Upfront

Winning women
Six Atlantic Canadians among country's top female entrepreneurs

This year's PROFIT and Chatelaine joint publication of the W100 list of Canada's Top Female Entrepreneurs includes four Nova Scotia and two New Brunswick residents. The W100 ranking and awards program celebrates the largest firms owned and operated by women in Canada.

"The women of the W100 offer 100 shining examples of Canadian entrepreneurship," said PROFIT magazine publisher and editor-in-chief Ian Portsmouth in a published statement. "They have achieved their elite status by creating valued products and services, applying deft management skills and exercising the determination required to succeed in today's business environment."

About the rankings: The W100 were ranked by a composite of the size, growth rate and profitability of their businesses. All growth rates were based on a base-year revenue of at least $200,000, and PROFIT verified figures through financial statements. To qualify, women must be owners or significant stakeholders who at least share chief decision-making responsibilities.

Atlantic Canada W100 winners

#31 Tamara Barker Watson CEO Whitestone Developments Ltd. Builds and renovates energy-efficient homes Halifax, N.S. 3-year revenue growth: 38 per cent Revenue from exports: 0 per cent Revenue: $5-10 million Employees: 56

#64 Lilia Fraser Secretary/Treasurer Pump House Brewery Ltd. Restaurant and brewery operator Moncton, N.B. 3-year revenue growth: 25 per cent Revenue from exports: 0 per cent Revenue: $5-10 million Employees: 46

#42 Laura Araneda President Vic Progressive Diamond Drilling Inc. Drilling services for mining companies and utilities Sussex, N.B. 3-year revenue growth: 9 per cent Revenue from exports: 3 per cent Revenue: $5-10 million Employees: 101

#75 Tammy Mackay CEO Moulding Warehouse Ltd. Manufactures decorative moulding for homes and offices Hammonds Plains, N.S. 3-year revenue growth: 34 per cent Revenue from exports: 5 per cent Revenue: $2-5 million Employees: 11

#48 Georgia Lloyd President Always Home Homecare Services Ltd. Homecare services Dartmouth, N.S. 3-year revenue growth: 227 per cent Revenue from exports: 0 per cent Revenue: $2-5 million Employees: 102

#100 Shelley Fleckenstein Clinic Manager Kings Physiotherapy Clinic Ltd. (CBI Health Group) Provides physiotherapy and other health-care services New Minas, N.S. 3-year revenue growth: 2 per cent Revenue from exports: 0 per cent Revenue: $2-5 million Employees: 22



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Showing their medal
Halifax's lead development agency wins international recognition

The Greater Halifax Partnership's Connector Program has been awarded two international honours from the International Economic Development Council, the world's largest professional organization for economic development practitioners.

The Connector Program links immigrants, international students and young and emerging talent with local businesses. To date, 120 participants have secured jobs through the program; it has been so successful, in fact, that 10 other cities in Canada have replicated the program.

In addition to the Connector Program honours, the Partnership received an additional four marketing awards: the Halifax Needs campaign and the refreshed Partnership website each won gold, while the Partnership's online report card and new media efforts both received silver awards. The six-award total was the most received by any organization this year.

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Sign of faith
N.L. technology firm blessed with $300,000 investment

Two Memorial University researchers have been touched by an angel — the Newfoundland and Labrador Angel Network, to be exact. The NLAN is supporting Garnett Wilson and Wolfgang Banzhaf, founders of Afinin Labs, with a $300,000 investment in the development and commercialization of their stock price prediction software, Zenquant®.

Zenquant® sends equities traders information on market trends that they might not have noticed. Afinin operates servers that collect minute-by-minute stock price data and volume, then it analyzes the prices of individual stocks to produce predictions of price trends. Customers use Afinin's client software for Blackberry, iPhone and Android devices, as well as Windows and Mac desktop computers, to receive Afinin's predictive signals for any stock that they choose. Zenquant® is used by equities traders at National Bank Financial.

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JUMPING for joy
Fundraising campaign ends ahead of schedule and over target

The largest fundraising campaign in Mount Allison University's history has ended, two years early and $10 million past its initial target.

The three main priorities of the JUMP campaign were to invest in people, in spaces and in stewardship. Of the $96 million raised, more than $30 million is being added to the University's endowment funds. More than $13 million of that was directed to supporting students in the form of scholarships, bursaries and awards. At $122 million, Mount Allison has the second-largest university endowment per capita in Canada.

JUMP also provided funding for significant infrastructure projects, such as the Wallace McCain Student Centre, the Ron Joyce Centre for Business Studies, the Harold Crabtree Aqualab: Centre for Aquatic Sciences and the new Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts.

According to Mount Allison president and vice-chancellor Dr. Robert Campbell, the campus has been transformed by the funding received and will benefit students for generations to come.

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Mighty TitanFile
Tech innovator secures $1.1 million in financing

Innovacorp, members of the First Angel Network and other unnamed participants have collectively contributed more than a million dollars to help Halifax-based TitanFile bring its product to market.

TitanFile creates better ways for people to communicate and collaborate online without having to worry about security and privacy. It works on multiple devices, including personal computers and tablets. TitanFile clients don't need to install special plugins, configure computers, or add custom hardware. It has been selected by the two largest law Atlantic Canada law firms, McInnes Cooper and Stewart McKelvey, as a secure communications solution with their clients.

TitanFile was recently named one of the Top 25 Canadian Up and Coming ICT companies, won second in the National Alpha Innovation competition and was a finalist for the Manning Innovation Award.

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Zipping right along
Scenic fishing village gets modern tourist attraction

Five years, more than $750 million and the unique perspective of an adventure-loving helicopter pilot. That's what it took for Petty Harbour, N.L. to come into its own as a tourist destination.

Though the historic fishing community, just minutes from the capital city of St. John's, has long been admired for its scenic coastline and expansive ocean vistas, the diminutive town has historically been more of a tourist drive-through than a destination. That changed this year with the opening of North Atlantic Zip Lines.

Company founder and Cougar helicopter pilot Rob Carter says he is a long-time zip lining fan who has experienced the sport in a number of different locales around the world. "It's a great family activity for anyone from age eight and up."

Carter had wanted to open his own business for some time, and a fly-by over Petty Harbour showed that the topography in and around the town presented the ideal location for a zip line. Following a significant personal investment of time and money, aided by a $100,000 investment from the provincial government's Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise Fund, Carter was in business.

The initial response from clients has been overwhelming, says Carter. So much so that he is confident North Atlantic Zip Lines will be a successful year-round operation. "I anticipate hosting various themed events throughout the year, such as a haunted course for Halloween and combination snowshoeing/zip lining expeditions in the winter."