Toronto-based Creator Jacket and Calgary startup Litus took home the top prizes from the pitch competitions at this year’s Elevate Festival.
Creator Jacket was named the winner of the $15,000 Scale Up pitch competition presented by Toronto FinTech company Moneris. Litus, which is led by engineer and University of Calgary (UCalgary) instructor Ghada Nafie, won The Firehood’s $100,000 women entrepreneur investment.
Founded last year by Jane Souralaysack and Lake Siva, Creator Jacket touts itself as the world’s first customizable and swappable denim jacket. Users can customize the back of their jackets, choose from artists’ designs, or wear the jacket plain.
Creator Jacket previously raised funding through Kickstarter, having accumulated $60,211 in donations from 228 backers. The campaign ended in March 2021.
The other finalists for the Scale Up pitch competition were e-commerce bra brand Apricotton and press on nails company Luna Lab. Apricotton previously won the Best Pitch award at Startupfest.
For The Firehood’s competition, Litus beat out two other finalists: healthtech startup AI Vali, which placed second, as well as AI governance, risk, and compliance SaaS provider Fairly AI, which came in third place.
The Firehood is a newly-organized angel network launched by the founders of Phoenix Fire. Sherbrooke, Québec-based cleantech company Permalution was crowned winner of The Firehood’s $100,000 investment prize at Startupfest in July.
RELATED: Phoenix Fire launches angel fund focused on women entrepreneurs | BetaKit
Litus was formed in 2019 on research originally conducted at UCalgary. Its first offering selectively extracts lithium directly from water sources using proprietary and patent pending nanomaterial composite. This technology, according to the startup, enables organizations to recover lithium with unmatched purity, speed, and efficiency, which is supposed to lower financial and environmental costs.
Earlier this year, Litus also won the Navigating to Net Zero category at the startup pitch competition at Inventures, securing $10,000 in prize money.
Elevate returned to in-person programming this year, featuring a speaker lineup with the likes of ten-time Olympic and world championship sprint medalist Andre De Grasse, Clearco co-founder and CEO Michele Romanow, tennis champion and entrepreneur Venus Williams; Waabi founder and CEO Raquel Urtasun; as well as astronaut and Elevate co-chair Chris Hadfield. Disclosure: BetaKit is an Elevate media partner.
Featured image from Elevate’s Tweet.