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Contact lens technology startup Coloursmith Labs has raised $600,000 in seed funding and announced the first two members of its board of directors.
Founded in 2018 by Dalhousie University researcher Gabrielle Masone, the Halifax-based company is developing technology that aims to allow contact lenses to filter certain types of light before it reaches the eyes.
The two board members are Wade Dawe and Rhiannon Davies. Dawe is the president of Brigus Capital, and Davies is a former vice-president and board member of Dutch optometry retailer GrandVision,
“Wade’s dedication to the company all this time has been nothing short of perfect,” said Masone in an interview. “And Rhiannon has a real finger on the pulse of the contact lens industry, and the eyewear industry in general.”
Masone, who Dawe describes as a “true innovator”, met both board members while completing Creative Destruction Labs’ accelerator program in the past year.
Coloursmith’s product works by using “optical filters” to control which types of light pass through contact lenses. This determines what wavelengths the wearer sees.
The technology aims to help reduce the effects of colour blindness and guard against the negative health effects of excessive blue light exposure. Blue light is the light given off by computer monitors, for example.
About one out of every 12 men and one in 200 women with Northern European ancestry suffers from colour blindness, according to the United States government’s National Eye Institute.
The science on whether or not blue light from digital devices harms the eye is not settled yet, according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology. But Harvard Health warns that it does cause sleep disruptions, and may contribute to obesity and other diseases.
Coloursmith is also considering other applications for the optical filters, including treating migraines and light sensitivity.
The company previously raised $200,000 from startup pitch competitions, such as Innovacorp’s Spark Innovation Challenge and the Volta Cohort Competition, as well as other programs that support early stage businesses.
Masone used the money to build a prototype and file patent applications in all major, global markets for contact lenses.
The latest $600,000 has been provided by investors that include St. John’s-based Killick Capital, PEI’s Island Capital Partners and Dawe’s Brigus Capital.
Halifax, NS – November 8, 2018 – Today Picomole from Moncton, New Brunswick was named the winner of BioNova’s eighth annual BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) business pitch competition at BioPort 2018. Picomole is an innovative medical technology company with the goal of developing their patented and patent-pending technologies for breath analytics into the standard of care for non-invasive clinical diagnostics and personalized medicine.
Stephen Graham of Picomole said, “This experience has been invaluable. The mentorship and training we’ve received through this process has helped take Picomole to the next level, and we know the funding and the advisory services will help to elevate us even more.”
Atlantic Canada’s best health and life science innovators participate in the BioInnovation Challenge (BIC) business pitch competition each year. The competition’s goal is to help ease the transition from research laboratory to market. Picomole will receive a prize package that includes $25,000 in seed funding and an advisory services package worth more than $30,000. Picomole was up against Matthew Kay, CEO ofTalem Health Analytics and Gabrielle Masone, CEO of Coloursmith Labs.
“Our panel of judges had a difficult time selecting a winner because all seven finalists have what it takes to make their start up a success,” said Scott Moffitt, Executive Director of BioNova. “Congratulations to Picomole.”
The Judging Panel:
Jennifer Hamilton, Senior Director, New Ventures (Canada), Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Gerry Lacroix, Technology Sector Leader – Nova Scotia, Grant Thornton LLP
John Holyoake, Managing Director, Investment Banking, Bloom Burton & Co.
Shana Cristoferi, Marketing Manager, BioNova
Mobile: (902) 830-9193
BioNova leads, accelerates, and advocates for Nova Scotia’s growing health and life sciences sector. Since 1993, BioNova has been accelerating the growth of its member companies. By hosting networking and educational events, and providing connections to potential funders and business resources, BioNova helps companies succeed. While these companies commercialize life-changing research to improve healthcare, provide healthier food, and develop sustainable solutions, BioNova advocates on behalf of the sector. BioNova champions the sector’s cluster of world-class research facilities, incubator programs, and companies who, together, bring investment and jobs to Nova Scotia. www.bionova.ca
About BioPort 2018
The 17th annual BioPort conference will take place at the Halifax Convention Centre on November 7-8, 2018. BioPort provides a forum to educate, inform and inspire the health and life sciences community to develop their ideas, commercialize their technologies and build links within the region and with guests brought in from the U.S. and from around the world. www.bioportatlantic.ca]]>