Accelerate Okanagan competition down to the ‘Top 5’

Jump:Start Challenge participating companies make their pitch for investment funding.

The “Top 5” companies in Accelerate Okanagan’s Jump:Start:Challenge have been announced following the semi-final pitch event which took place Thursday at the Kelowna Innovation Centre.

The Top 5 companies are:

•    Media Cooler Innovations Inc. (www.mediacooler.com)

•    Progeny Bio

•    Counterpart Technologies Inc. (www.counterpart.com)

•    Trajectory Design Automation (www.trajectory-da.com)

•    Cream HR (www.cream.hr)

Accelerate Okanagan’s 2012 Jump:Start:Challenge kicked-off in September with 24 entrants being invited to present their business opportunities at an open forum held at the Jim Pattison Centre of Excellence in Penticton.

Ten companies were then selected by an expert panel of judges to move on to the next round of the challenge, as each received eight weeks of intense training, coaching and mentorship to improve their investor presentations.

The semi-final pitch event was an opportunity for the 10 participants to secure a place in the final round, which takes place Nov 14 at the Kelowna Innovation Centre,  and the chance to win one of three prize packages from Accelerate Okanagan, and the opportunity to pitch to the investment communities in Kelowna and Vancouver.

The judges for the semi-final pitch event included Jeff Keen, CEO, Accelerate Okanagan; Martine Hickman,   manager, BDC; Robert Fine, executive director, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission; Greg Ruetz, with the mentor program, BCIC; and Braden Messenger,executive in residence and program manager, Accelerate Okanagan.

Prize packages for the top three companies will include free drop in office space at Accelerate Okanagan.  The overall winner will also receive access to Accelerate Okanagan’s Venture Acceleration Program, which helps high potential technology companies accelerate their growth and maximize their opportunity.

According to Jeff Keen, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan, a key challenge faced by technology companies is accessing capital to finance their growth.  “The Jump:Start:Challenge has been designed to identify technology startups with high growth potential and assist entrepreneurs through the difficult process of raising the necessary capital to take their business to the next level.”

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