While there can only be one grand prize winner, just making it into the finalists' circle offers a valuable boost to the entrepreneurs.
"Win or lose, it's the connections, the resources, the coaching and mentoring [that everyone receives]. We have taken advantage of all of that," said Saskatoon entrepreneur Suzanne Paschall of Indie Ink Publishing Inc., one of last year's final three finalists.
There were just two months between the end of last year's Tech Venture Challenge and the deadline for submissions for the 2013 competition, putting pressure on entrants to make their case.
"We were encouraged that we received 28 applications," said Industry Liaison Office Managing Director Glen Schuler. "The response tells us that the U of S community's entrepreneurial spirit is alive and thriving."
"The ideas were quite diverse and it's never easy picking winners from the applications," said Bryan McCrea, CEO of 3twenty Solutions, one of the competition judges and a local entrepreneur. "This competition isn't just about the prize money, it's about the process. The competition provides the finalists a great opportunity to benefit from the advisory support as they build on their idea."
The 2013 Tech Venture Challenge finalists are:
1. Bit Strata - a wireless industrial equipment monitoring technology - Michael Lockerbie and Ian Meier.
2. Farm-at-hand - a farm management mobile application - Kim Keller and Himanshu Singh.
3. Client relationship management system for seniors' residences - Scott Kopelchuk, Curtis Chapman and Henry Fernandes.
4. One Story - a mobile application for video capture - Katrina German and Dale Zak.
5. Open Mind Developments - an eco-friendly plastic bio-composite made from biopolymers, flax fibre and flax shives used in consumer products - Jeremy Lang.
6. Student Task Check - online site to connect those with jobs and tasks needing to be completed with those able to provide the service - Brayden York, Jason Tran and Logan Meijer.
7. Vigor Green - a bioremediation solution that more efficiently assists in mine site and land reclamation - Frank Su and Michael Chubb.
8. Frozen Gear Design - seedling-stage weed identification mobile application - Chris Weiers, Bradley Weiers and Lindsay Sweet.
9. Enviro-Green - passive treatment technology for contaminated liquid waste - Brian Peever.
10. The Blankenator - an automotive electric blanket - Diacre Bayishime.
Tech Venture Challenge is sponsored by the Industry Liaison Office, Innovation Place, RBC Royal Bank and Deloitte and is open to any member of the U of S community, including employees, faculty researchers, alumni, or students.
For more information, contact:
Startup Company Specialist
U of S Industry Liaison Office
University of Saskatchewan