Business Innovation Summit in Rural Nova Scotia

About 150 Nova Scotian business and community leaders gathered in Truro on May 7 to attend the Planting Seeds Innovation Summit at Nova Scotia Community College’s (NSCC). On display were examples of business innovation in key sectors like agriculture and food, and attendees celebrated new and better ways of doing things.

One of the businesses serving as an example of a Nova Scotian success story is TruLeaf, a company founded by Haligonian Gregg Curwin who started growing vegetables indoors in 2011. TruLeaf and its spinoff company GoodLeaf were able to develop strategic partnership with McCain, which allowed both businesses to expand further into Atlantic Canada and Ontario while continuing to grow in Bible Hill.

Today, TruLeaf has two high-tech farms in Bible Hill, Colchester Co. and Guelph, Ont. and supplies millions of pounds of fresh produce to grocery stores each year.

Planting seeds in rural Nova Scotia has really worked for us,” said Jeff McKinnon, vice-president and chief financial officer of TruLeaf and GoodLeaf. “Our story, our growth, our sales and our connection to McCain demonstrate what’s possible when you see a problem, identify a solution and relentlessly pursue it.

“It is great to see companies like TruLeaf pushing forward and doing it from Colchester County,” said Brennan Gillis, CEO of the Truro and Colchester Partnership for Economic Prosperity. “We need to keep working together to drive innovation in new and traditional sectors and support the people that are taking risks.”

“By working together, we can build a stronger economic foundation for people to live, work and do business here, for the benefit all Nova Scotians.” – Business Minister Geoff MacLellan

Working with NSCC, Cape Breton University, Cape Breton Partnership, Halifax Partnership, Dalhousie University and others to drive innovation, our government seeks to increase the number of high-growth companies, and to build stronger networks of support for entrepreneurs across the province.

To do this, Nova Scotia is continuing to create the ideal conditions for businesses to start and grow in the province, by reducing the cost of incorporating a new company to the lowest level in the country. Additionally, our government is investing in business competitions for new and emerging homegrown ideas, encouraging individuals, corporations and registered venture capital funds to invest in Nova Scotian companies through new tax incentives.

“Nova Scotia has great economic potential and we need to keep working together to grow our economy, increase the number of high-growth companies and create jobs,” said Business Minister Geoff MacLellan. “By working together, we can build a stronger economic foundation for people to live, work and do business here, for the benefit all Nova Scotians.