More than 100 members of BC’s technology community gathered in Kelowna on Thursday, February 23, 2011 at an invite-only event to celebrate the three early-stage technology companies taking top honours at the inaugural BCIC-New Ventures Competition: Regional Awards Ceremony.

The broad spectrum of innovative technologies from the 17 finalists included a mobile monitoring system for people working alone, an online service that provides environmental product info and a portable biosensor to detect bacteria in drinking water.

The BCIC-New Ventures Competition: Regional winners are selected by the competition’s expert panel of judges, who base their decision on which company has the most potential for success.  This year’s BCIC-New Ventures Competition: Regional winners are:

$30,000 BCIC First prize: Reef Safe Fish (Victoria, BC)

Recent university graduates and siblings, Ashley and Robert Roulston at Reef Safe Fish have developed a closed loop waste-recycling technology that filters fish waste and then combines it with fertilizer to produce fish food onsite.


$20,000 BCIC Second prize: SideStix Ventures Inc. (Roberts Creek, BC)

As an athlete and amputee, Sarah Doherty and her team at SideStix have revolutionized the common walking crutch for the disabled, developing an ergonomic, shock-absorbing forearm crutch that significantly reduces joint compression and the secondary injuries that often arise from using crutches.


$10,000 BCIC Third prize:  MemoryLeaf Media Inc. (Kamloops, BC)

MemoryLeaf’s online memorial service, created by Jonathan Bowers whose family runs a local funeral home, lets users create a lasting legacy for their loved ones through photos, videos and stories. The service, arranged through local funeral service providers, also offers professionally developed resources to help answer questions about the grieving process.


Photo: Danny Robinson, BCIC; Jonathan Bowers, Memory Leaf; Kerith Perreur-Lloyd, SideStix; Sarah Doherty, SideStix; Ashley Roulston, Reef Safe Fish; and Bob de Wit, New Ventures BC

“It was an exciting night for our first regional competition,” said Bob de Wit, Executive Director of the BCIC-New Ventures Competition. “With the support of the tech community, our mentors, sponsors and partners, the regional competition provided many companies across BC the opportunity to take their tech startup to the next level.”


BCIC-NVC: Regional is a five-month competition – a boot camp for business startups – addressing the special interests of BC’s early-stage technology companies and supports BC’s emerging technology industry. The competition was open to any BC person, resident or business located outside of Metro Vancouver with a technology-focused idea that has not yet secured significant financing from external investors.


“BCIC is very proud to support this regional competition which provides BC entrepreneurs with the tools and training to take their companies from concept to commercialization,” said Danny Robinson, CEO of BCIC. “These companies are contributing to our knowledge economy and helping to make BC the best place to start and grow companies.”

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