Five B.C. companies make finalist cut in revamped Pitch for the Purse competition

12 startups in all were selected to participate in the next stage of the contest.

Credit: Courtesy of Forum for Women Entrepreneurs

12 startups were selected to participate in the next stage of the contest

The 2020-21 version of the Forum for Women Entrepreneurs’ Pitch for the Purse contest is slated to be very different than its four predecessors.

For starters, all the events will be held virtually. But there are some other moves, too. This is the first year the competition is open to participants from Quebec and other eastern provinces, and a community panel will replace the three judges of years past. Plus, the annual grand prize of $25,000 (via Wheaton Precious Metals Corp.) will be doubled, thanks to Vancouver-based audit, risk and compliance services firm Galvanize.

It should all make for a more competitive race to the top for the 12 finalists named this week. The dozen women will join celebrated Pitch for the Purse finalists of the past, including Tara Bosch, whose SmartSweets was the subject of a recent major acquisition.

B.C. entrepreneurs and businesses making the cut this year are Delta’s Libi Berenson and her social gifting platform Geenees, Karen Danudjaja’s Vancouver superfoods producer Blume Supply, Yamila Franco of Aldergove biotech firm Nyoka Design Labs, 2020 30 Under 30 winner Eve Laird and Sarah Cartwright of Vancouver-based Eve’s Crackers, and Melodie Reynolds of Victoria-based vegan cosmetics maker Eluma Beauty.

Joining them are Myra Arshad of Toronto food waste startup Alt Tex; Rachel Bartholomew of Fergus, Ontario–based pelvic health provider Hyivy Health; Ashleigh Kennedy of Ottawa-based concussion recovery solution Neurovine; Delphine Marinaro of Quebec’s The Latte Co., which makes a plant-based milk alternative for children; Alisha McFetridge of Toronto eco-friendly shower technology developer RainStick Shower; Connie Stacey of Edmonton-based eco-tech firm Growing Greener Innovations; and Mikayla Wujec and Naomi Blackman of Toronto-based women’s activewear brand Alder Apparel.

The Pitch for the Purse semifinals go down on December 1, from 12 to 2 p.m. PST. You can register to watch here.