Nova Scotia organized a contest for startup companies around the world interested in clean technology. The Canadian province offered more than three hundred thousand dollars in services and funding through Innovacorp.
According to Thomas Rankin, investment organizer and manager for Innovacorp’s Nova Scotia CleanTech Open, “it was a bit of a long shot and a bit of an experiment, but one that was based on the thesis that this is a really great place to build a company.”
A panel composed of five distinguished judges, including Danielle Fong, Patrick Keefe, Matthew Nordan, Daniel Marchand, and Rankin himself, evaluated applicants to the competition. Danielle Fong is a prodigy, entered college at age 12 and started her PhD at Princeton when she was only 17 years old. She is a Nova Scotia native and chief scientist and co-founder of LightSail Energy, a company based in California.
Sixty-five startups initially responded to this contest, and with participants from major countries around the world, the winner came from local Nova Scotia; a company called SABRTech Inc. owned by Mather Carscallen. This company aims to make a sustainable biofuel source from algae.
Carscallen said that, “despite the smell and its unappealing look, it is a beautiful little organism that provides a vast majority of the ecosystems on this planet with an energy source.” He adds that their dream is to “use that same energy source to fuel our cars and our trucks.. [and] to fuel every single plane across the globe.”