Three startups from Kitchener-Waterloo region have been awarded $5,000 after pitching their ideas at the GTAN|START Competition earlier this week.
Voltera won first prize. It’s a startup that prints tiny computer circuit boards, much like 3D printers work.
We last wrote about the University of Waterloo’s VeloCity Garage-based company in January. Then cofounders Alroy Almeida, Jesus Zozaya, James Pickard and Katarina Ilic had just formed the company, which creates circuit boards using small amounts of copper. When one removes unneeded portions, toxic chemicals must be used. Voltera sought a new solution, one that would run alongside the 3D printing paradigm. Rather than plastic, they’re using ink.
Edusight, a company from the ASCEnt program at Communitech, won the GTAN Sponsors Award. It’s an education software company designed to help teachers. It seeks to saving teachers time by providing them with the simplest tools to capture insights on each student. Particularly, the startup has designed an online, free gradebook for K-12 teachers that’s easy to use and saves time.
Finally, TrendRadius, another VeloCity Garage startup, won the GTAN Founders Award. The company is helping product managers design products consumers are looking for. Specifically, the startup uses the web and social media to build a community around one’s product, easily integrating feedback into product requirements. It’s mission is “to transform how businesses create products using customer feedback data.”
GTAN, or the “Golden Triangle Angel Network” is one of the most active angel investment groups in Canada. It started five years ago and has invested more than $20 million dollars in 40 companies. GTAN invests in early stage startups, and proudly contributes to the healthy startup culture in Waterloo Region. One of those contributions is the GTAN|START pitch competition.
“This was our most successful GTAN pitch event,” said GTAN President Rob Douglas. “The caliber of startups that are coming out of this community are truly impressive, and the judges had a difficult job.”
More than 40 companies applied to the competition, with eight competing at the live event earlier this week.
GTAN|START chair Tom Heaslip added that the three winners are all products of the “incredible Waterloo Region tech ecosystem.” “The companies are very different, from education software, to B2B product engagement, to a hardware company. It’s incredible to see the diversity of ideas.”