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  • Building export capacity fuels growth into new markets

Building export capacity fuels growth into new markets

Monday, July 23, 2018

With the help of the great staff at NSBI, we’re able to navigate the many programs available to grow exports. It would have been hard for us to reach the European market in the way we did without their help.

Angus Poulain, CEO

Keeping Roads Safe Technologies Inc.

In March 2011, Angus Poulain’s teenage son and daughter were on their way to school when the car they were in was involved in a serious accident. Both children were knocked unconscious and had to be taken to hospital by ambulance. 

“Everyone says, it will never happen to me. Well, it happened to my family. A driver was using his cell phone while he was driving,” says Poulain. 

Luckily the children’s injuries were not life threatening but the experience was overwhelming for the family. In response, Angus has dedicated his life to improving road safety. He started Keeping Roads Safe Technologies Inc. (KRS), a Halifax-based tech company that has developed DriveCare, the world’s first device to eliminate cellphone use while driving. 

Going global

Now with a full team of engineers and a developed product, KRS is bringing their product to global markets. Poulain says he did market research and learned that employers were concerned about liability resulting from employees using their cell phones while driving. The fastest way to get DriveCare into the market was through fleet companies and insurance companies. He caught the attention of companies not only here in Canada but around the world. There are now several global companies testing DriveCare and making plans for major roll outs. 

“Being a small local business, it is very important to manage our cash flow. After initial discussions with NSBI we learned they have many programs to help support local businesses reach other markets.” 

Read: Heading South to Scale-up: How Nova Scotia companies are expanding in Boston

How NSBI helped

KRS deals with businesses from all over the world. NSBI helped the company attend important meetings with clients in Switzerland, Italy, England, and The Netherlands. At Intertraffic Amsterdam, the world’s top trade event for the traffic and mobility industry, KRS beat four other startup companies in the automotive safety industry to win the Intertraffic Startups competition. KRS has also won a partnership with the Dutch government to do a pilot project on delivering DriveCare to Dutch citizens. 

“As we grow and prepare to export DriveCare to other countries, NSBI has been very supportive with financial resources and advice. First, they’ve helped us prioritize. There are a million things going on at once with a startup, and NSBI helped us figure out what we should focus on first to keep the momentum going. They’ve also helped us with matchmaking, especially at trade shows. They do the research and match us with the right companies – companies who have a real interest in our product.” 

NSBI is here to help local businesses and entrepreneurs with various programs and partners to assist and remove obstacles.