A select group of startups, ranging from cleantech to snacktech, have been named winners in Startupfest’s lineup of pitch competitions this year.
All three of the $100,000 investment prizes—Best of the Fest, Women in Tech, and the Black Entrepreneur award—were won by women founders. The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) announced at the event that it is matching each of the prizes for all of the respective winners.
For the first time ever, all $100K investment prizes were won by women founders.
The @BDC_Capital #WomeninTech #WiTFund has surprised the winners by doubling each prize! What an amazing close to #Startupfest 2022! pic.twitter.com/FRhsUhFL6I
— Startupfest (@startupfest) July 15, 2022
The Montréal tech festival returned in-person this year after cancelling its 2020 edition and holding a digital event last year.
Startupfest is among a group of organizations that decided to bring its event back on the streets as COVID-19 restrictions subside. Included in this group are Collision, which took place in Toronto last month; as well as Elevate, which is happening in September.
This year included six pitch competitions and awards, which in addition to the $100,000 prize events included Next AI Top Startup, Grandmother’s Choice, and Best Pitch award.
Best of the Fest
Toronto-based space company Magnestar received Startupfest’s $100,000 prize this year for Best of the Fest. Magnestar was founded in 2021 and has partnered with the University of Regina to develop its technology.
Women in Tech
Sherbrooke, Québec-based cleantech company Permalution was named the winner of The Firehood’s $100,000 investment prize for its Women in Tech pitch competition. Permalution harvests fog to help address climate change-related challenges such as wildfire mitigation projects, conservation, and reforestation.
The Firehood is a newly-organized angel network launched by the founders of Phoenix Fire.
North York snack startup Ohh! Foods also secured $100,000, winning the Black Entrepreneur award at Startupfest. Ohh! Foods creates allergen-friendly sweet snacks made with vegan ingredients. The Black Entrepreneur award was presented by Startupfest, in partnership with FACE, Groupe 3737 and Rep Matters.
Next AI Top Startup
NEXT Canada named Toronto-headquartered healthtech startup Yuko AI as the top startup for its Next AI contest. As winner, Yuko AI has also secured an “exclusive venture spot” in the 2023 cohort of Next AI’s Montréal campus.
Montréal-based Azimut Medical, which is developing an intelligent belt that can detect falls and automatically deploy airbags, was crowned winner of this year’s Grandmother’s Choice award.
Best Pitch award
The winners of the Best Pitch award was a tie between Magnestar and Toronto bra company Apricotton.
Featured image from Startupfest.