New Ventures BC opens applications for 22nd annual competition

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This year’s competition includes a new $10,000 sustainability prize.

Presented by Innovate BC, New Ventures BC (NVBC) is taking applications for its 22nd annual tech startup competition. Applications are due by April 11.

For this year’s event, startups can compete to win $250,000 in cash and prizes. Winners will also get access to NVBC’s online educational seminar series, mentorship opportunities, and in-person networking events. To participate, startups must be based in the province and have raised less than $1 million.

NVBC said that AbCellera is only one of a number of past winners that found notable success after taking part in the event.

Companies will go through three rounds of contests with winners announced at the Awards ceremony in October.

NVBC was initiated over two decades ago by venture capitalist Wal van Lierop to accelerate entrepreneurship and innovation in British Columbia’s tech sector. As part of its mission, the organization provides education, mentorship, networking, cash prizes, grant funding, and recognition.

The organization claims that, since it started in 2000, three thousand companies have entered the competition. NVBC also claims that its top companies are responsible for over $1 billion in funding raised and more than 8,600 jobs created.

In addition to the competition, NVBC also manages the Distance Venture Acceleration program and the Discovery Foundation Sales Accelerator program.

Last year, NVBC launched new prizes to recognize impressive alumni and women-led ventures. To build on this initiative, NVBC executive director Angie Shick said the organization is introducing the Innovate BC $10,000 sustainability prize this year to “help support a greener future.”

RELATED: New Ventures BC reveals 10 finalists for 2021 competition

Vancouver-based biotech company AbCellera took home the Alumni Impact Award last year, after previously finishing second-place in 2013. Abcellera went on to win BC Tech’s Company of the Year award, and receive emergency approval for its antibody therapy by the United States to treat children with COVID-19.

NVBC said that AbCellera is only one of a number of past winners that found notable success after taking part in the event. Ziva Dynamics, which participated in the competition in 2015, was acquired by Unity; Certn grew its workforce to 270 and acquired United Kingdom-based Credence; and 2020 alumni Daanaa recently raised $7 million in December.

Since taking the top prizes at the 2021 awards, MintList, Train Fitness, and Moment Energy have also gone on to raise a combined $6.5 million in seed and pre-seed funding.

Feature image from New Ventures BC

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz

Charlize Alcaraz is a journalism student at Ryerson University and a staff writer for BetaKit. Follow her on Twitter @charlizealcaraz

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