The 10 Finalists in Accelerate Okanagan’s Jump:Start Challenge have been announced following the first round which took place in Kelowna last Thursday.

The challenge started with 27 entrants being invited to present their pitches at an open forum. 10 companies were then selected by an expert panel of judges to move on to the next round of the challenge, where they will receive nine weeks of intense training, coaching, and mentorship to improve their investor presentations.

Among the ten finalists are four former New Ventures competitors.

Hustream Technologies and Rapid Water Testing were in the Top 20 in last year’s BCIC-New Ventures Competition:Regional and Digniti Home Hospital (2010) and ElectroMotion Energy (2011) were competitors that made it through to Round 2 in their respective years.

In November, the 10 finalists will be narrowed down further to the final 5 companies, which will each have the opportunity to present before members of the investment community in Vancouver and Kelowna.

Prizes for the top three companies will include free enrolment for one year in Accelerate Okanagan’s Venture Acceleration Program, which helps high potential technology companies accelerate their growth and maximize their opportunity. The overall winner will also receive one year’s free office space at Accelerate Okanagan’s Kelowna or Penticton innovation centres.

2011 Top 10 Companies and Top 5 Agritech Companies announced