Ignition Fund supports 10 companies

Until now, Gabriel and Deidre Mercier couldn’t produce enough sheep’s milk at their small Rustico farm to bring their artisanal cheese and yogurt to market.
That will change now that the Merciers – and entrepreneurs from nine other Prince Edward Island businesses – will receive grants from the 2016 Ignition Fund. Each successful applicant is awarded a $25,000 grant to support their new or expanding company.
“Before now we were only able to produce enough milk for cheese samples for market development,” said Gabriel Mercier, co owner of grant recipient Isle Saint-Jean Farm. “This funding will allow our farm to begin full, sustainable production of both cheese and yogurt from sheep’s milk, hire more staff and dramatically increase the size of our flock.”
There were 88 applications to the Ignition Fund in 2016. Other successful applicants include:
• Rise and Brine Pickle Co. – Cortney Wagner, O’Leary
• Deep Roots Distillery – Mike Beamish, Warren Grove
• BH Enterprises – Rodney Hebert, Summerside
• Island Potato Soap Company – Pieter Ijsselstein, Hope River
• RPS Biologiques – Subrata Chowdhury, Charlottetown
• SongCat Music Inc. – Chris Erhardt and Mylène Besançon , Charlottetown
• Compass Aquaculture – Gary Compton/Jeremy Noonan, Mount Stewart
• Rawsome Juice Company – Suzanne Keough, Charlottetown
• Sentrik Supplements – Michael and Daniel Good, Charlottetown
The Ignition Fund awarded grants to eight businesses out of 46 applicants when it was launched in June 2014. In 2015 Innovation PEI received 109 applications and increased the number of grant recipients to 10, in keeping with Premier Wade MacLauchlan’s commitment made during the provincial election.
“The Ignition Fund helps new and expanding companies in the early stages when they need it the most,” Economic Development and Tourism Minister Heath MacDonald said. “It can serve as the spark that helps these small companies make it big – creating new jobs for Islanders and expanding our province’s economy in the process.”
For more information, visit  Ignition Fund.
Here are the 10 recipients of Ignition Fund grants for 2016.
• Island Potato Soap Company – Pieter Ijsselstein – will continue to grow his new business which manufactures a hand bar soap using potato juice from local culled potatoes.
• SongCat Music – Chris Erhardt and Mylène Besançon provide music production services in
• the cloud and are aiming to be a truly virtual recording studio.
• BH Enterprises – Rodney Herbert will start a new business which is intended to commercialize an innovative design of automatic life vest inflator. 
• Rise & Brine Pickle Co. – Cortney Wagner will use Prince Edward Island produces and unique ingredients to create a line of artisanal pickles, preserves and condiments.
• Ferme Isle St. Jean Farm & Cheese House –Deirdre and Gabriel Mercier will specialize in the production and transformation of sheep’s milk into fine cheeses and yogurts. 
• RPS Biologiques - Dr Subrata Chowdhury is working towards commercialization of advanced research projects focused on fish health in aquaculture production.
• Deep Roots Distillery – Mike Beamish will develop a new whisky product intended to appeal to a wide base of consumers.
• Rawsome Juice Bar – Suzanne Keough will expand current offerings providing even more health alternatives and appealing to a broader client base.
• Sentrik Supplements - Michael Good and Daniel Good operate a company focused on the development and sales of neurocognitive enhancers, specifically to respond to a gap in the market for coffee enhancers.

• Compass Aquaculture – Gary Compton and Jeremy Noonan will provide a Farm Management System which will allow it clients to benefit from technology and gain efficiencies that will help them be proactive in managing their businesses.

Media contact:
Andrew Sprague
Senior Communications Officer
Department of Economic Development and Tourism
(902) 368-5535

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