Launch Academy Pitch Day Showcases Promise of Emerging Vancouver Startups

Posted by Sumari MacLeod

Many cliches should be burned on a pyre. But some endure for good reasons—like the hoary old chestnut about the third time being the charm.

For Launch Academy's third Pitch Day was by all accounts the most successful yet. A sold out event with a waiting list 50 names long, Thursday night's competition saw entrepreneurial faces, new and familiar, cheer on talented competitors as they stepped onto the pitcher's mound to see if they have what it takes in the big leagues. The success of Launch Academy itself may have been the only thing that prevented the night from being an ironclad success; fifty steaming hot pizzas, two hundred bodies and a humid August night added up to one sticky room.

The evening began with 10 lightning pitches from eight Launch Academy members and two students from Launch Academy’s Lean Entrepreneur Program. The top five crowd favourites (as well as four companies from the Launch Academy Student Startup Challenge) then presented longer three-minute pitches in front of judges Meredith Powell (The Next Big Thing), Jack Newton (Clio), Sandra Wear (CanWIT), Shane Luke (Recon Instruments), and Sam Chandola (Victory Square Games). The Student Startup Challenge finalists competed for cash prizes of $3,000, $1,500, and $500, while the remaining companies competed for a top prize of a flight to New York City for Startup Next’s Demo Day.

“It’s been exactly a year since our last competition, so we were really excited to showcase an entirely new crop of entrepreneurs this time around," says Launch Academy’s Executive Director, Ray Walia.

"A lot of these startups were just an idea three months ago, so it’s been really exciting to see how quickly they’ve grown into real companies while under Launch Academy’s roof," he added.

In a little under two hours, the winners emerged. In order, the winners are:

  • Latergram.me: An app to schedule and manage Instagram posts, already used by NFL teams, Vogue, and Etsy (First Place)
  • Shubaloo: An internet radio playing only music from bands coming to town soon (Second Place)
  • HipsterCEO: A mobile game that gives wannabe entrepreneurs a taste of the startup life. (Third Place)
  • Riipen: An online platform connecting students with companies via short-term, relevant, skill-specific projects that build students’ virtual portfolios, while companies gain complementary skills and reduce hiring costs. (Finalist)
  • Trusted Therapies: Patient-doctor community for patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. (Finalist)

In the students' division, Fetch made themselves happen with their top prize win. Novogadget's SafeRing shows great promise, if the anti-assault jewelry can resolve the issue of false-alarm prevention, and Loodo Analytics rounded out the top three. Mack Flavelle made for an enthusiastic MC, equally comfortable giving audiences his best smoulder to get the crowd's attention as his best chain of f-bombs, and a bit in which Lloyed Lobo and Ray Walia debated which of the two of them would be considered the ugly twin was well-received.

The remainder of 2014 promises to highlight the best that Launch Academy has to offer. Readers can expect an announcement of the second Cascadia Startup Day venue soon; Walia will be scouting locations this week.

Company:
Recon Instruments
Website:
http://www.reconinstruments.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Recon Instruments is the world leader in smartglass technology for sports and high intensity environments. Founded in 2008, Recon’s award winning multi-patent and patent-pending technology platforms integrate a Heads-up Display (HUD) with a state-of-the-art micro-computer and sensor suite that provide performance information, navigation, and more, direct-to-eye, in real-time. Recon’s HUDs run an operating system... more

Company:
Launch Academy
Website:
http://www.launchacademy.ca
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Launch Academy is a pre-accelerator program that helps entrepreneurs execute on their startups through education, mentorship, lean metrics and networking opportunities. Launch Academy has established an environment where ideas are vetted, business models are tested and successes are celebrated. Founded on the values of innovation, opportunities and accountability, Launch Academy addresses the lack of startup... more

Company:
Victory Square Games
Website:
http://victorysquaregames.com
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Victory Square Games start up indie game company located in Vancouver, Canada working on such fantastic titles as "Campaign Tycoon", "Elementary, My Dear Holmes", and "Boximals". VSG was founded in 2013 by writer-turned-producer Sam Chandola, who managed to convince a bunch of innocent investors about his grand entrepreneurial vision by throwing in catchy buzzwords, technical jargon, and catchy buzzwords. To find... more

Company:
Latergramme
Website:
http://www.latergram.me
Location:
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Latergramme makes it easy for brands to schedule and manage their Instagram accounts. To get around Instagram API restrictions, we allow scheduling of Instagram posts by pushing them to a phone so they can easily be opened in the Instagram app and posted as normal. This is in contrast to the current "save to dropbox on desktop, open dropbox on phone, save image to camera roll, open in Instagram" workflow that many... more


blog comments powered by Disqus

Sumari MacLeod

Sumari MacLeod

Sumari MacLeod debuted from Humber’s postgraduate Advertising and Copywriting program with an Applied Arts Student Competition win under her belt, and after interning at both a traditional agency and a PR firm, has found herself at home as a writer for TV and web. She graduated from UBC with a B.A. in English Literature and History, and previously covered video game news for The Village Gamer.... more




Who's Hiring



Recent Comments

Powered by Disqus