Business is a contact sport and to be successful, you have to play both hard and smart. Calgary entrepreneur Sean Krakiwsky was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings and played two years on its farm team, experiencing the brutal reality of what it takes to be successful when competing with the best.
“Values like integrity, honesty and hard work are part of business and hockey,” he says. “I learned a lot about perseverance playing night after night against some serious competitors, and I apply those lessons in business.”
Krakiwsky has shown the same work ethic off the ice, earning both an undergraduate and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Calgary and raising more than $25 million in equity funding for his three startups. His first venture was a software platform for wireless location services long before every cellphone had GPS capability. His second venture, Acceleware, dealt in high-end graphic cards as incredibly fast math processors for professional applications. He built Acceleware for six years before an intriguing opportunity arose in 2008. Krakiwsky brought together co-founders Dr. Garett Leskowitz and Dr. Greg McFeetors for an exciting new venture – to miniaturize highly-sophisticated chemical analyzers for commercial use. The result was Nanalysis Scientific Corp. (TSXV:NSCI).
Nanalysis has become the global leader in compact magnetic resonance for industrial applications, selling their instruments to companies in industries ranging from biotechnology and pharmaceuticals to chemicals and energy. Full-sized machines performing the same function require reinforced floors to support their size, use liquid helium to cool superconducting magnets and carry a multimillion-dollar ownership proposition. Nanalysis offers an attractive alternative that is able to solve many of the same industrial problems for tens of thousands of dollars.
“From the perspective of the fundamental math and physics, it’s the same as you’d have in the MRI machine you would see in a hospital – sophisticated magnet systems, complex electronics and software that is doing some pretty fancy math,” says Sean Krakiwsky, founder and CEO of Nanalysis. “What we’ve done is miniaturize a room-sized machine down to a toaster-sized device, allowing the user to analyze chemical compounds on the molecular level at the push of a button.”
Nanalysis’ 60 MHz and 100 MHz devices can test cannabis for THC and CBD content, analyze fuel or feedstock for sulphur concentration, determine if a drug is present in a suspicious powder and monitor if a chemical reaction is complete. Krakiwsky believes that his company’s devices will soon be in everything from cargo ships and refineries, to chemical plants, police stations and airports.
“Being at the cutting edge of technological development creates exciting opportunities. We’ve been selling to customers around the world for years but we seem to have entered a pivotal time for our company. We recently announced a partnership with Bosch, we have begun to execute an acquisition strategy that will bring exciting new technologies and business lines to our company, and we just started selling our new market-leading 100 MHz device. There is a lot of excitement,” Krakiwsky says.
“The mandate from our board was very clear: growth. 2020 will see us expand our sales operation, bring the world’s most advanced device in our class to market, work with a number of industry partners to solve interesting problems and invest more in R&D than ever before,” he continues.
Sean Krakiwsky has been in the Calgary business community for over 20 years and has formed strong ties but as with any entrepreneur, he’s always looking for new collaborators. “We are actively seeking targeted mergers with local and international businesses to expand our footprint, realize synergies and accelerate growth. We do all of our manufacturing right here in Calgary so we’re always interested in ways to leverage our expertise,” he adds.
Investors are enthusiastic about the future of this unique Calgary industrial tech company with global reach.Nanalysis developed the IP and technology platform from scratch right here in Calgary. All product development and manufacturing is done in the local facility with administrative, finance and sales infrastructure in place. While the broader stock market has backed away from high-growth small cap stories, Nanalysis has maintained and growing a loyal group of investors who are excited for the future.
Krakiwsky has big plans for Nanalysis. The company is currently developing fuel analyzers for cargo ships in response to new United Nations environmental regulations, and recently announced a partnership with a German state police agency to specialize their devices for fast and accurate illicit drug identification in mobile labs that could benefit security forces around the world.
The company’s vision is to be a leading industrial tech company that provides solutions to important problems that affect our daily lives, and with Sean Krakiwsky at the helm, the sky is the limit at Nanalysis.