Change Heroes Wins Startup World Vancouver

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Startup World is on a global mission to uncover great startups who are not calling Silicon Valley home. They touched down in Vancouver on Monday and like the 19 cities they previously visited a total of nine local startups were chosen to pitch their idea. Startup World is Hermione Way’s passion project with the goal to shine a light on entrepreneurs in emerging markets.

The evening was hosted by InstituteB and welcomed notable judges such as Saeed Amidi (CEO, Plug and Play Ventures), Tommy Lee Lewis (Technical Evangelist, Microsoft), Boris Mann (Managing Partner, Full Stack) and Neda Amidi (Investment Analyst, Plug & Play Ventures ). The packed crowd heard 3-minute pitches from:

At stake was more than just a glass trophy, the winner earns the opportunity to compete against 19 other regional winners at the Startup World Grand Final in San Francisco, plus possibly win the grand prize package that includes:

  • 3 month incubation period worth $30,000 at i/o Ventures

  • 1 year of Rackspace hosting worth up to $24,000

  • 5 million Echo real-time streams per month for 1 year worth $30,000

The judges tallied all the votes and Way announced Change Heroes as the winner. Mike Tan, COO and VP of Community at Change Heroes, lit-up the judges with a social enterprise that’s on a mission to one day see a world where every kid has access to free education. Change Heroes is an online friend-funding platform that enables anyone to raise $10,000 in a few hours to build a school in a developing country. The team lives by the core idea that “there’s a hero inside each of us waiting for the chance to change the world!”

The night ended with a real surprise as Saeed Amidi, CEO of Plug and Play Ventures, took centre stage announcing that 3 of the 9 startups had made a significant impression on him to warrant a follow-up conversation for potential funding. Amidi shared with me that he’s looking forward talking further with ChangeHeroes, Cognilab, and Style Pixi.

It’s great seeing the impression Vancouver’s community makes when the world comes for a visit and in November we’ll see how one of our startups stacks up against the rest. Below is a gallery of images from Twitter, courtesy of all the attendees.

John Gray

John Gray

John jumped into the start-up world in early 2009. He was co-founder of Mentionmapp, a visual analytics company that was acquired by OverInteractive Media in October 2011. John’s also been a Vancouver Startup Weekend organizer. He’s now a full time freelance writer and enjoys exploring stories about the intersection of our human experience with technology. John has a B.Ap.Sc. in Communications and a B.A. in English, both from Simon Fraser University.

  • Jackie Murchison

    Way to go Change Heroes!! So proud to have had so many of our Launch Academy friends pitching yesterday! :)

  • Collin Stewart

    Great post John! I love the Change Heroes team… except for when I have to pitch right after Mike (founder), he has such a great energy and their mission is tough to top.

  • Allison

    congrats change heroes ~ amazing and inspiring work, keep it up!

  • mcelroy

    Mike’s a beast.

  • Mike Tan

    Great post John! Thanks for all the support Alison, Colin, Alexandra, and Jacqui! It’s so awesome to be part of such a supportive start up community here in Vancouver. We feel so fortunate to have received so much help organizations like Launch Academy, Institute B, the Coast Capital Innovation Hub, Accelerate Techtoria (in Victoria) and IRAP. Hopefully Change Heroes can represent Vancouver well at the Startup World finals in San Fran in November :)

  • Sukhman Perhar

    Congratulations Change Heroes! Awesome job Mike!

  • Kaylee May

    Love the post John, amazing work Mike! So happy to be apart of the team :)

  • Alejandra Roca

    Great Post! Mike, your Amazing! Congrats Change Heroes!!

  • disqus_q3pCzkXEzo

    Great spot Colin and congrats Change Heroes!