Spexi GeoSpatial, a startup that uses drone technology to make geospatial data more accessible, was recently named the winner of Simon Fraser University’s (SFU) eighth annual Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize competition, earning $35,000 cash and in-kind prize package.
“As we continue to gain traction in our initial markets, the additional resources will really allow us to build on our successes and reach our goals sooner.”
Vancouver-based Spexi GeoSpatial aims to use the power of drone technology to deliver aerial intelligence at scale. The company’s cloud-based platform provides organizations with an end-to-end solution that automates drone flights, photogrammetric data processing, and geospatial data analysis. Looking ahead, Spexi GeoSpatial said it is looking to compete in the New Ventures BC 2019 competition.
“Winning the Venture Prize means we can hire additional software engineers to help us scale our cloud offerings faster, and reach our mission of making geospatial data more accessible sooner,” said Peter Szymczak, co-founder of Spexi Geospatial. “As we continue to gain traction in our initial markets, the additional resources will really allow us to build on our successes and reach our goals sooner.”
The Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection program at SFU, in British Columbia, has been providing support for university ventures from initial idea to business validation. It offers an early-stage business incubator, mentorship, co-op terms, competitions, networking, speaker events, workshops, seminars, and other business resources. SFU’s flagship entrepreneurship program has supported more than 10,000 individuals from the SFU community, ranging from students, staff, faculty, and recent alumni and provided startup services to more than 185 early stage ventures.
The competition recognizes winners in various categories including digital internet, science, and small business with additional prizes rewarding ventures at the idea stage, as well as those founded by women and SFU alumni, and those focused on social impact.
“The Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection is an expression of our commitment to the financial well-being of youth and our promise to invest 10 percent of our bottom line in programs that empower young people to achieve what’s important in their lives,” said Calvin MacInnis, president and CEO of Coast Capital Savings. “We are excited to help identify, showcase and develop the young entrepreneurs who will become the business innovators, job creators and change makers of tomorrow.”
Competitors went through two rounds of pitches to a panel of industry judges and a public audience. Open to SFU staff, faculty, students, and recent alumni, this year’s applicants represented a wide range of ventures, from IoT to services to pharmaceuticals. According to a statement from the university, this year’s competition also saw more female-led companies competing as finalists than in any previous years and finalists were representative of seven of SFU’s eight faculties.
“As an SFU Innovates program, Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection strengthens SFU’s commitment to innovation by helping students and researchers mobilize their ideas for positive social and economic impact,” said Joy Johnson, SFU’s vice president of research and international.
Image courtesy SFU Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection.