Ocean Innovators: Sheamus MacDonald, Sedna Technologies
Wednesday, August 11, 2021
Innovacorp helps build ocean technology start-ups in Nova Scotia. We offer them access to venture capital, acceleration programs, non-dilutive funding, and incubation space at Start-Up Yard at COVE. These start-ups are helping transform our economy and protect our ocean. Get to know their amazing stories.
The founders of Sedna Technologies see their company as a solution provider. Sheamus MacDonald and Aleksandr Stabenow have developed a sensor that monitors the real-time conditions of live seafood. It identifies weaknesses in the seafood supply chain and helps producers optimize, so they have less waste of their product.
"When Aleksandr and I met, I was working in the commercial fishery. Basically, I was our first client in that I was articulating the problems that needed solving. That's how Sedna came to be."
When asked about the challenges Sedna has faced, Sheamus noted that things in the fishing industry haven't changed as rapidly as other industries. For some that might look like resistance, but he sees it as an opportunity, and so much room for adaptation and disruption.
"I think it's about educating clients about the problems we want to help them solve, while learning from them as well. We're here to help shape the future of the industry, but we can't do that without the support of those working in it every day. We have gotten this far because we focused on listening to our clients."
The clearest example of how being client-focused is at the core of Sedna's business plan is their most recent innovation, the sensor globe.
"We realized our business was being pushed by sensor sales and what we were doing in the market. That led us to look at our development roadmap and say this is where we need to spend our time, and this is what we need to build. We're constantly learning from client feedback and adapting it to better serve our market."
"Innovation is important, but there has to be a strong business model. There needs to be coaching, mentorship, and a complete ecosystem that you can draw on. We've definitely had that. It's one of the reasons it's important for us to be in Nova Scotia. There's a lot of structure here, like Start-Up Yard, which gave us networking, access to programs through Innovacorp and COVE, and competitions that helped us build awareness and refine our story. The more people that became aware of our company, the more support we found."
Sheamus sees huge potential in Nova Scotia for the ocean technology sector and the commercial fishery. "We're going to keep pushing to reduce waste in the supply chain. We want to help our clients succeed. That's more important than ever because the pandemic has reinforced how critical food security is."
Learn more about Sedna Technologies.
August 11, 2021, Halifax, Nova Scotia