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New Ventures BC 2023: Meet the top 10
Here’s a line on why each one is a favourite to win.
Unlike last year, when a first-ever tie in the competition’s 23-year history made for a top 11, there is a drama-free roster of 10 finalists in this year’s New Ventures BC Competition. The top 10 is presented by professional services organization, EY. The best part? Any of ‘em have a shot to win. Here’s why:
What it does: Blanka, a private-label beauty and wellness platform, enables new beauty brands to launch in under an hour for less than $200.
Why it’s in it to win it: The iron couldn’t be hotter: It closed a USD $2 million seed round just last week.
What it does: Browse AI enables non-technical users to transform any website into a spreadsheet or data pipeline without the need for coding.
Why it’s in it to win it: Like Blanka, the company has a recent raise in its pockets after the co-founders of Blinkist, DoorDash, Dropbox, and Pitch, as well as multiple strategic venture funds, were among those that invested roughly CAD $3.8 million into the company.
What it does: North Vancouver’s Ginger Desk provides on-demand, pre-trained, professional virtual admin support specifically designed for allied health practitioners.
Why it’s in it to win it: Since April 2020, Ginger Desk has grown to 40 employees, with triple revenue growth year-on-year, and has been consistently profitable from day one.
What it does: Immunotherapies are revolutionizing how we treat cancer. Immfinity unlocks a new way forward for getting these lifesaving immunotherapies into the hands of those who need it most.
Why it’s in it to win it: The company was one of that cohort of 11 finalists last year.
What it does: Leasey.AI helps property managers streamline and automate the residential leasing process. Its AI-powered platform enables property managers to efficiently identify and place qualified tenants in a fraction of the time and effort it typically requires.
Why it’s in it to win it: The only market hotter than Vancouver real estate is the one trying to innovate the space: According to a study the company conducted in 2022, 90 percent of property managers face inefficiencies resulting from outdated paper-based processes, disjointed solutions, and data limitations.
What it does: Burnaby-based Orca Water is on a mission to address the pressing issue of global water scarcity through its cutting-edge modular water monitoring systems.
Why it’s in it to win it: The problem of water scarcity affects a staggering 50 per cent of the global population, yet the available solutions for water analytics have been limited.
What it does: North Vancouver’s Pilot is an AI-powered social travel hub that serves as a collaborative platform for groups looking to discover, plan, book, and share trips.
Why it’s in it to win it: It ain’t Pilot founder and CEO Connor Wilson’s first rodeo: He finished in second place in the 2019 competition with NiceJob, a martech outfit.
What it does: North Vancouver-based RetreatsAndVenues is a streamlined online marketplace that curates the world’s top retreat venues and data, offering a comprehensive solution for companies searching for the perfect venue for their corporate retreats and offsites.
Why it’s in it to win it: The company is showing no signs of retreating as it has already onboarded more than 4,000 retreat venue partners from 120 countries.
What it does: Seleste is on a mission to empower people with vision loss and revolutionize the way they experience the world with its smart glasses.
Why it’s in it to win it: One in four people with vision loss struggle with mental health issues due to a lack of independence and Seleste aims to reduce this number by giving people more control of their lives.
What it does: Viridis Research is a watertech startup developing groundbreaking technologies that eliminate organic pollutants from water.
Why it’s in it to win it: For Dr. Macarena Cataldo-Hernandez, the company’s co-founder, the journey from Valparaíso, Chile, to Vancouver was winding. This is yet another milestone.
In the fourth and final round of the 2023 New Ventures BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC, each of these 10 finalists will pitch to a judging panel of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and investors for a chance to win $250,000 in cash and prizes. The winners will be announced at an in-person awards ceremony on October 3.
Who’s on the judging panel?
Andy Edelmeier, president at Braemar West Capital
Floyd Sijmons, aerial entrepreneur and advisor
Jennifer Hamilton, Life Sciences Consultant
Julia Davourie, VC investor at Phoenix Venture Partners
Julien Sellgren, consultant at Breakout Analytics, past NVBC winner
Maria Pacella, managing partner at Pender Ventures
Pieter Dorsman, president at Redpeaks Management and director, Angel Forum
Rasool Rayani, angel investor and past NVBC winner
Rochelle Grayson, entrepreneur and industry chair, UBC Sauder School
Thealzel Lee, VANTEC and Phoenix Fire Fund
What’s up for grabs?
$110,000 Innovate BC First Place Prize Package
$60,000 Innovate BC Second Place Prize Package
$35,000 Innovate BC Third Place Prize Package
$10,000 Innovate BC Regional Start-up Prize
$10,000 Innovate BC Women-Led Venture Prize
$10,000 Innovate BC Sustainability Prize
$10,000 National Bank of Canada Leap to the Cloud Prize
$5,000 NVBC Luminaries “Diamond-in-the-Rough" Award