PwC Vision to Reality Short List: The BetaKit Cheat Sheet

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PwC’s Vision to Reality awards is back for their 10th year and earlier this week PwC announced their short list of twenty companies who will be vying for the coveted Innovator of the Year award.

Vision to Reality (or V2R for short) celebrates dynamic tech companies who were brave enough to expose their vision and benefit the industry

Last year, the Innovator of the Year award went to Toronto-based startup Wattpad – the world’s largest community of readers and writers which is revolutionizing the way we read, write and share stories. This year companies looking to disrupt areas such as authentication, gesture-control, digital signage and even how we see ourselves from space have all made the list.

Outside of the top spot, PwC also names the top ten up-and-coming companies to watch. Last year, photo community, 500px made the top ten. They return again this year for another attempt at the top spot.

Vision to Reality’s award ceremony is on November 7 where the winners will be announced at the celebration event.

As PwC’s Vision to Reality short list is like a who’s who in the emerging technology space, we thought instead of just giving you the list we would do some legwork and provide a few details on each company. If you study up, you’ll be sure to impress your colleagues around the water cooler. The list is in alphabetical order.


500px

Toronto, ON

A photo community powered by creative people worldwide that lets you discover, share, buy and sell inspiring photographs.

Recent News: 500px was one of the 10 up-and-coming winners from PwC Vision to Reality 2012 program.

Website: http://500px.com/


Bionym

Toronto, ON

Specializes in biometrics and authentication technology for consumer electronics and develop technology that utilizes gesture control, proximity detection and application development.

Recent News: Bionym just opened up pre-orders for their heart authentication bracelet called the Nymi this month.

Website: http://www.bionym.com/


BusBud

Montreal, QC

A worldwide bus travel companion website and mobile application which offers the most comprehensive sources for intercity  bus travel information from around the world.

Recent News: The company raised its first $1 million dollars funding round in March of this year.

Website: http://www.busbud.com/


Chaordix Inc.

Calgary, AB

Uses the power of crowdsourcing to help the world’s leading companies and organizations gain actionable insight and competitive advantage.

Recent News: Choardix CEO Shelley Kuipers was one of the 20 promising startups to attend C100’s 48 hours in the valley.

Website: http://www.chaordix.com/


Datawind

Location: Mississauga, ON

Leading developer of wireless web access products and services and inventors of the much talked about Aakash tablet (cheapest tablet in the world).

Recent News: This month DataWind tied up a partnership with TES India to preload educational content to its tablets.

Website: http://www.datawind.com/


D-Wave Systems Inc.

Burnaby, BC

Offers the first commercial quantum computing system on the market designed for industrial problems encountered by Fortune 500  companies, government and academia.

Recent News: In May of this year, D-Wave computers were installed at the new Quantum Artifical Intelligence Lab – a collaboration between NASA, Google and URSA.

Website: http://www.dwavesys.com/


Frank & Oak

Montreal, QC

An online menswear brand with premium threads and a simple, integrated and personalized shopping experience.

Recent News: Canadian Business reported that this online menswear site has amassed 500,000 members and its mobile app which launched in January of 2013 accounts for 15% of sales

Website: https://www.frankandoak.com


Global Relay Communications

Vancouver, BC

Provides SaaS electronic message archiving, instant messaging, compliance and supervisions solutions with a focus on highly regulated industries such as finance and healthcare.

Recent News: CEO and Founder Warren Roy was recently honored with BCTIA’s prestigious Person of the Year award in June of this year.

Website: http://www.globalrelay.com/


InteraXon

Toronto, ON

Thought-controlled computing company that provides innovative solutions for new products and experiences using brain-controlled interfaces including Muse.

Recent News: In August of this year, InteraXon raised $6M in a Series A round.

Website: http://interaxon.ca/


Introhive

Fredericton, NB

A relationship capital company which helps sales, marketing and executives measure customer relationships to plan accounts, gain sales intelligence, and uncover more opportunities for their business.

Recent News: In May of this year, The Globe and Mail listed Introhive as one of five companies to watch in Atlantic Canada.

Website: https://www.introhive.com/


Method Integration Inc.

Toronto, ON

Creators of a Method, the customizable cloud- based customer relationship manager which integrates with QuickBooks, Gmail, Microsoft Outlook and more.

Recent News: The company raised $3 million dollars in Series A funding in Februrary of this year.

Website: http://www.methodintegration.com/


Mobiroo

Toronto, ON

Offers the first Apps-on demand subscription service where with one membership users can get unlimited access to hundreds of premium Android apps and games.

Recent News:  The company announced a partnership with Malysian Telecom Celcom in July of this year to offer their service to Celcom’s subscribers for a preferred price.

Website: http://mobiroo.com/


Password Box

Montreal, QC

Offers a free service to store, retrieve and share passwords anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Recent News: The Montreal Gazette reported that Password box have 500,000 users in private beta with 400,000 users on a waiting list when it launched in June of this year.

Website: https://www.passwordbox.com/


Pulse Energy

Vancouver, BC

Help utilities improve energy efficiency and customer satisfaction through their Pulse platform – a scalable software solution for commercial buildings.

Recent News: The company was recently nominated for the Global Cleantech Cluster Association (GCCA)’s 2013 Later Stage Awards of which winners will be announced this November.

Website: http://www.pulseenergy.com/


Thalmic Labs

Kitchener, ON

Developer of MYO – the gesture control armband which uses the electrical activity in your muscles to wirelessly control your computer, phone or favorite digital technologies.

Recent News: Thalmic Labs raised $14.5 million in Series A funding this June.

Website: https://www.thalmic.com


Top Hat

Toronto, ON

Web and mobile-based classroom response system that engages students and provides professors with real-time feedback on student understanding.

Recent News: The company raised $1.1 million in Venture round funding in January of this year.

Website: https://www.tophat.com/


UrtheCast Corp.

Pronounced “earthcast” this company is putting high definition cameras on the International Space Station and streaming footage directly from space.

Recent News: In August, UretheCast announced that a key hardware component critical to attaching their cameras had been installed on the International Space Station.

Website: http://www.urthecast.com/


Vena Solutions

Automates your corporate performance management processes by providing an intuitive web-based application that works with your existing spreadsheets.

Recent News: Named Best New Vendor by BPM Partners Pulse of Performance Management Survey and Market Analysis in May of thsi year.

Website: http://venasolutions.com/


Wajam

Montreal, QC

A social search engine that lets users get recommendations from friends by letting them search through public and private data shared on social networking platforms.

Recent News: Earlier this year, Wajam received the Best New Information Technology Company award at the 8th Annual Hot Companies and Best Products Awards.

Website: http://www.wajam.com/


WestonExpressions

Kitchener, ON

The creators of Linkett – a sleek and powerful digital signage system which lets brands enhances the consumer experience by enabling existing televisions and digital signs to have motion and mobile capabilities for promotions.

Recent News: The company launched their digital signage solution, Linkett, in July of this year.

Website: http://westonexpressions.co/


Tom Emrich

Tom Emrich

As a writer, consultant and community builder, Tom Emrich uses his passion for new technologies to act as a catalyst to bring on the future. He founded We Are Wearables, an organization that rallies the tech community together to learn, discuss and celebrate the wearable tech space in order to foster adoption and facilitate innovation. We Are Wearables currently has chapters in Toronto and Chicago. Tom writes regularly about wearables and other emerging technologies for MobileSyrup, BetaKit and Designers of Things. He also works with startups, and large organizations as an advisor and consultant offering assistance on product development, marketing and organizational strategy.