The BC Tech Association has unveiled the four finalists of this year’s Company of the Year – Startup Award: Carbin Minerals, Daanaa, MintList, and VodaSafe.
As part of BC Tech’s Technology Impact Awards event, the final winner of the startup award will be announced at the TIAs gala on October 6th and receive a cheque for $10,000 from BC Tech.
Created over 25 years ago, BC Tech is a non-profit organization that is dedicated to helping BC companies grow and scale. It does this through various programs that provide support to members in expanding and diversifying their talent pools, acquiring new customers, and accessing capital. BetaKit is a Technology Impact Awards media partner.
The four finalists beat out six other startups in the previous judging round, which included AryaHealth, CargoSorout, KM3D, Nexpress, Perfectly Snug, and Pocketed.
Spun out of the University of British Columbia (UBC), Carbin Minerals’ technology captures atmospheric carbon dioxide and transforms it into a rock. Its offering is meant to accelerate a natural process known as atmospheric carbon mineralization.
Carbin Minerals was founded by UBC geologists Greg Dipple, Bethany Ladd, and Peter Scheuermann last year, and has since secured multiple rounds of funding. In April this year, the startup announced a $1 million investment from XPRIZE and the Musk Foundation. It also secured a portion of Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s $2.6 million investment into 26 companies in the same month.
Daana is a semiconductor tech firm that offers a chip that can act as both a transmitter and receiver to transfer power and data through the air, or through existing structures. The startup said this technology is able to freely convert between alternating currents and direct currents to improve efficiency, going through materials like wood, plastics, and concrete.
Led by CEO and founder Udi Daon, Daana was named one of the winners in New Ventures BC’s tech startup competition in 2020. Since winning that contest, Daanaa has sent its first chip for production. It also closed a $7 million Series A round in December last year, led by VoLo Earth Ventures.
Using artificial intelligence (AI), MintList provides an online marketplace for the buying and selling of cars across North America. The startup’s platform provides users with an online inspection feature conducted via smartphone, where the MintList system can detect scratches and tire condition. It can also launch 15-minute auctions, in which MintList claims can get over 100 offers on a single car.
MintList is among the startups that took the top prizes in New Ventures BC’s annual tech competition last year. In January, MintList also announced $2.76 million CAD in seed funding. Most recently, MintList was selected to join the third cohort of Google’s Startup Accelerator Canada.
Founded by engineer Carlyn Loncaric in 2014, VodaSafe develops technology products for water rescue and victim recovery. Its handheld scanning sonar device, named AquaEye, can be used by rescuers to search a nearly two-acre body of water in less than five minutes.
VodaSafe’s AquaEye offering uses AI to differentiate between humans and other objects, which the startups said would allow users to act quickly with confidence. The technology, according to VodaSafe, is designed to increase the chance of a successful rescue but also reduce the risk and resource demand for search and rescue teams.
In 2020, six years after its inception, VodaSafe closed its seed round with $1.4 million raised. The round was led by Vanedge Capital, with participation from the Business Development Bank of Canada.
Featured image courtesy BC Tech Association.