News release

Funding for Cutting-Edge Startups, Biomedical Technologies

Economic Development

The Province is helping more new companies turn their innovative ideas into working prototypes.

Economic Development Minister Susan Corkum-Greek announced $650,000 for Dalhousie University’s Emera ideaHUB today, May 7. The funds will enable Dalhousie to add a spring cohort to its ideaBUILD program, doubling the number of advanced technology startups for the next three years.

Half of the new enrolments will be focused on technologies to advance product development for biomedical engineering.

“Our partnerships with post-secondary institutions and industry are about building a stronger, more diverse and sustainable economy for Nova Scotia,” said Minister Corkum-Greek. “By investing in high-tech solutions and the biomedical sector, we are promoting innovation and job growth across the province while supporting a focus on improvements to healthcare delivery.”

The ideaBUILD program is a rigorous, 10-month program that helps founders take their physical product idea from design to prototype and prepare for manufacturing and scale. It includes workshops and one-on-one sessions focused on designing and building hardware and on business fundamentals for startups.

The program provides up to $10,000 to founders to purchase materials and services to build their prototypes.


“Dalhousie’s continued partnership with the Province enables the Emera ideaHUB to help de-risk biomedical startups and prepare them to move into the broader health and life sciences ecosystem. The ideaBuild program will now support dedicated cohorts of medical-device startups and leverage expertise, equipment and custom, immersive workshops by experienced biomedical device founders. This will add value to the strong work to grow the health and life sciences ecosystem in the region by Life Sciences Nova Scotia, Invest Nova Scotia and Nova Scotia Health.”
Jeff Larsen, Assistant Vice-President, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Dalhousie University

“We’ve been participating in the Emera IdeaHUB's IdeaBUILD program for several months, and we have been so grateful for opportunity. The workshops, the team and having access to tools have allowed us to accelerate our revolution, connect with our community and ensure we're approaching this venture scale-up well informed. The additional funding makes me hopeful for the future. There are brilliant people with brilliant ideas to make our country and planet a better place to live and knowing that they will have the support of the incredible team and facilities at IdeaHUB makes me even more confident about the future.”
Rashmi Prakash, co-founder and CEO, Aruna Revolution

Quick Facts:

  • the ideaBUILD program will accept up to 20 startups each year – 10 each in the spring and fall
  • ideaHUB opened in 2018 to enable startup founders to advance products and technologies that could have a global impact
  • ideaHUB has supported 148 startups, with 85 per cent continuing after their first year

Additional Resources:

Emera ideaHUB: