Newly-hatched investment sharks swam through a school of fresh startups last week, as a business and investor training program culminated in one B.C. startup winning a $50,000 investment prize.
The Campbell River Impact Investor Challenge is an initiative to build local ‘impact investing’ through a 12-week training program for entrepreneurs and investors alike. It was delivered over this spring through a partnership including the City of Campbell River, the Campbell River Area Angel Group (CRAGG), several investor firms and Spring Activator, an advisory firm.
The challenge attracted 33 B.C. startups and 12 new investors, including some locals. It culminated in a virtual finale on June 16, in which five finalist startups — all women-led and BIPOC-led — pitched their idea to win a $50,000 minimum investment prize.
The winner was Heal Mary, a Vancouver-based company founded by Cassandra Hui, for providing a platform boosting patient enrollment in clinical trials by connecting patients, caregivers and doctors to research.
There was also a local victor, as Campbell River’s Damien Gillis received a low-interest $15,000 investment for ProjectDome, a dome projection system for virtual reality.
“This program was a successful example of how a diverse group of investors and entrepreneurs can come together to push forward critical solutions to challenging social and environmental problems,” said Graham Day, Spring Activator’s investment director.