14 Sep 2023 Technology Impact Awards Startup Award – Top 3 Finalists Selected
VANCOUVER, B.C. September 14, 2023 – From a shortlist of 10 finalists, the BC Tech Association (BC Tech) has selected the top 3 companies in the running for the #2023TIAs Company of the Year Startup Award.
In the $264B recession proof beauty market, new brands are being launched daily. Blanka’s technology makes it easy for brands of any size to source and customize the highest quality beauty products – with no minimums. Since coming out of beta less than a year and a half ago, Blanka has onboarded over 14,000 brands driven entirely by organic marketing and without the use of paid advertising. Founded by a 2x entrepreneur and 30 Under 30 recipient, Blanka’s platform is the wholesale hub and fulfillment partner for branded beauty.
VoxCell BioInnovation is revolutionizing the drug development process by creating human-like vascularized cancer tissue models. We have created Canada’s first high-resolution 3D bioprinter with a resolution 10-20x higher resolution than the smallest blood vessel in the body. The combination of the bioprinter with our proprietary bioinks and vascularization software produces a vascularized, artificial biopsy sample that allows for researchers to inject drugs directly into the vasculature and analyze how that drug behaves in a more human-like environment. These models will allow drug developers to identify unviable drug candidates earlier, saving time and money in the drug development process.
Founded in 2020, WiiBid is the 1st online, direct to consumer, auctioned mortgage marketplace. Since launch in January 2021, WiiBid has received over 300 applications, $50 Million in mortgage requests and closed more than $30M in funding.
Hosted at TELUS Gardens, the 10 finalists for the Company of the Year Startup award pitched live on Sept 14th to a panel of industry judges. Blanka, VoxCell Innovation and WiiBid were announced as the top finalists, securing their spot in the final round at the TIAs, where the winner will be crowned on Sept 29th.
“This award acknowledges exceptional BC startups with big ambitions, and we are thrilled to have 3 finalists who are each bringing something novel and impactful to the market,” shared Jill Tipping, CEO of BC Tech, “BC Tech is proud to play a part in the journey of so many BC tech startups, scaleups and anchor success stories!”
The TIAs celebrate the outstanding companies and individuals who have made a significant impact on the BC tech industry. To determine the top finalists for the Company of the Year Startup award, BC Tech enlisted the support of some impressive BC “Dragons”.
“A thriving technology startup ecosystem is critical to driving our economy forward, and it was inspiring to witness the innovation, ingenuity and passion of the 10 BC participants tonight,” shared Jason Macdonnell, Chief Operating Officer, Consumer & Health Solutions, TELUS. “Ultimately, three companies stood out among the rest and we’re looking forward to seeing the winner announced at the TIAs.”
“The TIAs offer such a rich opportunity for startups to gain profile in BC’s tech sector and it was definitely a tough job for the judges to select the 3 finalists!” commented Simran Kang of myFO Tech, “I really commend everyone who pitched live tonight for their commitment and passion!”
Dan Box of EA Sports shared, “The calibre of pitches that we heard were really impressive and I want to offer a huge congratulations to Blanka, VoxCell BioInnovation and WiiBid for their innovation and drive. We are excited to see where their journeys will take them!”
The final winner of the Company of the Year Startup award will be announced at the TIAs gala to be held on Sept 29th, 2023 at Parq Vancouver. Tickets can be purchased online here.
About BC Tech Association
BC Tech is the largest member-led technology non-profit in British Columbia. We are dedicated to making BC the best place to grow and scale a tech company. Our work accelerates growth by helping members expand and diversify their talent pools, acquire new customers, and access capital. Tech is a key industry for BC’s future and builds resiliency in every sector. Today, every company is a tech company.