Every year cleaning up heavy metals from the industrial contamination of water costs businesses upwards of $700 million. NB-BioMatrix, a New Brunswick based cleantech company is hoping to change that with the launch of their first product, a biodegradable, anti-bacterial liquid that can remove heavy metals and other pollutants from waste water.
The Saint John company founded by CEO Jeff Jennings and Chief Science Officer Keith Brunt began with an idea to build a sustainable company using Keith’s background in nanotechnology to solve major health issues. As heavy metals are dangerous to human health when they accumulate in the body and current filtration systems are costly and challenging their remediation product was a perfect fit.
After the company was incorporated and key strategies were outlined they sought out financial backing to get through the research and development phase of their business. In the fall of 2014 they applied to the BioInnovation Challenge hoping to win a prize package that included $15,000 in seed funding and an advisory services package worth more than $30,000 to give them the boost they needed to advance their business.
As part of the process they were immersed in pitch training to prepare them for the panel of judges that they would face in the competition and the future investors that they would meet. They invented, they pitched, and they conquered as their nano-technology liquid filter was deemed the most attractive for investment by a panel of judges dubbed The Commercialization Council and the conference audience.
Through the competition they were able to use the funding to hire co-op students and kick their productivity into high gear. They also leveraged their new achievement to boost credibility with other investors, partners and the entrepreneurial community. In early 2015 NB-BioMatrix was also a finalist in the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation’s ‘BreakThru’ competition. Today they have hired staff in critical positions and are looking for their first office and manufacturing locations to commercialize their product.