How Ekidna is Revolutionizing the Cannabis Industry with Accessible Testing Devices

Kai Luk
April 5, 2023
Success Stories
ventureLAB Clients

Starting out as a research project at the University of Ottawa, the original vision of Nic Boileau, the co-founder and CEO of Ekidna, was to create and develop electronic biosensors for medical diagnostics, with the aim to make medical diagnostics more accessible in places where it was hard to get access to medical facilities like hospital and centralized labs.

When cannabis was legalized for recreational use in 2018, Nic and his team at the University of Ottawa started researching the new cannabis industry, and quickly learned that the cannabis industry faces the same problem of difficult access to lab testing. 

“They're testing for different things, but in terms of concept, it was similar. Our intention had always been to commercialize our technology, and we saw a good opportunity to take the technology and pivot away from medical diagnostics into industrial testing and related applications.”

The cannabis industry in Canada has seen significant growth and development since legalization in 2018, with the projected market size reaching $5.2 billion by 2024. The legalization of cannabis has created a brand new industry in Canada, and whenever a new industry is born, there is always room for innovation and trailblazing.

“All new industries go through growing pains and that's what is happening with the cannabis industry. People are trying to figure out what works and what customers are looking for.” Nic pointed out. “When cannabis first got legalized, no one had built solutions for any of their problems because they didn't exist before.”

As the industry continues to expand, an increasing number of consumers are looking for ways to ensure they are getting the best quality and potency from their cannabis products. To meet this demand, Ekidna launched an efficient, easy-to-use THC Potency Test Kit that allows cannabis manufacturers to test the potency of their cannabis products with up to 98% accuracy.

“In the cannabis space, the harvest time of the plants is important because some of the key chemical compounds like THC and CBD go up during the lifetime of the crop, and then they hit a peak and start going back down,” Nic explained, “So if manufacturers wait too long, their product is losing value. The only way to harvest right at that peak is through testing a plant and getting real time results.”

Ekidna’s THC Potency Test Kit allows manufacturers to get more data about their processes, potentially enabling them to manufacture faster, reduce inputs to their processes, and make their operations more sustainable. With access to real-time data, manufacturers can make informed decisions that help them become more efficient and profitable while reducing environmental impact.

As Ekidna continues to succeed in the cannabis industry, Ekidna will look beyond the cannabis industry, and branch out into other industries in the near future, such as wine and beer brewing, as well as other agricultural applications.

Ekidna joined ventureLAB as a participating company in the Hardware Catalyst Initiative program in 2020. Through this collaboration, ventureLAB provided support with product development, testing, and access to resources.

“Getting into ventureLAB and the Hardware Catalyst Initiative specifically, we actually got advice that was applicable to us as a hardware company. ventureLAB has done everything from connecting us to suppliers to quality assurance people, to helping us buy equipment, and getting us discounts on hardware related equipment that we needed for R&D.”

About Hardware Catalyst Initiative

ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative is Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products, enabling the creation of transformative technologies that will power our products of tomorrow. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Hardware Catalyst helps tech companies accelerate their time to market in a sector that normally incurs lengthy entry and scale times, enabling Canadian hardware and semiconductor companies to grow and scale locally, and compete globally.

About ventureLAB

ventureLAB is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 5,000 jobs and raise more than $340 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets. 

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