We’re checking in with past VenturePrize winners to see how their companies have changed since winning top spots in the Student, Fast Growth, Health and TELUS ICT streams. This week, we spoke to Zack Harb of Zacxon Inc., finalist in the 2016 Alberta Innovates Student stream.


Anyone who has lived through an Alberta winter knows that Zacxon Inc., founded by Zack Harb (a NAIT Engineering graduate), is in the perfect location to launch a business that aims to improve the lives of people in cold climates. Zacxon’s Property Protection System (PPS), a warning system that alerts property owners when pipes reach temperatures that are too low, ensuring that no damage occurs. The product has the potential to save property owners in cold climates a lot of money and headache by avoiding frozen, burst water supply pipes.

After going through the VenturePrize process from the initial application to pitching on stage, Zack emphasized that the process was very helpful: “it gave me a lot of exposure so people knew about [the company], and gave us credibility in our meetings and during the competition.”

Although the funding boost also helped the company move forward, Zack emphasized the value of working with the experts firsthand. “The network is the most important part of it,” says Zack.

Since becoming a finalist in the Alberta Innovates Student stream, Zacxon secured a spot in the NAIT incubation space, where a pilot project for the company’s first prototype was carried out. Only two months after the VenturePrize competition, Zacxon presented at the Global Petroleum Show in Calgary, where it won the Doghouse pitch competition for Leaner Technologies.

Zacxon was also successful in receiving Micro-Vouchers from Alberta Innovates in 2015 and 2016. At the moment, Zacxon is looking to ramp up its growth. The company is currently in the commercialization stage and expects to have a product on the market in Spring 2017.

If growing companies are thinking about being a part of VenturePrize, Zack says go for it:  “[VenturePrize] was a great experience with great mentors,” he says. “If [companies] have a good idea, they should show TEC Edmonton.”

Don’t miss your chance to be a part of Alberta’s premier business competition! Register for VenturePrize here.