Verschuren Centre Launches Fund Targeting Sustainable Start-ups

Today, the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment at Cape Breton University (CBU) announced the creation of the Cape Breton Island Futures Fund (CBIFF).   CBIFF seeks to contribute to the economic future of Cape Breton Island by providing rapid financial assistance and non-financial business support to encourage the launch of promising ideas, to seed early stage start-up companies and to foster existing small and medium-sized enterprises, particularly those developing products or services within the sustainable business, clean tech and digital technology sectors.

news-cbiff-announcement blog image“We’re thrilled to be able to support the community in this way,” says Dr. Andrew Swanson, CEO, Verschuren Centre. “The CBIFF will help grow an already active start-up community, nurture local talent and positively impact the economy Island wide. There are lots innovative ideas being talked about in the community that don’t always meet funding criteria. Our hope is that the CBIFF will provide the needed support to turn these ideas into sustainable businesses.”

The current size of the Fund is $500,000, with the intent to invest in 10 companies by December. To be eligible, the business must be regionally located and incorporated. Although the needed investment assistance will vary depending on the business, support will include access to the Island Sandbox (Verschuren Centre, Shannon School of Business, Marconi NSCC) mentors, advisors and business meeting services.

Unlike other funds, CBIFF has a rolling intake and groups do not have to be incorporated to apply, but do have to be to accept the award. Applicants will be evaluated based on their ability to demonstrate the potential to develop business and commercial merit of the proposed products and/or services.  All applicants will be required to make a business pitch to CBIFF managers and go through an interview process.

For those interested in the Cape Breton Island Futures fund, please contact Andrew Swanson ( or Debi Walker ( at the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment.

More information can be found at