Vancouver, BC — TrafficDriven Technologies Inc. has been announced as the winner of the 2021 New Ventures BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC. The Vancouver-based, AI-powered startup took home the $110,000 Innovate BC First Place Prize Package at a hybrid ceremony that took place at Roundhouse Community Centre in downtown Vancouver.
Vancouver’s Train Fitness claimed the $60,000 Innovate BC Second Place Prize Package for their wearable workout tracker capable of automatically detecting sets and reps during a strength-based workout. Cleantech startup Moment Energy rounded out the top three and walked away with $35,000 for their energy storage and battery management systems.
TrafficDriven is building an AI-powered auction platform that enables the buying, selling, and trading of cars. Their dealer-fueled online marketplace ensures trust for consumers and allows brick and mortar dealers to compete with digital disruptors. Consumers can now skip the discomfort of a vehicle purchase and trade when traders bid for their business, while Dealers can upgrade their sales model and qualify in-market buyers.
In addition to the top three prize packages, the Competition finalists also competed for four specialty prizes, including two newly added awards. This year’s winners include:
- BinBreeze (Victoria) — $10,000 Innovate BC Regional Start-up Prize
- Rootd (Victoria) — $10,000 Innovate BC Social Venture Prize
- Rootd (Victoria) — $10,000 Innovate BC Woman-Led Venture Award [NEW]
- Sarcomere Dynamics (Abbotsford) — $7,000 Luminaries Diamond-in-the-Rough Award [NEW]
AbCellera, the BC-based biotech giant and 2013 competition finalist, was also recognized as the recipient of the first ever NVBC Alumni Impact Award, presented by Beanworks. The prize — which goes to the alumni that has made a significant economic, social, or community-based impact on BC’s technology sector — was awarded to AbCellera for its breakthrough R&D work in antibody therapeutics. They developed the first COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment to be authorized in North America and are building a first-of-its-kind GMP manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant.
In total, over $250,000 in cash and prizes were awarded during last night’s Awards. Since 2000, the Top 25 competition finalists have gone on to raise over $1B in financing and create over 8,600 new jobs. Notable past alumni include Aspect Biosystems, Lumen5 and Jane Software.
Angie Schick, Executive Director at New Ventures BC
“Every year, the competition showcases our province’s next generation of innovators that are bringing bold and courageous solutions to market. Whether it’s leveraging AI to connect companies to capital or repurposing EV batteries to enable a circular economy, BC startups are positively changing the way we live, work, and play in a post-pandemic world.”
Hon. Ravi Kahlon, Minister of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
“B.C. entrepreneurs have stepped up to face the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic and deliver the innovative solutions people need. This year’s winners are creating positive social, environmental and economic change in communities throughout our province and beyond. Congratulations!”
Raghwa Gopal, President and CEO at Innovate BC
“For more than 20 years, this competition has celebrated homegrown innovation and helped shape some of B.C.’s most successful tech companies. It’s so encouraging to see hundreds of local entrepreneurs enter the New Ventures BC Competition every year, showing just how much potential there is in our tech sector. I look forward to seeing our sector continue to grow and create high-paying jobs in all corners of the province.”
Mike Wood, CEO & Co-Founder at TrafficDriven
“It’s a huge honour to be crowned the winner of the 2021 New Ventures BC Competition. We’ve extracted huge value out of the competition and being recognized as the province’s top startup will significantly accelerate our growth. We’re very appreciative of all the support we’ve received and look forward to building and scaling our company right here in BC.”
About the Organizers
New Ventures BC
New Ventures BC (NVBC) was initiated 21 years ago to help early stage tech startups grow. As a non-profit, they run the annual New Ventures BC Competition, a Distance Venture Acceleration Program, and the Discovery Foundation Sales Accelerator Program. To date, the New Ventures BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC, has supported over 2000 companies which have created 8600+ jobs and have raised over 1B in financing in BC.
Innovate BC is a Crown agency with a mandate to help strengthen entrepreneurship development, increase company growth, and support job creation, ensuring the benefits of technology and innovation are felt around the province, including rural, northern, and indigenous communities. The Crown agency funds and delivers programs that support the growth of the B.C. economy by helping companies start and scale up into anchor companies, train talent that meets labour market needs, and encourage technology development, commercialization, and adoption.
Jamil A. Karim