December 6th was another major milestone for Co.Labs as we hosted the second Co.Launch cohort finale. The program, a joint venture between Innovation Saskatchewan, Innovation Enterprise, and Co.Labs, is designed to fuel the growth of early-stage tech startups in Saskatchewan and take entrepreneurs from idea to market. 📈
The 3-month program had 30+ applications for its second cohort and accepted 12 ventures which were ran through extensive market validation, hyper-targeted seminars, and mentorship sessions led by industry experts in Saskatoon.
Alix Hayden, Associate Director of Innovation Enterprise, announced that there would be a total of $20,000 up for grabs, with $5,000 dedicated to a startup with a University of Saskatchewan student or graduate!
Five startups from the cohort were selected to pitch to an audience of 300+ people at the Delta Bessborough. The judging panel included previous Co.Launch winner Alicia Soulier (Founder and CEO, SalonScale) Sean O'Connor (Managing Director, Conexus VC Fund), and Alice Reimer (Site Lead, Creative Destruction Lab).
Three startups were able to prove their vision and came home with cash at the 2018 Fall Co.Launch finale!
A data analytics and production scheduling software for small and medium manufacturers.
Current University of Saskatchewan student, Nelson Wani won $5,000.
"Being a part of Co.Launch has helped me build personal relationships with so many mentors and founders and provided a framework for how to leverage relationships to create value for everyone involved."
- Nelson Wani, Founder of Autumn.
An online marketplace for coffee exporters to sell directly to roasters while cutting out the middleman.
Road Coffee owner Alisha Esmail was the second winner of the night, securing $5,000 to use towards building her coffee importing platform.
"I’m so grateful to walk out of Co.Launch with some seed money. For us, this is huge – we will be able to build out our minimal sellable product and hit the ground running! The money is incredibly helpful, but the feeling of other people believing in your vision and what I learned in the program is invaluable!"
- Alisha Esmail, Founder of Robinhood Coffee
Consignment software that tracks and links to a custom POS system that shows the exact amount of quantities and sales.
Last but not least, Kristy Ehman brought home $10,000 for her consignment software.
"I am so thankful for the financial support... so incredibly thankful. The real win for us is the invitation into Co.Labs - the mentorship, the ideas, the support."
- Kristy Ehman, Founder of Hyon Consignment
Executive Director Update
Co.Labs Executive Director, Jordan Dutchak, also took this opportunity to announce some of the major milestones that the organization has had in the last few months including:
In its first 18 months of operations, the tech hub has successfully incubated 62 startups, facilitated more than 1300 mentorship hours, and hosted over 100 events
Announced a partnership with IMII to host the first mining hackathon in North America
Confirmed that PIF (Prairie Investment Forum) will run for a second year in April 2019
Lights, Camera, Action! 🎬
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