Investors in Kelowna? They do exist.

Alison Yesilcimen pitches MediaCooler at an Investor Forum in Kelowna Last night I discovered a secret. There are investors in Kelowna.

For the last 8 weeks, my co-founder and I participated in Accelerate Okanagan’s investor-ready pitch contest, Jump:Start:Challenge. If you’re not familiar with Jump:Start, it’s an 8 week training program that helps startups craft their pitch to be presented in front of real-life, cheque-signing Angels.

The program culminated in Penticton, BC on September 11th, where ~25 teams had 5 minutes to prove they should be selected for the top 10. Our company, ..duo, made the cut.

Last week, the top 10 were whittled down to 5. Unfortunately, ..duo didn’t make it through. The good news, however, was that it was the best pitch I had delivered. I was proud of what we had accomplished and truly believed that the concept and offering couldn’t have been pitched better.

With our heads held high and with the desire to support our teammates, we attended the top 5 investor night on November 8, 2012. It was an intimate group of around 25 individuals consisting of mentors, supporters, and yes, Kelowna investors.

Between networking, wine sipping and indulging in some fantastic breads and spreads, the 5 companies who delivered their 10 minute pitch were:

  • Cream.hr – Declaring war on resumes. They are a web-based psychometric pre-employment assessment to ensure employers constantly hire top performers.
  • ProgenyBio – an Okanagan-based agricultural company that provides tissue culture, virus testing and consulting services to growers.
  • MediaCooler – a SaaS solution that provides a searchable database of publisher’s content and a transactional platform that allows customers to license the rights to re-published articles and images.
  • Counterpart – a patent-pending software and unique methodology that helps companies save millions on their technology spending.
  • Trajectory Design Automation – an Electronic Design Automation company whose Ember™ software enables integrated circuit designers to forecast the temperature of the tiny interconnects that join the millions of transistors within a chip.

Congrats to all of the program participants! All of our pitches have come such a long way. Good luck to the top 5 as next week they head to Vancouver to pitch it all over again.

Daylin Mantyka

ps- a message to all you Okanagan Angels – see a company you like that has vision, passion and leadership? Let’s get Kelowna on the map and make something big happen. Your contributions can truly have an impact.

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