North Vancouver’s RetreatsAndVenues has won the top prize in the 2023 New Ventures BC Competition, presented by Innovate BC.
The innovative platform that’s revolutionizing the corporate retreat and offsite venue booking experience outlasted 203 other startups en route to earning $110,000 and the title of the province’s top startup.
Founded by Cory Sivell, Mike Tan, and Matt Oakes, RetreatsAndVenues offers a meticulously curated online marketplace featuring over 4,200 retreat venues spanning across 120 countries.
“Winning the 2023 New Ventures BC Competition is a huge achievement for our team. We’re truly humbled by this honour and thankful for the guidance and support we’ve received along the way,” commented RetreatsAndVenues’ CEO Sivell.
“This victory will serve as a catalyst for our continued growth, allowing us to further our mission of helping deliver over 1 billion 5-star retreat experiences.”
Vancouver’s BrowseAI, a platform that enables non-technical users to transform any website into a spreadsheet or data pipeline, took home the $60,000 Innovate BC Second Place Prize Package.
Vancouver’s Blanka, a comprehensive wholesale hub and fulfilment partner for branded beauty products, won the Innovate BC $35,000 Third Place Prize.
In addition to the top three prizes, six additional companies were recognized for their achievements across a range of categories:
The $10,000 Innovate BC Sustainability Prize went to Viridis Research, a watertech startup developing groundbreaking technologies that eliminate organic pollutants from water.
Victoria’s Joni picked up the $10,000 Innovate BC Regional Startup Prize for their 21st-century period care brand that’s increasing access to sustainable menstrual products.
The $10,000 Innovate BC Woman-Led Venture Award went to Ginger Desk, a healthtech startup providing on-demand, pre-trained professional virtual admin (VA) support specifically designed for allied health practitioners.
National Bank of Canada’s Leap to the Cloud $10,000 Prize went to Leasey.AI, a platform that enables property managers to streamline and automate the residential leasing process.
The $5,500 Luminaries Diamond-in-the-Rough Award went to Seleste, a wearables startup empowering people with vision loss.
The Alumni Impact Award went to Jane Software, a healthtech startup offering a platform for online booking, scheduling, and practice management for healthcare practitioners. The award recognizes competition alumni that have made a significant contribution to the BC tech community.
“This year’s top 10 provides a great representation of B.C.’s vibrant startup ecosystem — they’re pioneers, collaborators, and relentless problem solvers,” said Angie Schick, Executive Director at New Ventures BC.
“Whether it’s companies like Ginger Desk that are increasing the efficiency of our health care system, cleantech ventures like Viridis Research that are eliminating pollutants from our water, or wearables startups like Seleste who are increasing accessibility, these high-growth companies exemplify the enormous potential of B.C.’s tech sector.”
The competition, which just completed its 23rd consecutive year, brings together the province’s top startups who receive access to education, mentorship, and $250,000 in cash and prizes. To date the competition has supported over 3,500 companies that have created more than 9,000 jobs, and raised over $1.5 billion in financing.