Credit: City of Campbell River/NexStream Tech Competition

Brandon Pirie of Wild Isle Ferments won $50,000 in last year’s contest

NextStream 2.0, which aims to meet challenges ranging from sustainable resource management to food security, is open to individuals, academic institutions and smaller businesses from around the world

Innovators, wherever you are, Campbell River wants to hear from you this month.

The coastal Vancouver Island city just launched NexStream 2.0, its second annual tech competition, which will award up to $300,000 in prizes.

A partnership with the Campbell River Area Angel Group (CRAAG), the contest is taking applications that address challenges in four categories: Health and Emergency Preparedness, Sustainable Resource Management, Food Security and Wildcard.

NexStream 2.0 is open to individuals, academic institutions and businesses with fewer than 100 employees, and innovators worldwide are welcome to apply. Teams can enter more than one category, and the competition and categories may have more than one winning team.

Last year, Brandon Pirie, founder of Quadra Island–based Wild Isle Ferments, won $50,000 in the NextStream 1.0 Wildcard Challenge by creating a line of fermented sauces microbrewed from seafood processing byproducts. Mark Rabin, founder and CEO of Vancouver-headquartered Portable Electric, took home $75,000 in the Portable Energy Pod challenge for a portable power station that uses renewable energy.

“The NexStream Tech Competition is proof that big things happen when people collaborate—and Campbell River is seeing increased investment interest and economic diversification as a result of this international competition,” said Mayor Andy Adams.

Got any ideas for challenges that innovators should tackle? For its second edition, the competition is taking suggestions.

You can submit your expression of interest here by 11:59 p.m. Pacific time on October 31.

Besides information on how to participate, the NexStream website includes an FAQ. The contest organizers will hold a virtual question-and-answer session on October 8, with details posted here closer to the date.

The NexStream 2.0 winners will be announced in September 2021.