Five Atlantic Canada startups secure investment at Volta pitch competition

Volta Cohort Winners Spring 2021

Five early-stage Atlantic Canadian tech startups have been selected to receive $25,000 each, as part of Volta’s latest pitch competition. The winners beat out 10 other competitors at the May 19 Volta Cohort Pitch Event, which was held virtually.

The investments come through a microfund co-founded by Volta, BDC Capital, Innovacorp, and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). The five winning startups include Drastic Scholastic Thermoplastic, Food For Thought Software Solutions, PLAEX Building Systems, Pressto, and Tribe Network.

In addition to the new capital, these startups have also gained acceptance into Volta’s year-long startup program.
 

In addition to the new capital, these startups have also gained acceptance into Volta’s year-long startup program, Volta Cohort, where they will receive mentorship, training, and resources.

Volta CEO Martha Casey, who also served as one of this year’s judges, called the recent competition “evidence of the innovative thinking and entrepreneurial drive in Atlantic Canada.” Casey took over as Volta’s CEO in March 2020 after former CEO Jesse Rodgers departed.

Launched in 2013, Volta is a Halifax-based innovation hub that aims to address the lack of early-stage investment and resources available to Atlantic Canadian tech startups.

At last week’s pitch event, fifteen Atlantic Canadian startup founders pitched their businesses to a panel of judges that included representatives from ACOA, BDC, Innovacorp, newly launched LongShot Capital, and Volta.

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According to Volta, its Volta Cohort companies have raised over $10 million in secured investments and $7 million in grant dollars, to date. Volta said its cohort startups have generated more than $500,000 in combined revenue in 2021 alone.

This year’s list of winners includes:

Drastic Scholastic Thermoplastic (Antigonish, NS): waste management company that remanufactures plastic waste into consumer and industrial products.

Food For Thought Software Solutions (Halifax, NS): helps Canadian children access food while reducing the stigma around food insecurity.

PLAEX Building Systems (Hampstead, NB): uses composite material to process a difficult-to-recycle thermal plastic waste for use in construction applications.

Pressto (Halifax, NS, and New York, NY): helps to develop media literacy, critical thinking & strong writing skills in young people by making journalism easy, simple and accessible for students of all ages.

Tribe Network (Halifax, NS): aims to become Canada’s Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) entrepreneurship and innovation hub through its digital platform.

Photo courtesy of Volta

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.