Vancouver-based FinTech software startup Pocketed has won $25,000 in prize money and was named as this year’s winner of The Odlum Brown Forum Pitch Finale, a pitch competition organized by The Forum.
“Whether you’re building a start-up, a small business, or a side hustle, there is money out there to help you grow.”
– Brianna Blaney
Established in 2002, The Forum is a registered Canadian charity that was created to help women entrepreneurs gain access to resources and community as they build their businesses. As the organization celebrated its 20th anniversary this year, it claims to continue to see a rise in the need for programming across the country as more women move toward entrepreneurship.
In the last three years, The Forum claims that its participant numbers have grown 345 percent. It currently serves over 1,900 women from 193 communities across 11 provinces. The Forum said it has supported over 10,000 women entrepreneurs across Canada, to date, through its different programs and events, including The Forum Pitch, The Forum Mentor Program, and The Forum E-Series program.
The Forum Pitch was launched in 2016 and has received over 1,200 applications, according to The Forum.
Investment management firm Odlum Brown Limited returned as a title sponsor for the most recent Pitch event. The $25,000 prize was donated by Wheaton Precious Metals, which returned as the capital sponsor. This year, the Pitch event saw over 2,000 attendees and viewers.
Brianna Blaney (CEO) and Aria Hahn (CTO), co-founders of Pocketed, were the entrepreneurs able to pocket the $25,000.
“The $25,000 in funds will significantly contribute to growing our platform to help more businesses access grants and tax credits. Because whether you’re building a startup, a small business, or a side hustle, there is money out there to help you grow,” said Blaney.
Pocketed was launched in 2020 with the aim to help eliminate financial barriers for entrepreneurs through its platform, which connects businesses to eligible grants and tax credits. The platform also helps its users with the application process through its marketplace.
The FinTech startup previously raised $1 million in October to fuel its expansion into the United States. At that time, Pocketed claimed that it had helped over 2,000 small-to-medium-sized businesses secure over $10 million in grant funding. Today, Blaney said that more than 6,500 companies use the platform and have applied for over $80 million in government funding.
Pocketed’s customer base include companies such as Clearco, Think Technologies, Sleepout, and Traffic Driven. Blaney said that over the next year, Pocketed plans to expand geographically and develop additional revenue streams.
Featured image courtesy of The Forum.