The winner of the Accelerate Okanagan’s Jump:Start Challenge is a West Kelowna Internet entrepreneur.
WTFast (What The Fast) will receive an award valued at $10,000, including free enrolment for one year in Accelerate Okanagan’s Venture Acceleration Program and one year’s free office space at Accelerate Okanagan’s Kelowna or Penticton innovation centres.
WTFast is the brainchild of Rob Bartlett, a computer software gamer who launched the company in December 2009.
WTFast, also known as LagKiller, speeds up massively multiplayer online games such as World of Warcraft by 60 to 90 per cent.
Within minutes users can create an account, download their software and immediately play their game. WTFast currently has 110,000 users across the world, including in Australia, South Africa, Germany, Thailand and South America.
HuStream and StreetText were named the runnersup, and will each receive awards valued at $2,500.
An investor-ready pitch competition, the JumpStart Challenge was designed specifically to help technology companies and entrepreneurs raise investment to finance their growth, increase their revenues and drive market share.
From 27 entrants being invited to present their pitches at an open forum, 10 were then selected to move to the next round, where they received nine weeks of intense training, coaching and mentorship to improve their investor presentations. In total, 43 applications were received for the Jump:Start Challenge, 15 of which represented totally new start-up opportunities.
“The Jump:Start Challenge was designed to provide entrants with intensive training, mentorship and to assist them access sources of funding,” said Jason Neale, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan.