Three Atlantic Canadian startups have been awarded a cumulative $75,000 from Halifax innovation hub Volta’s pitch competition.
Dependbuild, PragmaClin Research, and Easy Platter won $25,000 each from the fund co-founded by Volta, BDC Capital, and Innovacorp. As the three companies will also be joining Volta’s 10th Cohort program, the investment comes with resources to help grow the winning companies’ businesses as well as mentorship from experienced entrepreneurs.
The winners beat out 7 other competitors at this year’s Volta Cohort Pitch Event, the first in-person edition of the contest since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. In the past, Volta usually selected five winners among the ten, opting this year to choose just three. A spokesperson for Volta told BetaKit that each competition awards up to five investments, noting that there is no guarantee that all five will be given out.
Dependbuild is one of the latest companies to join Volta. Co-founded last year by Conor O’Brien and Tom Cooper, the St. John’s-based startup uses machine learning and large data sets to offer a SaaS-based solution to understanding risks in infrastructure projects.
O’Brien told Entrevestor that Dependbuild now has memorandums of understanding in place with 16 municipalities and expects the company to be cash flow positive in its third year of operations.
Also based in St. John’s is PragmaClin, which is developing solutions to managing neurological diseases such as Parkinsons. Its flagship software, Parkinson’s Remote Interactive Monitoring System (PRIMS), is designed for patients to get help faster with more accurate results. Using PragmaClin, patient visits can be performed remotely while data is collected via sensors and biowearables.
Led by co-founders Bronwyn Bridges and Gord Genge, PragmaClin has been awarded with multiple designations prior to joining Volta. This year, the startup was named in Startup Canada’s Pitch Competition Top 100 Semi-Finalists. PragmaClin also won first place in the 2022 Mel Woodward Cup and the Fry Family Foundation Entrepreneurship Award for Women and Non-Binary Leadership.
Halifax-based Easy Platter was founded by Madhir Singh to provide an on-demand personal chef service that matches users with personal chefs. These personal chefs are tasked to prepare meals for Easy Platter clients every week, based on the ingredients selected by the user.
Since launching the year-long, biannual cohort program in 2017, Volta claims that its alumni companies have raised more than $20 million in secured investments and received over $12 million in grants. Volta noted that its cohort program startups are also currently employing 200 full-time staff and have earned over $6 million combined in total lifetime revenue to date.
Volta was founded in 2013 by Jevon MacDonald, Milan Vrekic, Patrick Keefe, and J Curry to create a place for tech founders to build and grow their ventures. Touting itself as one of Canada’s largest innovation hubs, Volta has been home to more than 50 tech companies, ranging from ocean technology to enterprise solutions.
In early April, Martha Casey departed from her role as Volta’s CEO to work with the International Institute for Sustainable Development. Casey led the innovation hub as CEO for two years, after first joining Volta as chief operating officer in 2018. Volta’s chief innovation officer Matt Cooper took over as interim CEO this month.
Featured image courtesy of Volta.