The New Ventures BC Competition is one of North America’s largest annual startup competitions. Every year since 2011, hundreds of B.C.’s most promising early-stage companies have competed to win up to $300,000 in cash and prizes.
Past winners include innovative companies like Neurio, Saltworks Technologies, Aspect Biosystems, Edvisor, Ecoation, and last year’s grand prize winner, Richmond-based Volta Air. A record 200 companies applied with this year with 196 moving to round 2.
Yesterday, NVBC released the list of companies making their way to rounds 2.5 and 3. Sixty-seven judges made the call. Sixteen companies are moving directly into round 3, and twenty-seven must pitch in round 2.5. Of the sixteen moving forward today, 7 are based in Vancouver.
So without further ado, here’s what you need to know about the top 7 Vancouver companies in the competition. So far.
The 7 next big things.
CEO: Andrew Batey, who is also a professor at TWU and was formerly vice president of growth and marketing at BuidlDirect Technologies.
In a nutshell: Beatdapp helps music labs and artists track their songs collect royalties. Beatdapp is a tracking system that authenticates, verifies, and validates every music track streamed in real-time. It reduces the tracking discrepancies between Digital Service Providers (DSPs) and rights holders, increasing royalty revenue for rights holders while limiting legal exposure to royalty lawsuits for DSPs.
Making moves: Beatdapp is Project Music Portfolio (Nashville, TN) company and participated in the Prime Stream of Creative Destruction Labs-West.
CEO: Michael Cheng, a serial entrepreneur and speaker who has given talks to The Thiel Foundation and the United Nations Association of Canada.
In a nutshell: Lumen5 is an artificial intelligence powered video creation platform that turns blog posts into engaging videos. The goal of the platform is to allow anyone without training or experience to easily create engaging video content within minutes.
Not resting on their laurels: Michael and Lumen5 won $200,000 at the Fundica Roadshow last July.
CEO: Dan Zollman, a UBC-educated engineer and management consultant with 20 years experience in healthcare and education.
In a nutshell: Qase helps people connect with experienced lawyers and provides everything needed to get legal services online. Here’s how it works: Book a free consult online; choose a lawyer (the first fifteen minutes are free); meet via video chat to learn about legal options; and pay as you go with your credit card using only the services you need.
Man of the people: “Over the last decade, law firms have invested heavily in adopting technology, but most of it has provided little to no direct benefit to their clients,” says Zollman. “At Qase, we start with people first.”
CEO: Unclear, but Dr. Elizabeth Parfitt and Dr. Paul Campsall seem to be involved.
In their words: “Spectrum is a mobile app that can be customized to deliver local antimicrobial stewardship resources in any hospital.” In English: People are being over-prescribed antibiotics, so they’re no longer working. Spectrum helps doctors minimize patients’ resistance to antibiotics by ensuring they have key medical information in the palm of their hand.
Origin story: The concept was developed by Parfitt and Campsall, working with a team from the University of Calgary and Alberta Health Services (AHS). I guess they moved much of their operations over to B.C. to enter into this competition.
CEO: Atefeh Palizban, previously a professional engineer at companies like PMC-Sierra and BC Hydro.
In a nutshell: VRSQUARE develops software solutions that help companies in the AEC, industrial manufacturing, and entertainment industries maximize the value of their 3D data by making large and complex 3D files more accessible. They main product appears to be Cubity, a 3D asset management and optimization software that can help companies save time and money when preparing large and complex 3D design files for real-time visualization.
In real life: CTO Amir Tamadon hosts regular events for Vancouver’s 3D modelers community.
CEO: Dr. Kahlil Baker, who also leads Taking Root, a non-profit that develops social reforestation projects in collaboration with small-scale farmers in Nicaragua.
In a nutshell: FARM-TRACE is a traceability platform that reveals the sustainable impacts of farming, from verifying zero deforestation claims to measuring forest carbon.
Royal assent: Dr. Kahlil has been featured on CBC as part of Canada’s next generation of changemakers and received the Meritorious Service Cross, one of the highest honours from the Governor General of Canada.
CEO: Fred Cutler, a political science professor at UBC with a PhD from the University of Michigan.
In a nutshell: WeVu is an all-purpose video management system for programs, colleges, schools, universities, and businesses. It’s a cloud platform for groups to share and discuss moments in videos. WeVu was deployed internally at UBC initially, beta-launched in 2017, and then fully launched in 2018.
Signs of life: Beyond UBC, WeVu has happy users at Queens University, University of Novi Sad, Serbia, Selkirk College Nursing, San Fransisco State University, San Fransisco State University, among other institutions.
Read the full list of round 2.5 and 3 companies via the New Ventures BC blog.