Fundica, Montreal’s online tool for finding funding sources for startups, is nearly finished its country-wide Funding Roadshow. There small businesses and funding sources come together for a day of pitches, eventually crowning one winner.
In Montreal yesterday the tour hit its second-last city and named local startup ReturnMe as winner. ReturnMe, located in the West Island area of Montreal, calls itself the world’s largest lost-and-found company.
The startup was founded in 2007 to help address the increasing cost and time-consuming problem of valuable portable items being lost or stolen. Since then, ReturnMe has produced over 2,000,000 recovery tags protecting hundreds of thousands of customers from around the world. Recovery tags have been designed to fit virtually any valuables such as keys, luggage, cell phones, wallets, laptops, sports equipment and even cats & dogs. The startup says it has produced an over 80 percent recovery rate.
ReturnMe receives $10,000 in prizes, airfare to San Francisco and the opportunity to pitch to VCs in California. The prizes are made up of a cloud infrastructure services package (courtesy of CANARIE) valued at $6,000 and a $4,000 value R&D tax credit financing solution (courtesy of R&D Capital).
“We are very pleased with the high degree of interest and commitment made by private investors, public funders and entrepreneurs across Canada,” said Fundica president Mike Lee. “In addition to the obvious benefits of potentially securing traditional funding, the Funding Roadshow offers a remarkable networking opportunity, workshops delivered by industry experts, online crowdfunding campaigns with a leaderboard and additional prizes. “
To date, the following financial institutions, venture capitalists, angel investors, government organizations and private lenders have registered to participate in the 2014 Funding Roadshow (in alphabetical order): Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), Canadian Youth Business Foundation (CYBF), Credit Union Atlantic (CUA), First Angel Network (FAN), Growthworks, Innovacorp, Maple Leaf Angels, Mitacs, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), Omers Ventures, Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), R&D Capital, Southern Ontario Fund for Investment in Innovation (SOFII), Wavefront and Women’s Enterprise Centre. Additional investors and funders are expected to join the Funding Roadshow in the coming weeks.