200 attendees gathered at Unbounce on Sunday to witness the startup teams competing in Startup Weekend Vancouver’s 7th annual competition.
This year’s Startup Weekend Vancouver involved 125 participants, with 52 pitches presented at Startup Weekend Vancouver’s kick-off night on Friday—which resulted in 15 teams formed.
Over a span of 54 hours, teams took to the streets of downtown Vancouver to validate their startup ideas and develop their minimal viable product and prototype while gaining insight and feedback from a team of industry professionals as their Startup Weekend coaches.
“The tech scene in Vancouver is at a tipping point with the success of companies such as Hootsuite, and Slack—both of which once started in Vancouver as startups themselves,” said Sean Elbe, the Vancouver Economic Commission (VEC)’s Technology Sector Development Manager. “With the steady growth of startups emerging within Vancouver, we expect up to 15,000 jobs opening up within just the tech sector alone.”
As the final presentations on Sunday night fast approached, teams prepared to pitch to their panel of seasoned entrepreneurs and top-tier VCs consisting of: Ryan Holmes (CEO, Hootsuite), Wade Foster (CEO, Zapier – which emerged from Startup Weekend Columbia), Amy Rae (Principal, Vanedge Capital), and Igor Smirnoff (Chief Commercial Officer, PressReader).
Three well-deserved startups were awarded top prizes: Draft Madness (3rd Place), HouseHive (2nd Place), and Culitech.
The brain-child of two young entrepreneurs, Angela Wang and Madeline Liu (both whom are still in secondary school as eleventh graders), Culitech offers a smart, attachable device for cutlery to detect any toxins and allergens in food before it is consumed. HouseHive, claiming 2nd Place, offers an online platform which connects household service providers to city residents. Draft Madness, at 3rd Place, offers a March Madness drafting platform to enable players to win more money through engaging in fantasy sports.
Lastly, AVA was awarded as having the “Best Impact” by Spring Activator. AVA provides a simple, beautiful solution to home gardening using the AVA device, a microwave-sized, smart urban gardening box for the urban cultivator.