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Credit: Courtesy of Innovate BC

Vancouver-based video creation platform Lumen5 won first prize—and $105,000—in last years New Ventures BC Competition

The province’s longest-running startup contest gives local early-stage tech companies a shot at $250,000 in cash and prizes

The business world may be in rough shape, but B.C. startups in need of funding can take heart that a long-running provincial contest remains very much alive.

The New Ventures BC Competition for early-stage tech companies, marking its 20th anniversary, is taking applications until April 7. Run by nonprofit the New Ventures BC Society and presented by provincial agency Innovate BC, the contest will award $250,000 in cash and prizes. Winning businesses will walk away with cash ranging from $112,000 for first place to $10,000 for the People’s Choice Award.

“For 20 years, we’ve directly supported some of the province’s most promising tech companies,” said New Ventures BC executive director Angie Schick in a statement. Schick cited Vancouver-based AbCellera Biologics (now working on antibody therapies to treat COVID-19), North Vancouver-headquartered automated greenhouse management platform Ecoation and wastewater treatment specialist Saltworks Technologies of Richmond.

Since it launched in 2000 to encourage innovation in the province’s tech sector, the New Ventures BC Competition has backed 2,360 startups that have created more than 3,700 jobs and raised some $300 million in financing. “My favourite part about this competition is how it supports startups all over the province,” said Raghwa Gopal, president and CEO of Innovate BC. “Early-stage ventures need a little bit of everything—mentorship, education, funding—and this competition provides startups with all of that and more.”

In 2019, the first-prize winner was Vancouver-based video creation platform Lumen5, which took home $105,000. Second place, and $60,000, went to NiceJob, a reputation marketing outfit headquartered in Vancouver. Winning $25,000 and third prize was Victoria-based restaurant order management platform Cuboh, co-founded by Juan Orrego, one of our 2019 30 Under 30 winners.

You can apply for this year’s competition here.