By Samantha McKay, Communications Intern
ColdBlock Technologies, housed within BioLinc at Brock University in St. Catharines, is making waves in Canada’s traditionally conservative mining industry with its truly innovative sample preparation technology. ColdBlock Digestion is capable of dissolving rock samples for elemental analysis in minutes and at the touch of a button.
Since graduating from the Altitude Accelerator’s Incubator in mid-2015, ColdBlock Technologies has continued to take the Canadian mining industry by storm.
In August 2015, ColdBlock Technologies was honoured to have been awarded a Build in Canada Innovation Program (BCIP) Contract. This program provides financial support, an opportunity to engage with scientists who test and offer feedback to entrepreneurs on the performance of their goods or services, and further insight on how to do business with the Government of Canada.
ColdBlock Technologies delivered on this contract over a 6-month period working with the Geological Survey of Canada. Upon contract completion, ColdBlock received a very favourable report from the government rating the technology a 9/10 and stating that “the capability of the technology tested more than exceeded our expectations…….”.
“The fact that our technology performed higher than expected, showed us that we are ready for commercial operations, that our technology is a higher performing technology than we had originally expected, and that we have a bright future ahead of us that is going to make a positive impact on our industry,” said Nick Kuryluk, CEO of ColdBlock Technologies.
ColdBlock Digestion Technology, initially developed by Ron Emburgh and Ravi Kanipayor, has made the process for analyzing mineral samples “better, faster, and safer,” according to Kuryluk.
Using ColdBlock Digestion, it is possible to digest and analyze rock samples in the laboratory in as little as ten minutes compared to hours with current methods. ColdBlock Digestion also eliminates the need to use perchloric and hydrofluoric acids, both of which are highly dangerous, making ColdBlock’s technology a safe technology to work with.
Kuryluk said ColdBlock is grateful to have been engaged in the Altitude Accelerator’s high-potential entrepreneur incubator program.
“Altitude Accelerator here in Mississauga is world-class; they are knowledgeable and provide timely expert advice. It helped accelerate our path to commercialization,” Kuryluk said, adding that Altitude Accelerator’s incubator program helped ColdBlock overcome challenges and provided important information through educational seminars, opportunities to pitch to investors, and a network of strategic contacts.
Given that the market circumstances for ColdBlock are unique (i.e., a traditionally strong resource market challenged by financial constraints), Kuryluk said he and his team were challenged in developing a succinct yet comprehensive narrative about ColdBlock that he could tell his internal team, external stakeholders, future partners, investors, collaborators, and the media.
“I received valuable feedback from RIC and I practiced, and I practiced, and I didn’t stop until I got it right. After many iterations and practice with my Entrepreneur in Residence lead, I enabled myself to be in a better position to deliver a winning story,” Kuryluk said.
And ColdBlock Technologies is a winning story indeed. In December 2015 the company was awarded Market Readiness Customer Creation (MRCC) funding by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE).
Looking forward, Kuryluk said ColdBlock hopes to extend its technologies to environmental, food, and pharmaceutical industries, while constantly working to make ColdBlock’s digestion technology faster, better and safer.
“We will have a technology that can help take productivity and efficiency to a whole new level – a level not seen before,” Kuryluk said.
Follow ColdBlock’s journey by checking out their website here.