News Release Article from  Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency


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SYDNEY (NS) – October 17, 2011 - Local entrepreneurs will take centre stage at showcase events planned for this fall in Atlantic Canada. The annual events bring together business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and government officials in a forum to celebrate business leadership and promote innovation. The Entrepreneurs’ Forum Nova Scotia Showcase will be held tomorrow in Sydney, and presents an opportunity to raise the profile of local entrepreneurs and to recognize the many volunteer advisors who help contribute to their success.

“Our Government is determined to see the economic recovery through, and we will continue to focus on what matters to Canadians – creating jobs and promoting economic growth,” said the Honourable Bernard Valcourt, Minister of State for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and La Francophonie. “Atlantic Canada has a strong tradition of entrepreneurship. This investment will help leverage local business expertise and will help Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs be more innovative and competitive, and create jobs.”

Featured Nova Scotia entrepreneurs include: Ken Upham, owner, K & M General Contracting Ltd. (Truro); Neil Ritchie, BSc., MHSA, CEO, The Patient Safety Company Canada (Halifax); Dr. Krishnat Naikwadi, President and CEO, J & K Scientific Inc. (Edwardsville); Stewart Sommers, owner, WEBDOCS ICM Inc. (North Sydney); and Barrie Fiolek, President, BioEnergy Inc. (Sydney).

The showcase event is part of Entrepreneurs’ Forum Showcase Series presented by RBC, which will take place in each of the Atlantic provinces. All five entrepreneurs in the Nova Scotia Showcase have taken advantage of the Entrepreneurs’ Forum business advisory services.

Entrepreneurs’ Forum services focus on improving the growth and competitiveness of innovative businesses in Atlantic Canada. In 2010-2011 alone, over 200 Entrepreneurs’ Forum volunteer advisors assisted more than 100 clients, contributing nearly 3,000 hours to providing a “real-world” point of view to problems and opportunities that new and existing innovative companies have to face. The advisory services help Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs gain access to experienced local business professionals who provide sound, practical advice on key issues, including the development of strategic management skills, product development, commercialization, increased access to international markets and growth planning. 

“Although I work in a fairly specialized area, Entrepreneurs’ Forum was able to assemble a panel of experts who had experience with my industry and knew my business issues very well,” said Neil Ritchie, CEO, The Patient Safety Company Canada. “I'm already starting to see results in terms of growth in sales, partnerships and confidence in the future.”

“It’s essential that we recognize commitment to entrepreneurship throughout the Atlantic provinces,” said Entrepreneurs’ Forum PresidentDavid McNamara. “Our volunteers and advisors devote many hours to helping talented and determined innovative entrepreneurs succeed. They deserve to be commended for their contribution to furthering entrepreneurship and innovation across Atlantic Canada as do the key funding contributors to EF, which are: ACOA, the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP), Business New Brunswick, Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development, the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Innovation, Trade and Rural Development, and Innovation PEI. RBC Royal Bank is EF’s presenting sponsor this year for the Showcase Series, and Canadian Youth Business Foundation, Manning Atlantic and Deloitte are all also sponsors of Entrepreneurs’ Forum.”

The Government of Canada, through ACOA and NRC-IRAP, is providing a total investment of $320,000 to support the Entrepreneurs’ Forum throughout Atlantic Canada.



An Entrepreneurs’ Forum Showcase presented by RBC will be held on October 18, 2011 in Sydney, Nova Scotia. This annual event brings together local business leaders, entrepreneurs, investors and government officials to celebrate business leadership and promote innovation.

ACOA Minister Bernard Valcourt said the Government of Canada is determined to see the economic recovery through, and will continue to focus on what matters to Canadians – creating jobs and promoting economic growth. He said the federal investment of $320,000 will help Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs tap into local business expertise so that they can become more competitive and create jobs.

Featured Nova Scotia entrepreneurs include: Ken Upham, owner of K & M General Contracting Ltd. (Truro); Neil Ritchie, CEO for The Patient Safety Company Canada (Halifax); Dr. Krishnat Naikwadi, President and CEO of J & K Scientific Inc. (Edwardsville); Stewart Sommers, owner of WEBDOCS ICM Inc. (North Sydney); and Barrie Fiolek, President, BioEnergy Inc. (Sydney).





Andréa Richer
Minister Valcourt’s Office

Rose May Gallant
Senior Communications Officer
ACOA Head Office

Kathleen Rayworth
Entrepreneurs’ Forum
902-229-6167 (cell) 

(This news release is available on ACOA’s website at under Media Room.) 


Following are the five companies that are participating in the Entrepreneurs’ Forum Nova Scotia Showcase:

The Leak-Away System (K & M General Contracting Ltd.): Leak Away Systems are unique and innovative products that can prevent costly, disruptive and unhealthy renovations resulting from undetected water leakages in appliances or heaters. Leak Away was invented by Truro, Nova Scotia businessman Ken Upham, a local contractor and restoration specialist who has built a very reputable and successful business over the past thirty years.

The Patient Safety Company Canada (TPSC Canada): The Halifax, Nova Scotia-based company helps health care institutions apply the latest knowledge and the most advanced technology to create better management systems for health care. The company also supports education and research in patient safety and quality improvement. In 2005, TPSC Canada developed an Incident Management System (IMS) that not only provides feedback, learning effects and comprehensive management information, but is also a great means to stimulate the readiness to report within an organization.

J & K Scientific Inc.: J & K Scientific Inc. was founded in 2005 by Dr. Krishnat Naikwadi and is based in Edwardsville, Nova Scotia. The company is an analytical chemistry instruments manufacturer and laboratory supplier. It recently introduced its Nano Stationary Phase (NSP) technology – a technique for manufacturing highly selective and fast gas chromatography (GC) columns. This breakthrough technology results in a reduction in laboratory operating costs and gas consumption, and a more efficient and cost effective operation.

WEBDOCS ICM Inc.: The company is a leading provider of secure content/document and records management solutions. Based in North Sydney, Nova Scotia, WEBDOCS ICM Inc. provides records management tools and solutions for a number of applications, from regulatory compliance, corporate governance, improved operational efficiency, reduced costs and green initiatives to disaster-recovery and business continuity planning.

BioEnergy Inc.: BioEnergy Inc. (BEI) is an innovative renewable energy company located in Sydney, Nova Scotia. The company has developed a number of commercial Bio-Fiber Mobile Densification Systems (MDS) for the production of wood pellets and briquettes at the source of the biofiber, whether that is in the forest, on the farm, or within Municipal Waste Management facilities. BEI continues to develop proprietary technologies that further process biomass into value-added products.

The Entrepreneurs’ Forum Showcase events are being held in the following locations:

  • Nova ScotiaOctober 18, 2011 – Cape Breton University, Sydney
  • Prince Edward IslandOctober 25, 2011 – Culinary Institute of Canada, Charlottetown
  • New BrunswickNovember 1, 2011 – University of New Brunswick, Saint John
  • Newfoundland and LabradorNovember 16, 2011 – Portobello’s Restaurant, St. John’s

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