BCIC–New Ventures Competition winners

Top honours went to Ecoation Innovative Solutions, which took home more than $130,000

At its 17th annual awards on September 25 in Vancouver, non-profit New Ventures BC announced the winners of the BCIC–New Ventures Competition. The nine winning startups, which span the province, represent industries ranging from agricultural technology and life sciences to cloud software and fintech.

Ecoation Innovative Solutions Inc. of North Vancouver, whose software platform predicts crop stress, won the $110,000 BC Innovation Council (BCIC) first prize, plus the $22,000 BC Resource Industry Prize package.

“The NVBC competition was a great experience for us,” said Ecoation founder and CEO Saber Miresmailli. “The mentorship and critical feedback that we received were instrumental for our success, and we will take these lessons beyond the competition. We are going to change the way we produce and protect our food, and tonight is [the beginning of] something big.”

Taking the $60,000 second prize: Microbiome Insights Inc., which helps clients better understand microbial communities. Vancouver-headquartered Microbiome also won the Centre for Drug Research and Development Life Sciences prize, worth $10,000 in in-kind services.

Slickspaces, a Vancouver-based developer of software that allows remote entry to short-term rentals, won the $35,000 third prize and the $25,000 Plug and Play Tech Centre prize.

“I would like to congratulate all of this year’s competition winners and recognize Ecoation Innovation Solutions in particular for taking first place with its crop stress detection platform,” said Bruce Ralston, minister of Jobs Trade and Technology. “The award recipients represent some of B.C.’s best and brightest innovators, and I look forward to seeing how they will contribute to our tech sector and economy as they continue to grow.”

The other six winners: 

The panel of judges included prominent B.C. venture capitalists, entrepreneurs and senior business executives, along with past competition winners.

“It’s incredibly exciting for us to fuel the next wave of B.C. innovation that will drive our local economy and change the world,” said Carl Anderson, president and CEO of the BC Innovation Council. “This year's winners are a great example of the incredible talent, ingenuity and innovation this province has to offer.”