Team:Calgary Entrepreneurial/Project/Executive/


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FREDsense Technologies: Our Vision

Our mission is to Build Better Biosensors by providing a diverse platform technology to the world, with a focus on monitoring water samples - faster, cheaper, and more reliably than competing technologies on the market.

Executive Summary

FREDsense Technologies Business Concept.

We are FREDsense Technologies, a Calgary-based venture developing biosensor detection systems to rapidly determine toxicity in water samples. Our first product is a sensor for general toxicity. Capable of reporting an output in under five minutes, it is cost effective due to the simple materials used in its construction, and highly robust through built-in control systems. Currently, we have submitted a provisional patent on our technology, which has a wide variety of uses as a platform technology with numerous different potential markets beyond this first iteration.

Our product fits into the environmental monitoring market, a market that has been established as a byproduct of the oil and gas sector, which produces over 200 million litres of waste water per day. This waste is contained in massive lakes known as tailings ponds, which pose a serious concern to both the environment and to industrial processes. Alberta’s Provincial government enforces a zero discharge policy of water from these ponds, and government regulation requires that oil sands companies monitor their tailings ponds. As well, regulation enforces monitoring water quality in the surrounding lakes, water streams, and ecologically sensitive areas. Present technologies for monitoring water quality in the oil sands are highly analytical, however they pose problems due to their expensive nature, requirements for highly trained personnel, sample processing time, and the need for materials to be transported to off-site facilities. There is a need for new technology in order to meet the growing need to monitor samples on-site in a rapid and cost-effective manner.

Our first target market is water monitoring related to the oil and gas industry. General toxicity sensing in oil and gas holds a market of up to $50 million dollars. Annual financial predictions based on similar competitive products suggest that FREDsense could reach annual revenue of up to $2,250,000 by capturing 30% of the Alberta market. With the growth in the number of monitoring sites, which are expected to more than double in the next two years, as well as the increased amount of green policy and legislation both at a governmental and industrial level, we see this as a growing market potential. Additionally, more specific sensors can be developed as second-generation products to meet any further industry needs within this market, expanding the market potential of this system and the potential profitability of our company.

Presently, detection is completed by expensive analytical machinery such as mass spectrometry. Portable biosensors systems do exist in this market, primarily marketed under the name MicroTox®. MicroTox® has established a powerful market presence, however it has numerous limitations due to its limited accuracy, expense, and sample limitations. We aim to partner with an end-user to be able to successfully compete in this market.

FREDsense is a product-based company with a revenue model consisting of the sale of the detection system and disposable cartridge units containing the test reagents. Recurring revenue is procured by selling individual cartridge units for each sample that needs to be analyzed, and different cartridge units will be developed for each type of sensor produced. Detector units will be sold independently of the cartridges, and a single detector will be usable for multiple samplings.

We have established a group of advisors and students with a firm foundation in science, chemistry, engineering, law, and business strategy. Our team consists of six biology/chemistry students, four professors, and three industry representatives with extensive experience. In our first year of operations, 2014, major milestones will include securing grant and private investment funding for research and development and a thorough market analysis. By year three we plan to secure one million in investment from venture capital funding as we bring our first product to market. Finally, by year five, we hope to reach a break-even point as we begin to expand into international markets.

Our overarching goal is to develop a biosensor technology with clear advantages in the oil and gas industry that can revolutionize how current testing is performed. The technologies we are leveraging to build our biosensors have immense potential as platforms, giving them flexibility to respond to changing market trends, industry needs, and new market verticals.

Company Description

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FREDsense Technologies focuses on the development of novel, field-ready electrochemical detectors for oil sands applications. We are a product and Research and Development company based out of Calgary, Canada, focused on synthetic biology and electrochemical biosensors.

Our flagship product is a general toxin electrochemical sensor for use in water quality testing. The system involves the use of an electrochemical detector unit with a cartridge system to which water samples are added. This represents a renewable income stream, as customers must continuously purchase new cartridges for each sample tested. Our unique bacterial strain senses the presence of various toxins and reports if the sample has a high enough threshold toxicity to be of concern.

Our principal market is within environmental consulting and monitoring, specifically for the oil and gas sector. However, the general toxin sensor is a first generation product that will allow us to move into various markets over time, with applications in the environmental, health, and even manufacturing sectors. Next generation products will include related sensors for a variety of other compounds of concern for environmental toxicity and industrial processes, including sensors for naphthenic acids and hydrocarbons.

We have developed a technology with distinct advantages compared to competing products. The components of our system are cost effective, reducing the cost per unit to our consumer while maintaining valuable profit margins. Secondly, our technology is a rapid detector that is faster than any other system presently on the market. This is a significant competitive advantage, particularly as market conditions evolve to meet more stringent and dramatically increased regulatory requirements for the number of monitored sites.