Parksville’s Pixton Comics Inc., creators of an online comic-making platform with an intuitive click-n-drag interface, has come out on top with the $30,000 grand prize in the 2nd annual BCIC-New Ventures Competition: Regional.  In total, $60,000 in cash prizes was awarded at a ceremony held in Kelowna last night.

With over 750,000 registered users in more than 200 countries and representing 40 languages, Pixton’s online storytelling platform gives people of all ages the power to tell stories and share ideas through comic on the web. Pixton.com allows users to customize their very own comic – from fully posable and expressive characters to speech bubbles and photos, providing an unparalleled creative and social experience for consumers, educators and businesses.

“The regional BCIC-New Ventures Competition does a great job of showcasing the innovative technologies being developed all around British Columbia, strengthening our regional economies and creating jobs for B.C. families,” said Dr. Moira Stilwell, Parliamentary Secretary of Industry, Research and Innovation. “The competition is enhancing B.C.’s technology sector, which we’re focusing on as part of ‘Canada Starts Here: The BC Jobs Plan’ because it has excellent potential to accelerate economic growth in this province.”

“I came into the competition feeling hopeful but never in a million years did I imagine that we’d walk away with the first prize,” said Clive Goodinson, Founder and Creator of Pixton (pictured receiving the award). “It’s a huge vote of confidence for what we are doing. Any entrepreneur knows you take a huge risk in pursuing your dreams but at the same time you know inside of you that it’s something that is going to happen. And this just seals the deal.”

The competition’s $20,000 second-place and $10,000 third-place prizes went to Mazza Innovation Ltd. of Penticton and MediaCore of Victoria. Mazza is leading the development of pressurized low polarity water extraction technology that removes high-value phytochemicals from plants for use in products such as foods, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. MediaCore’s cloud-based video learning platform helps educational institutions, training facilities and corporations provide education online.

“The jury was thoroughly impressed by the quality of companies entered in the regional competition,” said Bob de Wit, Executive Director of the BCIC-New Ventures Competition. “Companies were offered support from mentors, speakers and most importantly, experts within their local technology communities, including regional technology councils. The caliber of final pitches presented to the jury proves this support is paying off.”

This year’s competition saw entries from 55 companies from all corners of our province, which were narrowed down to 20 finalists in November 2011. Among them included a web- and subscription-based geographic scheduling system, a full-scale mobile marketing automation platform and a powerful web application that helps people learn vocabulary and terminology in any subject.

The winners are selected by the competition’s expert panel of judges, who base their decisions on which companies have the most potential for success.

The province-wide BCIC-New Ventures Competition will launch in March, offering another opportunity for BC startups to learn how to progress their technology business idea into a profitable company while competing for more than $300,000 in prize packages. The application deadline for the 12th annual BCIC-New Ventures Competition is Tuesday, April 17.

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