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Volta Labs startup hub gets $2.25 million to expand

Nova Scotia premier ties Volta’s success to keeping young people in Nova Scotia

Premier Stephen McNeil tours Volta Labs with Volta CEO Jesse Rodgers.   Brendan Ahern

Volta Labs, a technology hub in Halifax, expects to triple in size thanks to $2.25 million in provincial funding over the next three years.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil at the Volta Labs headquarters at the Maritime Centre on Barrington Street.

“We’re going to be able to have a much larger community that’s open to everyone, and we want everyone to participate in what we’re doing here,” said Volta Labs CEO Jesse Rodgers at the event.

Volta Labs is a non-profit organization that provides office space, guidance and support to young tech startup companies.

It currently occupies 20,000 square feet of the Maritime Centre and has 290 full-time staff, according to a government news release. The new investment will allow it to grow to 60,000 square feet, as offices move into the building’s lobby, mezzanine and second floor office spaces.

One of Volta’s resident companies is Bereda Training, a tech company that provides coaches with a way to build personalized training plans for their athletes. 

At the announcement, Bereda CEO and co-founder Dennis Cottreau spoke about how he struggled to find work when he returned to Nova Scotia.

“This is my home and the only thing keeping me from staying was a job, so I decided to make my own,” said Cottreau.

Nova Scotia’s population declined between 2013 and 2015, according to Statistics Canada. But over the last two years Nova Scotia has seen its population increase by 12,400 people.  

In his speech McNeil spoke about the role that Volta has in keeping young people in the province.

Stephen McNeil speaking in the Volta Labs foyer.   Brendan Ahern

“For the last two years we have changed the demographic challenge in our province,” he said. “We were declining, and the 25 to 45 year olds were leaving our province. That is shifting. We’ve had growth in the last two years and you’re a part of that.”

 

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