An Alberta-based investment group is just one day away from announcing major funding boosts to two local startups.
Startup TNT has been hosting a virtual summit over the past several months that will conclude on Thursday with at least two Alberta companies each receiving an investment of $150,000.
The investment group was launched by founder Zack Storms in 2019, and first began as a weekly gathering of the tech community and other business leaders.
“Our philosophy is to have fun, make friends, build companies,” Storms said.
“That’s what we think is the simple formula for building a great startup ecosystem, and diversifying our economy — bringing people together to make genuine relationships and start building great companies together.”
Ten companies — five from Calgary and five from Edmonton — were selected as finalists out of 60, who initially participated in the eight-week Startup TNT summit.
On Thursday, one winner from each city finalist group will be picked by the investors.
“(The finalists will) each be doing a final pitch to our investors,” Storms said. “The investors — we’ve got over 50 of them in total — will be making their investment decisions live at the event.
“There’s real investors investing real dollars.”
The event’s website says the Edmonton finalist that will be pitching are:
- AlignVR: Enables human resource departments to make the right hiring decisions by generating genuine behaviours among job applicants
- Birdie Break: Provides access to agency-quality childcare professionals through the ease of an app that makes finding a babysitter simple, efficient, and safe
- Goal Zero: A one-stop-shop for SMEs to outsource their health, safety, and environment management system
- HonestDoor: It is creating the most comprehensive source of commercial and residential real estate information in Canada
- QuoteToMe: Digitizing the purchasing workflow for the construction industry and uses a B2B marketplace to connect buyers and sellers efficiently
The Calgary finalist that will be pitching are:
- Cherry Health: A digital, self-serve staffing platform disrupting Canada’s medical recruitment industry that unifies healthcare professionals in one centralized network
- Fanoramas: Generating thousands of ‘in-the-moment’ photos at events and enabling fans to share them in real-time while providing a way for event sponsors to build relevant and non-intrusive social media campaigns
- Mycorize: Grows quality mushrooms and provides world-class mycelium technology
- Sawback Technologies: A near-sensing company that has developed a proprietary solution to collect, visualize and analyze near-surface data to identify underground utilities, fluid leaks, soil layers, and infrastructure health
- Spot Dog Walking: An on-demand dog walking app with guaranteed walker arrival in under 90-minutes, or the walk is free
Each investor is asked to put forward at least $5,000 towards the summit. Storms said that since Startup TNT launched, $2 million has been invested into 11 companies.
Storms added that while two companies will win big, the networking that the 60 participating startups participate in through the summit also leads to other opportunities.
“What we find is by running it over a few weeks — training the investors together — they build relationships with the companies,” Storms said.
“[Investors] see that there’s multiple great companies to invest in, they do more than one deal.”
The final summit event from this latest round takes place online Thursday, June 17 and is free to attend. Those interested can register online.