New Ventures BC 2022: Meet the top 11
No, that’s not a typo.
Yield Exchange and co-founder Yvette Wu (speaking at left) are joining 10 other B.C. startups in the final stage of NVBC 2022. Photo credit: NVBC.
It’s time to get the popcorn out when a competition reaches the final stage -- especially with so many challengers left in the race. Kernels will certainly be popped for the 2022 iteration of the New Ventures BC Competition. For the first time in the competition’s 22-year history, there was a tie — and a top 11. Here’s why any of those 11 could win:
What it does: Acel is a cleantech manufacturing company that develops electric drive systems for boats that use renewable energy.
Why it’s in it to win it: Walk past any of the Seawall’s marinas at key docking times for boat owners and you’ll experience what makes Acel a favourite. Exhaust fumes and air pollution kinda kill the yacht rock vibe.
What it does: Asset Market accelerates the delivery of telecommunications, electric vehicle charging, and IoT infrastructure to increase access to critical technologies that benefit society.
Why it’s in it to win it: Customers abound for Asset Market, and not just locally. In addition to a base of Canadian patrons, the company has started serving customers in the U.K. and is building a foundation abroad.
What it does: Autonopia is a robotics company with a vision to bring efficiency, scalability, and safety to the maintenance of civil structures.
Why it’s in it to win it: The financials are looking quite strong for Beam. Since its inception, the team has generated over $50 million worth of transactions across their 8,500-plus registered merchants.
What it does: Immunotherapies are revolutionizing how we treat cancer, and Immfinity is a new way to get these lifesaving immunotherapies into the hands of those who need it most.
Why it’s in it to win it: The scientific community has taken notice. Immfinity’s platform was recognized and published in the peer-reviewed scientific research journal, Nature Communications, which co-founder Govinda Sharma discusses in this 2021 podcast.
What it does: Ovou is a smart business card that lets people share their contact and profile details with just a tap.
Why it’s in it to win it: The company has benefited from the sweat and tears of its founder, Reza Varzidehkar. From trading cards in his native Iran to car dealerships in Surrey (some of Ovou’s first customers), Varzidehkar has always been hustling.
What it does: Silver Homes is a cloud-based platform designed to digitize, automate, and optimize real estate portfolio management with minimal human intervention.
Why it’s in it to win it: The team did its research. In the summer of 2020, it surveyed 105 Canadian property managers to find out what tools they use to manage their portfolios and the results helped Silver Homes find its market.
What it does: UVX helps businesses reduce infection transmission risk through innovative light-based technology: an intelligent ceiling device that continuously kills pathogens within seconds.
Why it’s in it to win it: UVX are no strangers to winning competitions. The team won the 2022 Health Impact Investor Challenge last June.
What it does: VoxCell aims to provide a new platform for oncology drug screening through designing tissues to mimic the human-like cancer tissues used during drug preclinical testing.
Why it’s in it to win it: It has already shown investability. The company was a recent recipient of seed funding from Sustainable Development Technology Canada.
What it does: WiiBid is an online marketplace that empowers borrowers to apply, shop for, and obtain mortgages with a single, simple, and secure online application.
Why it’s in it to win it: WiiBid has already supported 300 mortgage applications and tens of millions of dollars in mortgages closed. The team currently has partnerships with more than 30 lenders nationwide and continues to grow this network.
What it does: Yield Exchange is a B2B SaaS platform that helps organizations access competitive Guaranteed Investment Certificate (GIC) rates with speed, transparency, and ease.
Why it’s in it to win it: Experiences in the financial industry and her family background had co-founder Yvette Wu knocking on the door of entrepreneurship. The birth of her first child kicked the door in.
What happens next?
In the fourth and final round, each of the 11 companies will pitch to a judging panel of entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and investors in early October for a chance to win $250,000 in cash and prizes.
The New Ventures BC 2022 judges are:
Alexandra Greenhill, founder, CEO, and Chief Medical Officer of Careteam Technologies
Andy Edelmeier, president of Braemar West Capital
Bill Tam, COO of Digital Supercluster
Julien Sellgren, founder of Breakout Analytics, and past New Ventures BC Competition Winner (Metalogix, 2002)
Maria Pacella, senior VP of private investments at PenderFund Capital Management
Rasool Rayani, angel investor and past New Ventures BC Competition Winner (Metalogix, 2002)
Rochelle Grayson, program advisor and industry chair of the Digital Leadership Program at UBC
Thealzel Lee; founder, director, and president of E-Fund (VANTEC)
Zach Jonasson, managing partner of Phoenix Venture Partners