Volta - Volta Cohort

Volta Cohort

Helping early stage, high calibre founders attract and secure venture capital sooner

Volta Cohort provides mentorship, resources and investments of $25,000 through a microfund co-founded by Volta, BDC Capital, Innovacorp and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

Along with funding, Cohort companies are given space at Volta and access to a board of mentors comprised of CEOs and founders of Volta’s Resident and Alumni companies. The board will meet with each company every two months and hold the company accountable for agreed upon milestones and metrics. Between meetings, the companies have access to all relevant programming and support Volta provides. Dedicated programming, including workshops specific to the needs of Cohort companies are also arranged throughout the cohort year. For companies outside of Halifax, Volta will look to arrange support with partnering organizations in other cities across Atlantic Canada.

In addition to a $25,000 convertible note, Volta Cohort recipients receive the following for a one-year period:

  • Access to advisors and mentors
  • Access to Volta programming (training, workshops, events)
  • Dedicated programming specific to the needs of Volta Cohort companies
  • Space to work at Volta with meeting room access

The next Volta Cohort Pitch Event is taking place on Wednesday, November 24 at 5:30pm.

 *Volta Cohort Pitch Events take place every six months in May and November.*

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Download Questions (PDF)

View Current Cohort Companies


Volta Cohort Investment

Volta Cohort recipients receive a $25 000 convertible note. After meeting program milestones, the Note will convert, and equity in the company will be obtained. Terms and conditions of the Note will be shared with the short-list of 20 companies. The 5 five recipients will undergo a full due-diligence process before funds are transferred.


Follow-On Investment

Cohort companies who have been in the program for at least six months have the opportunity to receive an additional investment of $25 000. Each year up to five cohort recipients will be selected for this additional investment. Please note, this is only available to companies participating in Volta Cohort from November 2019 onward.

To be eligible for this second round of investment, companies must meet program criteria, including active participation in the Volta Cohort Program, and be achieving established milestones (note that these are minimum requirements). The follow-on investment targets high potential, high-growth companies and additional funding is not guaranteed to all Cohort recipients. The final decision on awarding additional investment is at the discretion of the fundholders – Volta, Innovacorp, and BDC Capital.

How to Participate

Determine eligibility

Applicants must be a technology-based, early stage startup with an ambitious idea. Startups must be based in Atlantic Canada, be pre-revenue and have not yet received investment (i.e. have not closed a financing round). Founders must be coachable and looking to actively participate in Volta programs and offerings.

Submit an application

Apply before the deadline. The selection committee will consider the following: ambition of idea; disruptive level of the technology; ability of the team to execute; impact $25,000 will have on the company; and how Volta can support the growth of the company.

Be shortlisted

The top 20 companies will be selected and asked to virtually attend an interview with the Volta team. During this stage, applicants will also be given an overview of the term sheet, a copy of the due diligence checklist and provided with overall company expectations if selected as a recipient.

Make Top 15

From the shortlist, the top 15 companies will be selected to pitch live all in one evening for 3-minutes each. Leading up to the pitches, all participants will be given the opportunity to work with a dedicated pitch expert and will attend additional mandatory sessions to assist with preparation. A rehearsal on the day of the pitch will also be required.

Be selected as a recipient

After the pitches are complete, judges will leave the room to deliberate, selecting up to five pitch participants for the Volta Cohort Program. Winners will be announced live that evening following deliberation. 

Cohort Company Expectations

The top 15 companies are expected to attend the following sessions leading up to the pitch event:

  • Pitch Prep and Media Training – October 26, 5:30pm
  • Investment 101 with McInnes Cooper – November 4, 5:30pm
  • Investment Readiness with BDO – November 8, 9am
  • Volta Quarterly Pitch Competition (optional) – November 16, 12pm
  • Volta Cohort Rehearsal, November 24, 1pm

Once selected as a Cohort recipient, companies are expected to:

  • Submit bi-monthly company updates and attend check-in meetings
  • Attend Volta Cohort required training sessions
  • Complete the due diligence process within 6 months
  • Innovacorp

Current Cohort Companies

Drastic Scholastic Thermoplastic

Focus: Waste Management

Drastic Scholastic Thermoplastic (DST) is a waste management company that remanufactures plastic waste into consumer and industrial products via our semi-industrial shredder, decontamination, injection, and extrusion machines. 

Food for Thought Software Solutions

Focus: Food Insecurity

Food for Thought Software Solutions helps Canadian children access nutritious food through food initiative programs while reducing the stigma around food insecurity. 

Granville Biomedical

Focus: Health

Granville Biomedical (St. John’s, NL) is a women’s health tech company, specializing in the design of anatomical models to enhance health care training, advance patient education, and innovate device demonstration.

MICC Financial

Focus: Finance

MICC Financial (Charlottetown, PEI) is a collaborative platform that helps groups of people save money, access capital and build credit.

PLAEX Building Systems

Focus: Infrastructure

PLAEX Building Systems uses composite material to process a wide range of difficult to recycle thermal plastic waste. Encompassing a special mix of agricultural, marine and municipal plastic waste and dry aggregates, this is turned into a durable building system that can be used and reused in a wide range of low rise construction applications. 

Pocket Finance

Focus: Finance

Pocket Finance (Halifax, NS) is a personal finance management mobile application minimizing waste, highlighting banking fine print, and improving financial literacy.


Focus: Education

Pressto helps to develop media literacy, critical thinking & strong writing skills in young people by making journalism easy, simple and accessible for students of all ages. 

Smooth Meal Prep

Focus: Health & Fitness

Smooth Meal Prep (Dartmouth, NS) delivers healthy fitness-focused meals provided by the community conveniently to your door.

Swiftsure Innovations

Focus: Health

Swiftsure Innovations Inc. (Pasadena, NL) develops products that benefit frontline workers, patients, and healthcare institutions overall.

Tribe Network

Focus: Networking & Innovation

Tribe Network is a digital platform where Black, Indigenous and People of Colour come to accelerate ideas, build communities and access opportunities.