Seven early-stage New Brunswick startups that use technology for social good have made the province's Venn Garage incubator program. Problems addressed range from reducing the impact of Covid on local businesses to bringing safe and reliable drinking water to communities.
The startups were chosen after pitching at Venn’s virtual Open Pitch competition. Participating benefits include mentorship, access to resources and networks, and technology validation for business model scalability, with an in-kind value of $47,000.
Venn said the pitch contest revealed great enthusiasm for using tech-based solutions to help communities and SMEs thrive.
"We are very happy to see their aspiration to address the gaps in our society,” said Alicia Grayeb, Program Manager of Venn’s Startup Services. “From providing education opportunities to solving commuting challenges for pilots, this quarter’s pitch competition was a showcase of New Brunswick’s entrepreneurial and communal spirit."
Created in 2014, Venn Garage is a non-cohort-based program billed as helping New Brunswick entrepreneurs validate their ideas, acquire early adopters, gain initial funding and prepare for other accelerators. Companies initially remain for a year and extend their residencies by six months if performance merits it. The Open Pitch Competition was inspired by increased demand for the incubator.
The seven latest participants are:
Homeschooltogo -- virtual education solution that focuses on guiding parents along their home-schooling journey.
Flourish Sales -- a virtual marketplace for local vendors to connect with customers within their communities, with options for in-store pickup and delivery.
Crew Pass -- booking platform with a punch pass system, allowing commercial airline pilots access to comfortable stays and commutes between flying shifts.
Water Integrated Design & Empowerment -- designing distillation water treatment systems for remote communities to provide reliable drinking water in a sustainable and affordable way.
Christofe Tremblay -- a sports analytics system to help coaches assess their individual players' and teams' performances and rankings.
Boostedu -- a tutoring system addressing the gaps created by the pandemic.
Foghorn News -- a publication for news, culture, and local interests that represents the cultural and demographic shifts taking place in New Brunswick.
To date, Venn Garage has helped more than a 100 startups, resulting in an investment of more than $4.7 million in new ideas to activate New Brunswick’s economy.