Last night The 1776 Challenge Cup competition took place in Toronto, making its third stop for this year’s round and the first one outside of the U.S. The Toronto event was held at the TELUS Store, co-hosted by INcubes, that welcomed the 1776 team and companies, as well as some of the competing startups into its offices during the day.
The pitching contest had two rounds, where a total of 28 startups got to present their solutions in the four categories of Education, Energy, Health, and Cities. The startups were judged by a panel of 8 judges who eventually chose 4 winners—one in each category. The judges included Donna Harris from 1776, Ben Zlotnick from INcubes, Aron Solomon from MaRS, Matt Leibowitz from Plaza Ventures, Lan Nguyen from City of Toronto, Roger Wilson from BDC IT Venture Fund, Lauren Di Pede from Relay Venture, and Sandra Nagy from Pearson.
The winning startups in each category are:
Education: Permission Click – Permission Click provides digital permission slips, data and payment collection for K-12 schools that parents can approve anywhere, anytime, on any platform.
Energy: GridCure – GridCure provides a smart-grid analytics solution with a system that is able to consume utility data from smart meters, combine it with utility external data such as weather or local population demographics, and return utilities insights.
Health: Limestone Labs – Limestone Labs has designed a new medical technology to allow hospitals to rapidly sanitize a range of portable electronics – from smartphones to thermometers – using an ultraviolet sanitizer so that they can be safely used in patient care.
Cities: RainGrid – RainGrid is a lot-level stormwater utility that offers a smarter, more cost-effective alternative to conventional stormwater infrastructure. RainGrid builds and manages networks of automated and smart-grid-connected residential rainwater cisterns that keep urban stormwater out of the sewer, reduce the risk of floods, and extend the life of existing infrastructure.
Although it’s impossible to have 28 winners, the rest of the startups who took part in the competition are no less innovative and interesting. One example is E-180, which is an online brain-picking dating platform that was founded in Vancouver in 2011. Another one is MoveSuite—a company that transfers your utilities and updates drivers licenses, health cards, tax records and more in 15 minutes online, when moving from one home to another.
In May 2015 the top startups from Toronto will join the winners from all other competitions for the Challenge Festival in Washington D.C.