Two woman-led Victoria firms take home $45,000 in province-wide business competition
Nyoka and VoxCell Bioinnovation were recognized as promising startups in the annual New Ventures B.C Competition.
Last week, the B.C. tech community descended on UBC Robson Square for the culmination of the 2022 New Ventures BC (NVBC) Competition. As part of the ceremony, NVBC dished out more than $250,000 in cash and prizes to the province’s most-promising business ventures.
Among the award recipients, two Victoria-based startups took home top prizes.
Nyoka, a company creating non-toxic, biodegradable glow sticks, won the $10,000 Innovate BC Regional Startup Prize. The business, which was founded by Paige Whitehead, is on a mission to replace toxic light sources across a range of industries including military, diagnostic, emergency, fishing, consumer, and manufacturing sectors.
Taking home the third place prize of $35,000 was VoxCell Bioinnovation. Its goal is to provide a new platform for oncology drug screening. The 3D-printed, human-like tissues it creates are used for drug testing, reducing the need for animal and human experimentation and bringing lifesaving therapies to market quicker.
Vancouver’s Ovou was given the first place prize of $110,000. Read more details in our sister publication Vancouver Tech Journal.
Now in its 22nd year, the New Ventures BC competition is known for identifying many of the province’s most promising startups.
Last year, Vancouver’s TrafficDriven Technologies. (now known as Mintlist) was crowned the winner, taking home the $110,000 Innovate BC first-place prize package. Vancouver’s Train Fitness claimed the $60,000 Innovate BC second-place prize package, and cleantech startup Moment Energy rounded out the top three and walked away with $35,000.
According to New Ventures BC, past winners have raised over $807 million in financing, generated upwards of $288 million in revenues, and have created over 5,400 jobs in British Columbia. Over 150 of B.C.’s top business leaders volunteer as mentors and jurors. Since its inception, more than 1,500 entrepreneurs have participated in the program.