EDMONTON, AB–(Marketwired – April 22, 2016) – Close to 400 members of Alberta’s business innovation ecosystem came together on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at the TEC VenturePrize Awards. Now in its 14th year, the celebration honors and rewards Alberta’s most promising early-stage high-tech companies.
Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous, present at the awards, stressed the importance of such events to the economic diversification of Alberta. “On behalf of the Government of Alberta, I would like to congratulate the winners of the TEC VenturePrize Awards and thank TEC Edmonton for its ongoing work to support research, development and innovation. The ideas and innovators behind these awards showcase Alberta’s strengths and our entrepreneurship.”
Dakota Supplies Inc. won the VenturePrize Fast Growth Award with its $80,000 cash and in-kind prizes. Dakota Supplies Inc. looks to become a leading provider of disposable and sanitizing cleaning products for the commercial transportation industry. Its patented cleaning product MOPPITT™ is an all-in-one cleaning unit specifically designed to meet the cleaning and sanitizing challenges of commercial transportation including airlines and buses.
Fast Growth Runners-up included Fitset and Localintel who were awarded cash prizes of $10,000 each. Created at the University of Alberta, Fitset is a website offering access to fitness classes at hundreds of local fitness studios for a single membership of $99 per month. Localintel is a Calgary-based startup developing an online technology designed to help small companies across Alberta find the right location for their business.
Recognizing Alberta’s fast-growing health products sector, the DynaLIFE Dx Health Competition grand prize award of $25,000 went to MagnetTx Oncology Solutions. MagnetTx is commercializing ground-breaking technology in cancer radiotherapy (RT). Its new Linac-MR device, the Aurora-RT, tracks the movement of tumours and organs while radiotherapy is taking place. The combined knowledge enables radiation oncologists to zero in more precisely on the tumour itself even as it shifts around, reducing unneeded radiation and thus improving cancer treatment outcomes.
MagnetTx won the $25,000 grand prize for the DynaLIFE Dx Health category, with the $10,000 Runner-up prize going to Running Injury Clinic (RIC) Inc. RIC is creating sophisticated data-gathering-and-analysis tools for clinicians to access for treating ambulatory (walking and running) injuries.
In the VenturePrize TELUS Information & Communications Technology (ICT) award category, the winner of the $30,000 award was Covet. Based in Edmonton, Covet’s smart TV solutions allow the consumer to instantaneously buy a fashion product displayed on television, directly off the TV screen. Covet also offers interactive means for shoppers to purchase fashion accessories and clothing worn by celebrities in TV shows and films.
The Alberta Innovates VenturePrize Student award encourages students to commercialize their technologies and services. The finalists had all won or placed in business plan competitions at their schools.
The $20,000 Alberta Innovates VenturePrize Student award went to Ceres Solutions Ltd. from Olds College. Ceres Solutions recycles the spent grain used by Alberta brewers. The grain is pasteurized then inoculated with mushroom mycelium to break down left-over fibre, thus producing enough nutritional biomass to produce protein-rich mushroom crops. This biological enhancement is producing value from what was previously a waste by-product from beer brewing.
Student Runners-up Chíc and Zacxon (both from the University of Alberta) went home with $7,500 each in prizes. Chíc is an online social network that clients can use to search for beauty service providers and use the software application to book appointments online. Zacxon Inc. has developed its Property Protection System to protect buildings in cold-climate countries from indoor water damage caused by the bursting of frozen water pipes.
It was a tight race for the Edmonton Journal People’s Choice Award. Online voting was opened to the public to pick their favorite Fast Growth finalist. The award went to finalist Localintel, who won by only 14 votes.
The jurors’ Screener’s Award of Merit, sponsored by ATB Financial, went to Nick Konev for HomePress.
All of this year’s 60 VenturePrize Award contestants were winners. The awards provide a range of services to all contestants, including mentoring, business plan guidance and evaluation, business plan workshops and networking opportunities. VenturePrize, a program of business incubator TEC Edmonton, is open to Alberta entrepreneurs with a technology focus. The 2016 awards celebration was held at the Westin Hotel Edmonton.
“Thank you to all TEC VenturePrize participants,” said Chris Lumb, CEO of TEC Edmonton. “This is a huge and vital community undertaking that supports the growth of Alberta entrepreneurship, which in turn feeds our region’s economic growth and diversity. Congratulations to all the participants — the Alberta innovation community looks forward to your success.”
About TEC Edmonton
TEC Edmonton helps technology entrepreneurs accelerate their growth. In addition to being the commercialization agent for University of Alberta technologies, TEC Edmonton operates Greater Edmonton’s largest accelerator for early stage technology companies, including both university spinoffs and companies from the broader community.
TEC Edmonton provides client services in four broad areas: Business development, funding and finance, technology commercialization and entrepreneur development.
TEC Edmonton’s clients are an outstanding group of companies. Since 2011, TEC Edmonton clients have generated $680M in revenue, raised $354M in financing and funding, invested $204M in R&D, grown employment by 21-26% per year and now employ over 2326 people in the region. In addition, TEC Edmonton has assisted in the creation of 22 spinoffs from the University in the last five years.
In 2015, TEC Edmonton was identified by the Swedish University Business Incubator (UBI) Index as the 4th best university business incubator in North America, and was also named Canadian “Incubator of the Year” at the 2014 Startup Canada Awards.
For more information, visit www.tecedmonton.com.