Startup TNT names finalists for three investment summits

Startup TNT names finalists for three investment summits

· The Pulse

Nanostics and Annelida Organics will be the only Edmonton-area companies pitching for investment at Startup TNT's three sector summits on March 23.

Annelida Organics, a Stony Plain-based startup that uses worms to generate fertilizer from municipal waste, is in the top five for the Agtech Investment Summit, the finale of which will take place in Regina.

In his top 20 pitch in February, CEO Mike Launer said Annelida diverts more than 100,000 pounds of green waste from the landfill every week and feeds it to 80 million red wiggler worms.

"For every pound of food we feed these worms, they generate three-quarters of a pound of castings — worm poop — essentially nature's best plant food," he said.

Annelida generates worm castings in Stony Plain and at the Edmonton International Airport; it also has a soil blending and packing facility in Nisku and a worm-breeding facility in St. Albert. Sales generated $1.65 million in 2022 and are expected to more than double this year, Launer said in his pitch.

Nanostics, which uses machine learning to analyze biomarkers and other data to generate a risk score indicating the probability of disease, made the top five for the Life Sciences Investment Summit, the finale of which will be in Calgary.

The company's current product, ClarityDX Prostate, is three times more accurate than the prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test, chief commercialization officer Colin Coros said in his top 20 pitch. The commonly used prostate-specific antigen (PSA) test has a high rate of false positives, he said.

Nanostics would like to get its test to follow a positive result in PSA screening, and only proceed to a biopsy if ClarityDX indicates a high risk. "Once adopted, this will reduce the number of biopsies, save healthcare costs, and save lives," he said.

The plan is to launch ClarityDX through DynaLIFE and an American lab called Protean this year, then license it to other major labs in the future. Nanostics has $470,000 left to raise in its current $2-million round.

The Cleantech Investment Summit, whose finale will take place in Edmonton, will feature four companies from Calgary — Innervision Borehole, Innova Hydrogen, Litus, and MissionNet — as well as Kynetic Energy from Manitoba.

Photo: Annelida Organics CEO Mike Launer is part of the Alberta Innovates delegation to SXSW in Austin. (Facebook)