Project Zero Incubator graduates 17 ventures, awards three with pitch honours

The program is set on developing B.C.'s circular economy.

Project Zero

Credit: One of TOP Carbon Capture’s “hempcrete” buildings

The program is set on developing B.C.’s circular economy 

“Hempcrete” buildings, refurbishment for outdoor retailers and eco-friendly tiles.  

This is where we ask “What do all of these have in common?” and you answer with the only retort that seems remotely plausible: “Umm, they seem like they’re all winners of some sort of circular economy pitch event?”  

And you’d be correct! The above ventures were the three winners of yesterday’s 2022 Project Zero Pitch Event, put on by the Project Zero Incubator, run by the Synergy Foundation and supported by Vancity.  

In all, 17 ventures will graduate from the free eight-month circular economy program, marking the largest and first provincewide cohort since it began in 2019.  

Eleven businesses entered the pitch ring but by the time the final bell went, three were left standing. The first place ($2,000) winner was TOP Carbon Capture, an Indigenous-owned, Port Alberni-based company that builds housing out of hemp biowaste.  

Second place ($1,000) went to Vancouver’s Spruce Circularity, which aims to provide repair, maintenance, alteration and refurbishment services for outdoor retailers. It was founded by former Arc’teryx employee Devon de Balasi Brown.  

Taking home third place and its $500 prize was another Port Alberni company in Timber Tiles, which manufactures wooden tiles from hemlock that would otherwise have been downgraded by sawmills. 

Businesses that graduated from the program are expected to create over 40 new green jobs by the end of 2023. Applications for the 2023 Incubator Program intake will open on January 9, 2023.