The 10 finalists in Accelerate Okanagan’s Jump:Start Challenge have been announced following the first round of the challenge earlier this month.
The challenge started with 27 entrants being invited to present their pitches at an open forum.
Ten companies were then selected by an expert panel of judges to move on to the next round of the challenge, where they will receive nine weeks of intense training, coaching and mentoring to improve their investor presentations.
The ten finalists are:
• Awesome Numbers
• Hustream Technologies
• Digniti Home Hospital
• Ducharme Service Management
• Simple Engine Media
• Rapid Water Testing
• Netlist Physics
• ElectroMotion Energy
• The Interviewr.
In November, the 10 finalists will be narrowed down further to the final five companies, which will each have the opportunity to present before members of the investment community in Vancouver and Kelowna.
In total, 43 applications were received for the Jump:Start Challenge, 15 of which represented totally new start-up opportunities and will be encouraged to participate in one of Accelerate Okanagan’s entrepreneurial support programs, funding for which is being provided by the provincial government.
Prizes for the top three companies will include free enrolment for one year in Accelerate Okanagan’s Venture Acceleration Program, which helps high potential technology companies accelerate their growth and maximize their opportunity.
The overall winner will also receive one year’s free office space at Accelerate Okanagan’s Kelowna or Penticton innovation centres.
“The Jump:Start Challenge forms a key part of Accelerate Okanagan’s overall offering for entrepreneurs and technology companies looking to start, accelerate and grow,” said Jason Neale, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan.
“We were thrilled by the number of applications received and the standard of the presentations, which demonstrates the high level of creativity and innovation that exists in the Okanagan technology community.”
According to Neale, a key challenge faced by technology companies is accessing capital. “The Jump:Start Challenge is designed to…provide entrants with intensive training, coaching and mentorship and assist them access sources of funding.”