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New Brunswick’s SimpTek: One of Canada’s Companies to Watch

SimpTek Technologies is a Fredericton-based startup helping power utilities and their customers understand energy usage through data collection.

The company was recently named one of Canada’s Companies-to-Watch at the Deloitte Technology Fast 50 awards. They were the only company in the Maritime Provinces to receive this recognition.

We spoke with Keelen Gagnon, Chief Operating Officer, about the award win, and what the future holds for the company.

What benefits does SimpTek gain from receiving this latest recognition?

Gagnon: We have already been through the process of raising capital, building a great product, and getting our first customer. What I think this award does is give us more recognition on a national scale; not just a local or regional level. I think it really validates what we are doing, and confirms we can have a real impact on utilities and their customers.

ONB spoke to [CEO] Asif [Hasan] in late 2015. Has SimpTek seen any major developments since then?

One thing that’s interesting about startups, they live and die in six month periods. Every six months is pretty much a lifetime for a startup company. Over the last year there has been a lot of growth and opportunity. We raised a round of capital of $700 thousand in September for example. We also hired new employees, and are looking to hire a few more right now, so there’s a lot going on in terms of growth.

Beyond that, the past year has seen us do a lot of testing and validation with our early customers. We’re growing beyond New Brunswick now, moving into the Ontario and eastern U.S. markets.

SimpTek will always have their headquarters here in New Brunswick regardless of where we go or how quickly we expand to international markets. The positions we are hiring for right now are just the beginning of what we can create for this province.

Are you working with any companies, beyond NB Power, to implement your solution now?

Yes, we are working with clients in Ontario and the other Maritime provinces. I can’t disclose company names right now because those projects are still underway. But we are absolutely doing work outside the province as well as the eastern United States.

Finally, what makes you NB Proud?

The great support we’ve received from New Brunswick, both from the public and private sectors. There is Propel ICT, Ignite Fredericton, Opportunities NB, and of course UNB’s Technology Management and Entrepreneurship Centre (TME), where we started. The mentorship here for young entrepreneurs is tremendous. I think it’s an aspect of living in New Brunswick that’s underrated, and not talked about enough.

There is a lot of potential here in New Brunswick. It is really the community and organizations here that allowed us to grow to this point. Without that support I don’t think we’d be here today, and that’s why our team is NB Proud.

Learn more at Simptekinc.com.

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Cover image via Wikimedia Commons