Edmonton, AB (May 5, 2017) – Innovative, technology-focused Alberta entrepreneurs took centre stage on Thursday night at the 15th VenturePrize Awards Celebration. VenturePrize awards the province’s most promising early-stage technology ventures. In addition to emerging companies, the event showcased just how far the culture of entrepreneurship in Alberta has come in 15 years.

“In 2002, some leaders in Edmonton looked at the technology clusters in Silicon Valley and Boston and said, ‘why not here?’” said Allan Scott, Co-Founder of TEC Edmonton and VenturePrize. “The rest is history. Congratulations to all the winners and participants of this year’s awards.”

Event Highlights:

Fast Growth Winner – vrCAVE
vrCAVE strives to make virtual reality an immersive social experience by creating collaborative VR games. When standing inside a vrCAVE unit, players can touch, see, and hear each other while freely interacting with the shared virtual world. vrCAVE partners with entertainment businesses to share its unique multiplayer virtual reality experiences, eliminating the need for individuals to own their own VR equipment.

DynaLIFE Health Winner – Tevosol
Tevosol, Inc. is a medical device company developing the Ex-Vivo Organ Support System (EVOSS™) with the goal of increasing the number of organs available for transplantation. Tevosol’s unique innovation keeps a donated organ warm and supplied with oxygen as if it is still in the body, and extends its “ex-vivo,” or ‘out of body’ life. The device revives organs deemed unsuitable and allows assessment of transplant suitability, which has the potential to double or triple the number of available donor organs worldwide.

TELUS ICT Winner – Preza Technologies
Preza has created a temperature monitoring system for the restaurant industry using the latest developments in wireless technology. The system has a one-step installation process using a direct connection to existing Wi-Fi, and the software is tailored specifically for restaurants, offering a daily summary report and customizable alerts.

Alberta Student Winner – Squire
Squire aims to recapture the lost benefits of a secondary school environment by making every post secondary campus, regardless of size, feel like a small classroom. Squire’s solution is an online, mobile and web-based platform where students can create virtual study tables to work with their classmates, find tutors, and help on-demand through video calls and receive ongoing assistance directly from professors.

People’s Choice Winner – Ceres Solutions
Ceres Solutions takes an innovative and environmentally-conscious approach to adding value to the tons of spent grain produced every day in Alberta as a byproduct of the beer brewing process. Ceres uses the brewer’s spent grain as a substrate to grow gourmet mushrooms. The process results in a high-quality mushroom as well as a grain with crude protein content increased by up to 180 per cent, resulting in a high-value livestock feed.

The jurors’ Screener’s Award of Merit went to Good Glucos.

A surprise element of the evening was the introduction of VentureKids, a celebration of Alberta entrepreneurs under 16 years old. Kaitlyn Coen, Sophia Fairweather, and JR Wikkerink of Screamin Brothers were each presented with an award or recognition and $1,000 to put towards their future education.

It was also announced that this year’s competition would be the last.

“VenturePrize started 15 years ago, when the Edmonton region had much less public focus on entrepreneurship,” said TEC Edmonton CEO Chris Lumb. “We ultimately decided to deliver the same services offered through VenturePrize in a different way. The program has had a great run, and would not have been possible without the support of our passionate volunteers and sponsors over the years.”

About TEC Edmonton
TEC Edmonton is a business accelerator that helps emerging technology companies grow successfully. As a joint venture of the University of Alberta and Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, TEC Edmonton operates the Edmonton region’s largest accelerator for early-stage technology companies, and also manages commercialization of University of Alberta technologies. TEC Edmonton delivers services in four areas: Business Development, Funding and Finance, Technology Management, and Entrepreneur Development. Since 2011, TEC clients have generated $680M in revenue, raised $350M in financing and funding, invested $200M in R&D, grown both revenue and employment by 25 per cent per year and now employ over 2,400 people in the region. In addition, TEC has assisted in the creation of 22 spinoff companies from the University of Alberta in the last four years.

TEC Edmonton was named the 4th best university business incubator in North America by the University Business Incubator (UBI) Global Index in 2015, and “Incubator of the Year” by Startup Canada in 2014. For more information, visit www.tecedmonton.com.

About VenturePrize
VenturePrize ran for 15 years as an annual business plan competition that showcased Alberta’s top innovative companies. Over 100 volunteers every year have helped make VenturePrize possible, serving in such roles as mentors, screeners, judges and seminar presenters. The total value of prizes since 2002 is estimated at $2.5 million, and over 1,000 companies have competed. Organizations that provide administrative support for VenturePrize include Innovate Calgary, NAIT, Business Link, TELUS and DynaLIFE. Learn more at www.ventureprize.com.