October 6, 2021 – St. John’s, NL, Canada – Today, Sandpiper Ventures announced its investment in Swiftsure Innovations from its inaugural fund focused on women entrepreneurs with an emphasis in Atlantic Canada. Swiftsure Innovations, based in Pasadena, Newfoundland, supports patients by developing products that will help prevent hospital-acquired infections.

Swiftsure Innovations is focused on providing nurses with the tools required to improve patient outcomes, and optimise workflow. The company, founded by CEO Deanne McCarthy, created a new device that aims to improve and standardize oral care for ventilated patients. Their new solution focuses on better patient results, protecting frontline workers and benefiting hospitals.

The medical device will be adjunctive to current oral care practices for patients on life support by providing the ability of rinsing the oral cavity. Oral care is known to of decreasing the incidence of ventilator acquired pneumonia, length of mechanical ventilation, and length of hospital stay.

“Sandpiper’s investment in Swiftsure has provided the resources we will need to bring our technology from concept to a tangible product,” says Deanne McCarthy, CEO, Swiftsure Innovations. “I am very grateful for Sandpiper’s support. They have believed in the potential of this venture from the beginning and have been very encouraging. I am a technical founder, and this is my first startup. This experience thus far has taught me that successful ventures are built by teams of people that make decisions by gathering information and asking the right people the right questions. Atlantic Canada has a very polished network, and Sandpiper has positively influenced our region.”

McCarthy, previously a practising nurse critical care RN with degrees in nursing and business administration, saw firsthand the challenge in providing oral care for patients on life support. Ventilation provides life-saving treatment for critically ill patients, however, the endotracheal tube that connects the ventilator to the patient’s lungs provides access for germs in the oral cavity to enter the lungs. This can result in ventilator-acquired pneumonia, the most fatal and costly of hospital-acquired infections. The problem associated with ventilators has also intensified with the COVIDith-19 pandemic.

“Finding ways to disrupt and improve healthcare has never been more important,” says Rhiannon Davies, Founder and Managing Partner of Sandpiper Ventures. “Deanne saw a challenge and set out to solve it. Sandpiper is keen to be part of the team who helps her take this solution to the world. We also hope other women are inspired by her example.”

Sandpiper is joined in this equity round by investors including Killick Venture Fund LP, Threshold Impact, and Pluto Investments.


“Companies like Swiftsure are fostering innovation and entrepreneurism in our region. We need more founders like Deanne McCarthy and we want to future female founders in our region to know we’re growing the network to support their growth.”

- Rhiannon Davies, Founder and Managing Partner, Sandpiper Ventures

The leaders at Sandpiper have and opened their calendars and their networks to us, allowing us to tap into a community of professionals with experience in this industry. Information gathering and making timely decisions has been important for us to meet our critical pathway milestones.

  • - Deanne McCarthy, CEO, Swiftsure Innovations

Quick facts

  • Swiftsure is developing a device that will facilitate enhanced oral care by providing rinsing as a final step. They are currently in the design development phase, working with Ironstone Product Development and the National Research Council.
  • Swiftsure joined Emergence, Atlantic Canada’s bioscience business incubator dedicated to assisting start-ups and growth-stage companies in efficiently bringing their products and services to market.
  • In 2020, Swiftsure was the winner of the 10th annual BioInnovation Challenge pitch competition at BioPort 2020. The same year, Swiftsure was selected one of the top five early-stage startups and part of the 2020 fall Cohort program with Halifax-based innovation hub Volta.
  • Only 15% of partners in venture capital funds are female (less in Atlantic Canada).
  • Only 2% of angel investors in Canada are female and female founders receive only 3% of VC dollars. Women of colour receive just 0.2% of funding, and there are no stats available for Indigenous women, LGBTQ women and/or women with disabilities, likely because the numbers are so small.
  • Female entrepreneurs receive $0.8M CAD while male counterparts receive $2.1M CAD.
  • Female-owned start-ups generated $0.78 revenue/$ invested, compared
  • to male-only start-ups who generated $0.31 revenue/$ invested (Boston Consulting Group).
  • Female-founded companies perform 63% better than all-male founded companies (First Round Capital).
  • Women-led teams generate a 35% higher ROI than all-male teams (The Ewing Marian Kauffman Foundation).
  • Women's share of private wealth is ~35% in Canada and growing. Women make 80% of healthcare decisions and up to 85% of consumer purchasing decisions. (Catalyst Research / Buying Power, 2020).

Associated links



About Sandpiper Ventures

Sandpiper Ventures (www.sandpiper.vc) is a seed stage venture capital fund committed to investing in women and women’s innovation as a proactive and profitable business decision. Sandpiper’s management team and active advisors are proven business leaders with deep industry experience and network access, providing access to unique deal-flow and the tools and networks to support portfolio companies to reach massive proportions.



For more information or to request an interview, please contact:

Rhiannon Davies, Sandpiper Ventures



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