Today was the awards luncheon for the 2010 edition of TEC VenturePrize, an Alberta-wide business plan competition. The competition is a great way for entrepreneurs to access professional mentorship, networking, and also provides an opportunity to get some exposure. And speaking as a participant (back in 2006) I can honestly say that you learn so much in such a short period of time!
Today’s host was Ryan Jespersen of Citytv, and our special guests included Annette Trimbee, Deputy Minister, Alberta Advanced Education and Technology, and Mayor Stephen Mandel. Chris Lumb, CEO of TEC Edmonton, also brought greetings. In a statement he said:
“Innovators come first at TEC Edmonton. The cailbre of talent that was showcased today is a reflection of the creativity taking place in our province. The determination to build strong business plans through training, mentoring and finally pitching is what makes Alberta’s entrepreneurs stand above the rest.”
We also heard from Duncan Stewart from Deloitte, and last year’s fast growth winner, Ken Bautista of Seek Your Own Proof. Duncan shared some technology predictions and trends with us, while Ken provided an update on the success that his company has had since winning the competition.
Dozens of entrepreneurs and students from around the province participated, and it was up to the judges to narrow the field down to three finalists in each category (Fast Growth and Student). The finalists in the fast growth category were:
- Biolithic Corporation, which has developed a rapid diagnostic device for diagnosing infection.
- Darkhorse Analytics Inc., which has developed software to help plan emergency services.
- Firenest Innovations Inc., which has developed online management tools for non-profits.
And in the student category:
- Alberta Carbon
- E² Technologies
- Molecular Tetris Inc.
The winner of the Screeners’ Award of Merit, for a business plan that shows excellent promise, was Innovequity Inc. The winner of the Student Business Plan Award was Alberta Carbon. And the grand prize winner of the Fast Growth Award was Biolithic Corporation. You can read the official announcement of the winners here.
I had the opportunity to work with Firenest a little on their presentation and elevator pitch, so I was definitely cheering for them. I still think they did a fantastic job. Congratulations to the winners and to all the participants!