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Western News – Western-founded startups vie for lucrative investment deals – Western News



A project that aims to help small- and medium-sized businesses make sense of their carbon reduction efforts is hoping for a $1.5-million infusion from angel investors at the upcoming Western Angels’ Demo Day, hosted by the Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship at Western.

Founded by Sanders Lazier, BA’11, and Kyri Vanguard, Carbonhound is a one-stop-shop to help companies simplify their carbon-footprint management process that bundles measurement, reduction, offset and marketing initiatives into one place.

“Our mission is to empower businesses to have a positive impact on climate change,” the company’s website stated.


Carbonhound offers their solution to companies wanting to adopt climate-positive initiatives but might find the marketplace to be confusing and overwhelming. It’s one of six companies pitching their business to a group of angel investors and venture capitalists for a chance to score significant funding to scale their start-ups.

Angels’ Demo Day is an investor event open to Western-founded companies looking for investors or partners to take their businesses to the next level. It brings together promising start-ups, experienced entrepreneurs, and Western’s community of investors and has helped several Western entrepreneurs secure a combined total of more than $4 million in private investments. Investment asks from startups during Angels’ Demo Day range from $500,000 to $1.5 million, and also include ‘in-kind’ proposals such as industry connections and mentorship.

This year’s Angels’ Demo Day will be held in Toronto on June 8. In addition to Carbonhound, other teams pitching their businesses to potential investors are: Chakra Nutrition; Innovia GEO; SPOT App; Uresta; and Vigilant AI.

Chakra Nutrition

Chakra Nutrition founders Andy Ly and Justin Li (Ivey Communications)

Founded by Andy Ly, BA’20 and Justin Li, HBA’21, Chakra Nutrition makes bubble-tea-flavoured protein powder, with each serving containing 27g of protein, 121 calories, and only 1g of fat, sugar and carbohydrates. The idea for the business came to Ly and Li when they were looking for a way to combine their health and fitness goals with their love of bubble tea. With a pre-money valuation of $1.5 million, Chakra Nutrition hopes to raise $500,000 for hiring, marketing and further product development. Since launching the brand on social media, the company has sold out multiple rounds of product releases, gaining $30,000 in revenue.

Innovia GEO

Innovia GEO is asking for a $1-million investment to scale its environment-friendly, renewable geothermal HVAC systems, helping install zero-emission heating and cooling systems for buildings. Cofounded by Andrew Lee, MBA’14, and Jim Ilkay, Innovia GEO’s solution is based on repurposed techniques from the foundation construction industry that requires drilling into as little as 50 feet of soil to harness geothermal energy, a cost-effective alternative to the traditional process of drilling through more than 100 feet of soil. The investment ask will be used for growing Innovia GEO’s team, continuing research and development, and other supporting marketing, travel and administration expenses.


Spotwork cofounder Darren Perlman (Ivey Communications)

The gig economy has been a booming sector even before the pandemic hit. Following two years of lockdowns and work fluctuations, the gig economy is estimated to be worth more than $300 billion in North America alone. SPOT App aims to fill a gap in this new economy: helping employers find the right employees, and vice-versa. Powered by technology from Spotwork, SPOT App allows employers to post jobs, and jobseekers to find fast, flexible employment. Founders Darren Perlman, BA’07, and Daniel Copeland are hoping to raise $1 million to support SPOT App’s expansion to the U.S. market. SPOT App has already made nearly $3 million in revenue.


Uresta founder Lauren Barker (Ivey Communications)

Based on a non-invasive, at-home solution developed by renowned Canadian urogynecologist Dr. Scott Farrell, Uresta helps address bladder leaks related to stress incontinence – a condition that affects one in three women. Canada’s only over-the-counter solution for this condition, Uresta is reusable, clinically proven and approved by both Health Canada and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. With more than $1 million already in revenue, founder Lauren Barker, HBA’14, is looking to raise $750,000.

Vigilant AI

Cofounded by Andrew Nichols, BA’95, John Craig, and an experienced group of retail industry insiders, professional accountants and big data experts, Vigilant AI helps businesses along the retail supply chain manage transactions. It uses artificial intelligence to analyze and quickly spot payment errors, and ensure every payment term, payment discount, and vendor email discussion is confirmed before a vendor is paid. Craig and Nichols aim to raise $1 million to grow the company’s research and development, and expand its platform’s capacity to handle anticipated increase in customer demand.

About Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship

Western University champions a culture of entrepreneurship that is truly diverse, inclusive, and deeply original through the Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship. Driven by the history, strength and leadership of the Ivey Business School, Morrissette Entrepreneurship has established itself as a leader in entrepreneurship research and education; equipping students, alumni, scholars and high-growth entrepreneurs through a variety of programs and resources. We have developed an ecosystem of support committed to helping founders at every stage of their entrepreneurial journey to achieve their wildest ambitions and impact the communities they serve.

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Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights: Alphabet, Tesla, Shopify, Amazon and Palo Alto



For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – February 2, 2023 – Today, Zacks Investment Ideas feature highlights Alphabet GOOGL, Tesla TSLA, Shopify SHOP, Amazon AMZN and Palo Alto Networks PANW.

Which of These Stocks Has Been the Best Buy, Post-Split?

Stock splits have been a regular occurrence in the market over the last several years, with many companies aiming to boost liquidity within shares and knock down barriers for potential investors.

Of course, it’s important to remember that a split doesn’t directly impact a company’s financial standing or performance.

In 2022, several companies performed splits, including Alphabet, Tesla, Shopify, Amazon and Palo Alto Networks. Below is a chart illustrating the performance of all five stocks over the last year, with the S&P 500 blended in as a benchmark.


As we can see, PANW shares have been the best performers over the last year, the only to outperform the general market.

However, which has turned in a better performance post-split? Let’s take a closer look.


We’re all familiar with Tesla, which has revolutionized the EV (electric vehicle) industry. It’s been one of the best-performing stocks over the last decade, quickly becoming a favorite among investors.

Earlier in June of 2022, the mega-popular EV manufacturer announced that its board approved a three-for-one stock split; shares began trading on a split-adjusted basis on August 25th, 2022.

Since the split, Tesla shares have lost roughly 40% in value, widely underperforming relative to the S&P 500.

Palo Alto Networks

Palo Alto Networks offers network security solutions to enterprises, service providers, and government entities worldwide.

PANW’s three-for-one stock split in mid-September seemingly flew under the radar. The company’s shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on September 14th, 2022.

Following the split, PANW shares have struggled to gain traction, down roughly 15% compared to the S&P 500’s 3.3% gain.


Shopify provides a multi-tenant, cloud-based, multi-channel e-commerce platform for small and medium-sized businesses.

SHOP shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on June 29th, 2022; the company performed a 10-for-1 split.

Impressively, Shopify shares have soared for a 50% gain since the split, crushing the general market’s performance.


Alphabet has evolved from primarily being a search engine into a company with operations in cloud computing, ad-based video and music streaming, autonomous vehicles, and more.

Last February, the tech titan announced a 20-for-1 split, and investors cheered on the news – GOOGL shares climbed 7% the day following the announcement. Shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on July 18th, 2022.

Alphabet shares have sailed through challenging waters since the split, down 10% and lagging behind the S&P 500.


Amazon has evolved into an e-commerce giant with global operations. The company also enjoys a dominant position within the cloud computing space with its Amazon Web Services (AWS) operations.

AMZN’s 20-for-1 split was a bit of a surprise, as it was the company’s first split since 1999. Shares started trading on a split-adjusted basis on June 6th, 2022.

Following the split, Amazon shares have lost roughly 18% in value, well off the general market’s performance.

Bottom Line

Stock splits are typically exciting announcements that investors can receive, with companies aiming to boost liquidity within shares.

Interestingly enough, only Shopify shares reside in the green post-split of the five listed.

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Media Contact

Zacks Investment Research

800-767-3771 ext. 9339

Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.


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$13 million investment in Campbellford Memorial Hospital



The Campbellford Memorial Hospital will be receiving a $13 million investment from the Ontario Government to address infrastructure concerns.

The announcement was made at the hospital by Northumberland—Peterborough South MPP David Piccini.

The $13 million is broken down as follows:

  • $9,639,900 will be going to CMH as one-time capital funding to address the HVAC and generator
  • $1,874,929 for reimbursement of CMH’s COVID-19-related capital expenses
  • $771,797 in COVID-19 incremental operating funding
  • up to $600,000 in one-time funding to support the hospital’s in-year financial and operating pressures
  • $163,600 in pandemic prevention and containment funding
  • $81,132 through the Health Infrastructure Renewal Fund
  • $46,884 in health human resources funding.

Interim President and CEO Eric Hanna welcomed the news, saying much needs to be done about the HVAC and generator.


At the announcement, Hanna spoke of the issues with the generator.

“I’ve got the wee little generator up at the lake and then I’m thinking well, everything should be going well at the hospital,” Hanna told the audience in attendance.

“You get a call from the person in charge who says, ‘Guess what Eric? Generator didn’t start. Oh, so what does that mean? There’s no power in the hospital.’  That’s happened a couple of times in the past year and the generator is over 30 years old.”

Hanna says the solution was not as easy as replacing the generator.

“You can go buy the generator and that may be about a million dollars. But then when we found out afterwards, we came to hook up the new generator to the electrical distribution system and said it won’t work with that because your electrical distribution system is 1956. You can’t plug this generator into that. So now we’re putting close to $5 million into a whole electrical distribution system so the generator will work. It’s part of that ongoing thing and that’s why these costs continue to go up.”

The HVAC system was also something addressed by Hanna.

“It’s a contract close to $7 million to replace that. This wing, for example. There’s no fresh air in this wing. It hasn’t worked in here for 15 years. So now this is administrative areas and the concern was that in some of the patient carriers, it wasn’t working either.  So – having those discussions with David (Piccini) and saying what we have to do to correct this.”


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Chile’s Enap Set to Slash Debt Burden That Weighed on Investment



(Bloomberg) — Enap, Chile’s state oil and gas company, plans to use near-record earnings to slash its debt burden, while increasing investment in its refineries and in exploration and production.

The company aims to reduce its debt load to about $3 billion “medium term” from the current $4.3 billion, Chief Executive Officer Julio Friedmann said in an interview. Plans include a bond sale in the first half of this year to refinance some securities.

The improved financial position — with 2022 profit surging to $575 million — comes after Enap’s oil and gas operations in Egypt, Ecuador and Argentina got a boost from high crude prices, while healthy international refining margins benefited plants in Chile. Those trends are expected to extend into this year and next, enabling the company to pre-pay some short-term obligations. About half of the current debt burden matures in the next three years.

“We are going to issue bonds,” the MIT-trained executive said Wednesday from the Aconcagua refinery in central Chile. “We are closely evaluating the local and international markets.”


At the same time, Friedmann, who took the reins at Enap in November, plans to increase capital expenditure to about $700 million this year from $550 million last year.

The increase comes after underinvestment in the past few years because of Covid restrictions and the heavy debt load. Spending will focus on making treatment processes cleaner and upgrading infrastructure, as well as a more aggressive approach to increasing gas reserves in the far south of the country, he said.

Gas Markets

Enap plans to expand in both liquefied petroleum gas and natural gas markets in Chile, focusing on the wholesale business and eventually selling directly to large-scale consumers such as mines. Organizational changes to enable the expansion will be announced soon. There are no plans to enter the final distribution business, Friedmann said. The company wants to supply more gas to southern cities as a way of replacing dirtier fuels such as wood and diesel.

Enap and its partners are also preparing pipelines and a refinery near Concepcion to start receiving crude from Argentina’s Neuquen basin sometime this year in an arrangement that could supply as much as 30% of its needs.

While there’s plenty of potential do collaborate more with energy-rich Argentina, particularly in the Magallanes area, that would require greater long-term visibility on supplies from the neighboring country, Friedmann said.

He sees a role for Enap in the development of green hydrogen in Chile. It’s in talks with three companies to enable its facilities in Magallanes to be used to receive all the wind turbines, electrolyzers and other equipment that will be needed to make the clean fuel. Enap is also evaluating its own small pilot plants and will consider whether to take up options to enter other green hydrogen projects as an equity partner.

While the company will maintain its focus on meeting rising demand for traditional fuels, it anticipates new regulation that will require lower emissions. It’s also looking closely at clean-fuel options for aviation, Friedmann said.

(Adds clean fuel plans in last paragraph. I previous version corrected spelling of CEO’s surname.)


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