Two startups based in Saskatoon won a combined $75,000 in investment prizes at this year’s Uniting the Prairies (UP) conference.
At UP’s pitch competitions last week, SolusGuard took home $50,000 from The Firehood, an angel group dedicated to women-led tech innovations. BetterCart Analytics received $25,000 from the UP angel syndicate, which is powered by Alberta-based tech hub Startup TNT.
SolusGuard was founded by Serese Selanders, who noticed a lack of options for safety alert devices for her father. In her mission of creating a better personal safety alarm, Selanders established SolusGuard in 2019.
UP gathered 75 investors, 100 startups, and over 300 community members this year.
Since then, SolusGuard has built a suite of wearable hardware and app solutions for work safety, targeting businesses that have employees who work alone or at risk. Its solutions can be customized to various industries, including property management, security, and healthcare.
SolusGuard’s products include panic alert devices, check-in software, COVID-19 contact tracing, and others. The startup said its platform is currently used by a number of businesses and government agencies across Canada and the United States, including Corrections Canada.
Per Crunchbase data, SolusGuard reportedly raised an undisclosed amount of seed and pre-seed funding in 2021 and 2019, respectively. The startup said this investment from The Firehood will support its focus on enterprise sales.
Founded in 2020 by Melanie Morrison, BetterCart provides price-analytics software for the grocery industry, powered by artificial intelligence.
BetterCart started out as a price-comparison app for consumers where people could search for grocery items and find stores that offer those same products for the lowest price.
In 2021, BetterCart transitioned to a B2B price analytics and competitive intelligence platform to provide retailers and manufacturers with deep insights into their industry, market, and competitors’ pricing.
According to BetterCart, it has over five billion product records in its “data lake” and imports 38 million new product records weekly from over 3,600 individual stores and 25 retail chains.
BetterCart also previously secured funding from its participation in Innovation Saskatchewan’s MIST program.
These investment prizes are new for this year’s UP installation, which is organized by Saskatchewan tech hub Co.Labs.
This year, UP gathered 75 investors, 100 startups, and over 300 community members from the Canadian Prairies (Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba) to showcase the progress and achievements from the region.
In addition to the pitch competitions, UP also held presentations with a lineup of notable leaders in the tech community. Speakers included Nicoya CEO Colin Calvert, Vendasta COO Jacqueline Cook, as well as Will Gadd, a prominent Canadian athlete in extreme sports like ice climbing, paragliding, and mountaineering.
Featured image courtesy Uniting the Prairies.