Pictou County native believes in rural based companies

Adam MacInnis
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The company’s name, Halifax Biomedical is a bit deceiving.
Truth is, the business, which specializes in precision assessment of spine and joint replacement micro-instability and exports it’s products globally, is based in Mabou, in a rural part of Cape Breton with little more than 1,200 residents.

Chad Munro

Chad Munro, a native of Pictou County is the CEO of the company and is a firm believer that businesses can do well regardless of location.

“I really, really like it here. This is where I’m raising my family,” Munro said of Mabou. “I think it’s great location to attract other talented individuals from the biomedical sector.”

The company is an example of how a business based in rural Nova Scotia can succeed. Just last month they announced that they’ve expanded into the U.S. with an office at the Cambridge Innovation Centre in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

“Boston is home to several of the best orthopaedic spine research hospitals in the United States,” Munro said. “With our expanding international customer base and plans for a multi-centre clinical validation of our spine diagnostics, the time to open a U.S. location was right and Boston was the best location to centre this growth. There is growing pressure from payers for evidence to support orthopedic surgical interventions. This has resulted in an increased demand for our technology. In particular our spine diagnostics, which can provide better pre-operative information for spine treatment decisions.”

As he grows the company, he hopes to maintain its presence in Nova Scotia. He worked for a time in Switzerland and considers that a major factor in changing his perspective on quality of life.

“I think that it was my time in Switzerland that really made me realize how amazing Nova Scotia really is,” he said.

Land there was at a premium. Even to buy a parking space was $20,000.

He knew there must be other people like himself who wanted the kind of life you only find in a rural area. It’s been a business model that worked.

“That’s worked very well for us. That’s been a good recruitment strategy for our company.”

That said there are certain challenges to operating a business here such as housing availability and access to risk capital. He’s happy to hear that some of those issues are brought up in the One Nova Scotia report recently released.

”We were quite pleased with the direction f that report. We think that’s the right kind of tone for keeping companies like HBI.”

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