Milestone for Kelowna entrepreneur

Chris Danek was the $5,000 grand prize winner of the recent Venture Okanagan Investors' Forum

  • Mar. 6, 2016 1:00 p.m.

Kelowna entrepreneur Chris Danek is in the business of making digital money transfers easier, so he was glad to receive a $5,000 grand prize from title sponsor Grant Thornton at the recently held Venture Okanagan Investors’ Forum.

Danek is the CEO and founder of Monster Money, soon to be rebranded as Spot, a person-to-person digital money transfer system. The Venture Okanagan Investors Forum was held Feb. 18 at Okanagan College. It is the largest student-run event of its type in Western Canada.

“This is a great milestone for us,” said Danek. “We’re really excited to launch our product and make sending money cheaper and easier for people.”

Venture Okanagan project manager Lauren McKay, a fourth-year Okanagan College business administration student, said Danek’s product matches the way people use money today, and makes it even easier.

“Although we’re all familiar with digital payment methods, it’s expensive and time-consuming to send small amounts of money to friends using PayPal or email money transfers. Monster Money bridges the gap between different digital payment methods, making the whole process quick, easy, and inexpensive.”

Danek says his company’s products help people send money to any mobile number or email address using any type of funding account (including other e-wallets) and making the process simple.

“Select from a list of contacts you already have in your phone, and punch in the amount you’d like to send. Done. No hassles around account details and expensive fees, just a simple and clean product to fill a need everyone has,” he said.

Monster Money was one of five startups that presented to an audience of over 100 at the recent Investors’ Forum. Coming in second place was Andrew Greer, founder of Purppl – a business accelerator program for social enterprises.

Greer received a $250 runner-up prize from SoLo GI Energy Bars as well as a $100 gift certificate from Small Business BC, awarded to each of the five presenting entrepreneurs.

Also presenting were Mower Brewing, Limitless Potential Technologies, and 3D Currax Solutions.

The February event marked the 10th forum, which is now in its sixth year of operation under Enactus Okanagan College. The judges included representatives from Grant Thornton, City of Kelowna, and select angel investors.

Mark Ziebarth, Enactus faculty advisor and Okanagan College professor, said this event acts as a catalyst for local growth by facilitating connections between entrepreneurs and investors.

“This forum does something that seldom happens in our greater Okanagan community — it brings together local startups, motivated investors, business experts, and students in an interactive setting that encourages strategic opportunities for everyone involved,” Ziebarth said.

Enactus Okanagan College is a non-profit student run organization that develops and implements projects in our communities that improve the quality of life and standard across the region. Enactus projects focus on three important areas—entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and environmental sustainability. The organization is in its 10th year of operations with its team of students having provided more than 8,170 volunteer hours, directly impacting the lives of over 3,600 people in the Okanagan Valley.

 

Just Posted

Pumps run dry across the Central Okanagan

Kelowna, Peachland and West Kelowna all reporting gas shortages

UPDATE: Suspect sought in car theft

Stolen vehicle flees scene in Ashton Creek, found behind Polson Park in Vernon

West Kelowna teen remembered with honourary black belt

“To the kids who are struggling, I say reach out and just speak to somebody…”

Falkland artist favours, fights for fish

Lottie Kozak does all kinds of art; one of her favourite subjects, fish, is dwindling

The Westbank First Nation to be a fixture of Westside Daze

This Canada Day long weekend mark your calendars

Updated: Kelowna cops investigate armed robbery at city centre business

Robbery sparks late afternoon manhunt by armed police officers with guns drawn

Independent schools continue to top Fraser Institute secondary school list

Think tank says its ratings are fair to all schools, public and private

Former Somali child refugee fights to stay in Canada

Former child refugee Abdoul Abdi’s judicial review set for today in Halifax

U.S. border separations ripple through midterm campaigns

Several Republicans to break from President Donald Trump amid boarder separation issues

AFN chief accused of being too close to Trudeau

Perry Bellegarde insists he is not that close to the Liberals as elections looms

Three injured after industrial explosion in Newfoundland

The roof of the warehouse was blown off in the explosion near St. John’s

Ottawa Senators trade Mike Hoffman, less than a week after allegations involving partner

Following the trade Senators make no mention of allegations against Hoffman’s partner

UPDATED: Oliver wildfire extinguished, B.C. Wildfire mopping up

6-ha. brush fire contained before it could spread farther

Most Read