The 2016 TEC VenturePrize business plan competition is just around the corner. Alberta’s leading innovative business awards take place in Edmonton’s Westin Hotel Ballroom on Thursday, April 21, beginning with networking and reception-style food stations at 4:30 p.m.

Tickets for the event are still available at $78.75 each or $52.50 for students.

Three Alberta-based entrepreneurs have now been announced as finalists in the TELUS Information & Communications Technology (ICT) VenturePrize category.

And, from the winners of student business plan competitions held at Alberta universities and technical institutes, the TEC VenturePrize jury has picked three student finalists for the Alberta Innovates Student VenturePrize Competition.

Competing in the TELUS ICT award finals are:

Covet
Covet works with costume designers, fashion labels, and TV shows to build interactive TV commerce within the fashion industry. 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.

InstaMek
InstaMek is an on-demand auto repair company. Instead of taking your car to an auto repair shop, you need only to phone InstaMek. A highly trained, certified and licensed mechanic will be sent to you, at your convenience, for at-your-home vehicle maintenance and repairs.

Rentzrey
Rentzrey is a cloud-based rent management and tracking platform for landlords and tenants. Rentzrey is bringing rent payments into the 21st century with features such as instantaneous financials for landlords and building credit for tenants.

The three finalists for the Alberta Innovates Student VenturePrize Award are:

Ceres Solutions Ltd.Olds College
Ceres Solutions Ltd. 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.

Chíc – University of Alberta
Developed by Services-On-The-Go, Chíc is an online social network for beauty service providers (aestheticians, hairdressers, massage therapists, etc.) to share their skills, schedules, reviews/ratings, services, prices and more. Clients can use Chíc to search for beauty service providers and use the software application to book appointments online.

Zacxon – University of Alberta
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. The Property Protection System will detect falling temperatures, issue an alarm, and, if necessary, automatically drain and shut down water pipes. With the Zacxon Property Protection System, properties will never again face frozen pipe issues.

Finalists in all four VenturePrize categories will be showcased at the Awards Celebration on April 21, hosted by emcee Shaye Ganam of Global Edmonton’s Morning News.

The winner of each category walks away with major cash prizes – $30,000 for the TELUS ICT competition and $20,000 for the winner of the Alberta Innovates Student competition, respectively.

Produced by TEC Edmonton, VenturePrize is much a pan-Alberta event, bringing together leaders from the province’s business, innovation and research communities.

The general public is invited to cast online votes for their favorite VenturePrize Fast Growth finalist. The company garnering the most online votes will receive the Edmonton Journal People’s Choice Award, also to be presented at the awards celebration. Online voting is at www.edmontonjournal.com/ventureprize.

For more information about VenturePrize – and to purchase your tickets to the Awards Event on April 21 – visit www.ventureprize.com.