Nine startups split $300,000 in prizes at BCIC-New Ventures competition


At the 17th annual BCIC-New Ventures competition, nine companies — spanning across industries from agritech to FinTech — were awarded $300,000.

The $110,000 BCIC first prize went to Ecoation Innovative Solutions, which predicts the type, location, and level of crop stress using plant signals, and communicates this information to growers via smartphone or computer. The team also won the BC Resource Industry Prize package valued at $22,000.

“The NVBC competition was a great experience for us. The mentorship and critical feedback that we received were instrumental for our success and we will take these lessons beyond the competition. We are going to change the way we produce and protect our food, and tonight is [the beginning of] something big,” said Saber Miresmailli, CEO and founder of Ecoation Innovative Solutions.

Microbiome Insights, which provides clients with a deeper understanding of functions and interactions of microbial communities, won the second place $60,000 prize. They also took the Center for Drug Research and Development (CDRD) Life Sciences prize, worth $10,000 in in-kind services.

Slickspaces, a software system that allows for remote entry into a short-term rental or AirBnB property, won the $35,000 prize package from BCIC and the $25,000 Plug and Play Tech Centre prize.

“I would like to congratulate all of this year’s competition winners, and recognize Ecoation Innovation Solutions in particular for taking first place with its crop stress detection platform,” said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Jobs Trade and Technology. “The award recipients represent some of BC’s best and brightest innovators and I look forward to seeing how they will contribute to our tech sector and economy as they continue to grow.”

Other winners include:

  • InputHealth, which is transforming the medical record into a tool for connectivity and engagement between patients and clinicians, won the $16,000 Vancity Social Venture prize package
  • Victoria-based Certn, which is changing the way clients are assessed for credit using AI, won the $10,000 BCIC Top Regional Startup prize
  • UrbanLogiq, which uses the power of data to improve city planning, won the $10,000 City Innovation prize
  • CryoLogistics Refrigeration Technologies, a startup working to replace or hybridize electromechanical refrigeration (reefer) systems used to transport food and pharmaceuticals, won the $11,000 International Scale-up prize, which includes a business development trip to China
  • Aeriosense Technologies, which uses drones to improve the safety and efficiency of inspecting power lines and other vertical infrastructure, won the $8,000 Wavefront Wireless in-kind prize package
  • AxSense Technologies, which produces high-performance accelerometers, took home the $8,000 BC Tech Association prize package

“It’s incredibly exciting for us to fuel the next wave of BC innovation that will drive our local economy and change the world,” said Carl Anderson, president and CEO of the BC Innovation Council. “This year’s winners are a great example of the incredible talent, ingenuity, and innovation this province has to offer.”

Jessica Galang

Jessica Galang

Freelance tech writer. Former BetaKit News Editor.

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