotia Innovation Corporation, which was founded back in 1995. Their main focus is on industries in the information technology, clean technology, life sciences, and ocean technology space.

“A success story we are very proud of is Gavin Andrews, CEO of Tracker Inventory Systems. He founded his company in 2018 after winning our very first Intersect Challenge.” The Intersect Challenge promotes the intersection of established businesses and entrepreneurship.

“The first challenge was in partnership with Snow White Laundry who presented the challenge of needing to track linens coming in and out of their laundry facilities. Andrews, who has a background in bio-science and experience in R&D and manufacturing, created the solution. Since then, he has pivoted over the last two years and is now testing a system that tracks seafood processing.”

It is innovative thinkers like Gavin and every other entrepreneur that has worked with Innovacorp that are thankful for the resources Innovacorp offers their start-up.

Last year, the Nova Scotia Power Makerspace had 6,127 hours of machine usage, with roughly 236 members utilizing the space to shape their entrepreneurial dreams into reality.

“It is a community space where anyone can come in and start building a prototype. We at Innovacorp manage the makerspace, giving our community of makers what they need for their next innovation, further advancing Cape Breton’s vibrant start-up community.”

It’s important to remember that when pursuing a new idea it might not come together seamlessly in the beginning.

“Don’t be afraid to fail, setbacks are inevitable. Building a business is hard and you will hit roadblocks, but don’t let that deter you,” shares Holly. “Many of the start-ups that have walked through our doors are success stories and you can be too.”

Do you have an innovative idea you want to see lifted off the ground? Visit innovacorp.ca/sign-up to get added to Innovacorp’s email list to stay up-to-date on programming and events.