2014 U of S Tech Venture Challenge announces finalists

Twelve tech-based entrepreneurs have been chosen from a field of 24 to advance to the next phase of the 2014 Tech Venture Challenge, the annual business start-up competition presented through the University of Saskatchewan Industry Liaison Office (ILO).

The teams now begin the race for the $50,000 grand prize. Winners will be announced in May 2014.

Over the next four months, the finalists will benefit from the business and advisory support including mentorship and guidance from the ILO as they build out their ideas. They will be professionally mentored and guided, leading to the selection of three finalists.

Three prizes are available:  the ILO $50,000 first place prize, plus the Mariner $5,000 for second place and Affinity/Mercan $3,000 for third place. The grand prize package includes office space at Innovation Place, mentoring and professional services from Mariner Innovations and Deloitte and banking services from RBC to get their new venture off the ground.  A new sponsorship this year from the U of S Grad Student Association - a $10,000 low interest loan - will also be awarded to the best grad student business.

"The workshops, presenters, connections and support have been invaluable in our start-up phase. The discipline to focus really helped us refine our business," said Michael Lockerbie, BitStrata Systems CEO and 2013 Tech Venture winner. "The ILO and the Saskatoon business community as a whole have been very nurturing and supportive. The prizes provided by the ILO, Deloitte, Innovation Place and RBC will accelerate progress through to the next phase of our business."

"Each year the quality of the applicants helps reaffirm our commitment to supporting and strengthening Saskatchewan's start-up talent," said Industry Liaison Office Start-Ups and Projects Manager Lorna Shaw-Lennox. "It is very clear that the entrepreneurial spirit in this province and at the University of Saskatchewan grows stronger every year."

"As a judge, for the second year, I am impressed with the growing diversity of the applications." said Bryan McCrea, local entrepreneur and CEO of 3twenty Solutions. "This year's competition included engineering, computer science, biotech, environmental, medical and educational business ideas."

The 2014 Tech Venture Challenge finalists are:

Deliverify - Joshua Simair, Chris Simair, Stephen Miazga, Jeff Adamson

Online platform promoting efficient delivery alternatives for restaurants.

Zipfferral - Jay Maharaj, Dale Lemke

Smartphone app for professional services to encourage and track referrals including a reward option.

Empower Mortgage - Conrad Neufeld

Online mortgage tool optimizing selection of need-specific lenders.

Bio Fabrication Systems - Daniel Chen, May Huang

A multi-cell manipulation technology for tissue building.

Innocorps Research - Aarya Shahsavar, Alexander Chan, Dawson James

A modular, self-contained water filtration technology for the mining industry.

Life Form Rehab Systems - James Montgomery, Julia Montgomery, Jim Boire, Harley Olsen, Lynda Haverstock

A computerized hoist and sling technology used in diagnostics and rehabilitation of large animals.

Voice Education - William Rowluck, Michael Mackey

An online interactive curriculum tool for multimedia files and First Nation story tellers.

Herbal Depilatory Gel - Azita Haddadi, Soodabeh Saeidnia, Ahmad Reza Goharikakhki

An herbal depilatory gel using a Saskatchewan-native plant extract.

Just Move It - Tarun Katapally, Nazeen Muhajarine, Nate Osgood

A mobile app that encourages physical activity to counter obesity in young adults.

Future of Coding App Makers - Jamie Wutke, Adam Barrett

A crowdsourced study tool with a front-end flash card app, aimed at university students.

Recrilo Technologies - Taylor Mills, Dylan Hergott, Rohit Nundy, Donovan Sotnikow

A dispatch driver and rider system with a web and mobile app for the taxi industry.

Red Finch Software - Kevin Sookochef

An application software library for developers in the mobile gaming industry.

Tech Venture Challenge is sponsored by the Industry Liaison Office, U of S Grad Student Association, Mariner Innovations, RBC, Affinity Credit Union and Mercan Group of Companies and is open to any member of the U of S community, including employees, faculty researchers, students or alumni. Our partners also include Innovation Place and Deloitte.


For more information, contact:

Lorna Shaw-Lennox

Startup and Projects Manager

U of S Industry Liaison Office


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