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Annual Report

Leading in entrepreneurship

At the University of New Brunswick, we believe that entrepreneurship is more than just running a business. It is a path to creating opportunity for yourself and for others. It’s about innovating, about growing the economy, about making a difference in society around you.

At UNB, we’ve been teaching and promoting entrepreneurship for decades. It’s that track record, and our mounting successes, that led Startup Canada to declare us the most entrepreneurial university in the nation in 2014. We’re not looking over our shoulders – we’re blazing ahead.

For us, promoting entrepreneurship means so much more than educating from the lectern. Through our entrepreneurial philosophy, we encourage the people of our university, across all disciplines, to become leaders in opportunity and innovation.

We offer a variety of programs with a concentrated focus on entrepreneurship. We have a number of centres and institutes devoted to it. But we push farther – our goal is to propel ideas into action and turn concepts into companies.

Attracting investment

David Shipley

Indeed, in the last two years alone, UNB has incubated 55 startups.

Beauceron Security Inc. is one.

In June, 2017, the fledgling cybersecurity startup announced it had attracted $500,000 in equity investments from public and private partners.

Beauceron began less than two years earlier when UNB IT staffer David Shipley, along with colleagues Benjamin Steeves and Sean McDougall, began to think about new approaches to measuring, managing and monitoring cyber risk. Together with co-founders Bob Corson and Ian MacMillan, they began building their innovative, web-based cyber risk technology. The firm attracted plenty of attention.

New accelerator launched

By the time it had announced the early equity investments, Beauceron had attracted more than 10 clients in higher education, information technology, manufacturing and government in Canada and the United States. Clients include the Schulich School of Business at York University, Bulletproof Solutions, Gaming Labs International and the City of Fredericton.

For the success, Mr. Shipley credits Energia Ventures, a new accelerator launched in December, 2016, by the J. Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management & Entrepreneurship within the faculty of engineering at UNB. Energia’s focus is on developing startups in the energy, clean tech, smart grid and cybersecurity sectors.

Another startup accepted alongside Beauceron into the first cohort of the Energia accelerator is Stash Energy. It has developed a system that works with conventional heat pumps to store energy, which avoids purchasing expensive power during peak times. The Fredericton firm is piloting its innovative system in Summerside, PEI.

Access to U.S. market

Jordan Kennie

Stash’s CEO is Jordan Kennie, a UNB electrical engineering alumnus who has benefitted from a number of our entrepreneurship programs – both a diploma and a master’s of engineering in technology management and entrepreneurship, the Summer Institute and now Energia.

In September, 2017, he was named Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Atlantic Canada by Startup Canada.

Through negotiations with the Canadian Consulate in Denver, Energia has also inked an agreement with the federally funded Canadian Technology Accelerator, which assists high-growth, high-potential startups raise capital, propel research and development and access U.S. markets.

Dhirendra Shukla

“At Energia Ventures, we’re on a mission to attract and support early-stage startups that are at the frontier of some incredibly exciting and promising sectors,” says Dhirendra Shukla, chair of the J. Herbert Smith Centre and a professor of engineering at UNB.

“This is a very dynamic space and we’re thrilled to be underway, propelling some very clever ideas and talented pioneers forward.”