It’s not something we often mention, but Mysa’s roots and headquarters are in the beautiful city of St. John’s, Newfoundland. Known mostly for its rich oil, gas, and mineral industries, Newfoundland, Canada has seen an explosion of innovative tech startups that service all sorts of industries. How one-time startups like Verafin (anti-money laundering software) and HeyOrca! (social media management applications) have carved out a global presence in their own niche markets. Or how software-based startups like Peachy (Healthcare/Homecare), Fytics (Restaurants), and Colab Software (Project Management) are offering brand new tech solutions for age-old logistical problems. It also can’t be understated how Newfoundland based companies have aided the safety and environmental security of the offshore oil industry, ensuring that potential environmental risks are pre-emptively identified and hazards are dealt with.
Newfoundland is full of ingenuity. As an independent and mostly rural nation for years and years, there’s a built-in ethic of autonomy, self-service, and creativity in the culture. Our post-secondary ecosystem is formed around giving new ideas the opportunity to flourish. Memorial University, the Marine Institute, and CNA were grown largely through the relationship to oil and gas – but these programs have now fostered the creativity of companies of every discipline. They’re also a destination for students from all over the world, bringing fresh perspectives to the Newfoundland economy. The push towards energy independence and environmental responsibility grow right from the scenic shores that border the island, and the thick, hardened wilderness of our own backyard. Doing what we can to preserve the natural beauty of Newfoundland’s nature has stoked many entrepreneurs towards adopting a “green” mindset. Looking out our windows every day is a powerful reminder of what we need to protect.
Alongside the Genesis Centre, MCE, and the provincial government, there’s a wonderful ecosystem for innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador. Big or small, there are a number of startups promoting environmental engagement, and cleaner, more sustainable living in a variety of ways.
Mysa Smart Thermostat – Saving you energy, money, time, and sanity.
Mysa is a green, energy and money saving smart thermostat for electric heaters. The realities of Newfoundland heating played a huge role in its development: while doing energy audits in homes around St. John’s, co-founder Josh Green realized that there was no acceptable smart option for baseboard heaters. An eco-conscious guy by nature, this glaring gap set him on a long journey towards energy sustainability. Mysa is now a leader in the line-voltage smart thermostat market. Thousands of people are saving money and taking control of their electric heat – and you can, too.
Waterlily – A Turbine that’s all mine
On a consumer level, Waterlily creates a bridge between the ever-connected world and the wide and wild wilderness that we love to explore. It’s a small turbine that can run with wind or water, keeping small personal electronic devices charged while you’re camping. It takes about 8 hours to complete a charge, but it also is compatible with a hand lever that can give you an emergency battery charge within 15 minutes. It’s rugged and built to last, just like the Newfoundland outdoors. If you’re a regular hiker, camper, or all around adventure seeker, it’s an indispensable tool to add to your rucksack. You can pick yours up for the regular price of $199.99 here right on their website!
SucSeed – Hydroponics at home
Making the world a greener place begins and ends with our food supply. Fresh, healthy produce often travels inordinate distances to market. In some places it’s just not feasible to grow a variety of crops year-round – something that the modern world has come to expect. Enter SucSeed – a producer of household hydroponic setups and resources. Much like Mysa, they’re altruistic at heart: their goal is to foster education and sustainability, informing children about issues like food security, and even working with large multinational brands in their efforts. What resembles a mid-sized Rubbermaid bin is actually a mini ecosystem, complete with the required light. Premium packages include every last little thing you’ll need to get start, including seeds! Get started with lettuce and move onto a variety of tasty treasures. And it’s not just for the seasoned veteran – they’ve got introductory lessons and a big pool of support videos at the ready! Prices start at 129.99 for a mini setup, or 349.99 for the complete package. Check out their store here!
Power HV – Power to the people
While thermostats exist in every home and everyone needs food, Power HV is poised to make a tangible difference in energy use simply because of the sheer amount of electricity they deal with. They have developed a bushing that’s leagues more advanced and efficient than those currently peppering our power grid. 85% more efficient, actually. Bushings help keep the energy flow steady and optimal, making sure that electricity can flow from one location to another with minimal loss on the journey. For something so specialized, there’s a chance to really shape the energy use of the world on an industrial scale.
EnviroBlu – A “Cleaner” cleaner
Heavy duty industrial cleaners aren’t exactly lumped into the category of environmentally friendly. Enviro Blu, however, is making strides towards being at least “eco-safe”. As an industrial degreaser that’s non-solvent, non-toxic, non-caustic, non-corrosive, non-flammable, has no hazardous fumes, is fully biodegradable, and phosphate-free, it’s definitely on the right track. This Newfoundland based firm boasts a wide reach across industries and is changing the perception of what’s acceptable to waste.
A Green Revolution?
This is just the start of a green revolution in Newfoundland and Labrador. There are other startups devoted to keeping up with a green ethic, especially developing alternative energy sources. It’s estimated that electricity prices in Newfoundland could more than double within the next five years, so any step towards sustainable energy practices is a beneficial one. It’s also a very important way to retain industry talent trained here; Newfoundland no longer needs to be just a step on a journey elsewhere.
With all the green innovation coming from Newfoundland, our own business community is setting a precedent for the rest of the province to follow. Organizations like NEIA are helping to foster a healthy community, and many more companies, groups, and organizations are helping to build a green mindset outside of a product based business model.
We’re committed to helping our island go green. Are you?