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Spring Announces Vessl As The Winners of the 2024 Women-Led Impact Investor Challenge Winner

Women-Led Impact Investor Challenge Winner - Sydney Robinsson of Vessl Prosthetics

Today, Spring, a leader in Canada’s early-stage impact investing ecosystem, announces Vessl as the winner of its annual Women-Led Impact Investor Challenge (IIC), a two-stage program aimed at empowering purpose-driven founders to prepare their impact business for investment. Selected during a live showcase last night, Vessl is set to receive up to $150K in investment funding from a cohort of investors participating in the Challenge.

Women-founded startups create more revenue per funding dollar, yet raised only 2.1% of all VC funding in 2023. Spring’s Women-Led Impact Investor Challenge, made possible by support from the National Research Council of Canada and the BDC Thrive Lab, was created to address the unique challenges women founders face as they raise funds. Over the course of the 10-week multistage program, impact founders received investment-readiness training along with bespoke financial and legal support before being joined by a cohort of impact investors to dig into impact measurement and due diligence. 

Vessl was created by co-founders Sydney Robinson and Oleksiy Zaika to empower amputees by transforming the way they interact with their prosthetic devices. Informed by feedback from amputees, Vessl created a dynamically adjustable prosthetic socket that eliminates pain around the socket and enables amputees to move comfortably. 

“Spring is deeply invested in reshaping the future of an inclusive venture capital ecosystem and helping women entrepreneurs pursue important, impact-driven ventures. This year’s Women-Led Impact Investor Challenge cohort showcased an incredible representation of Canada’s purpose-driven women entrepreneurs and investors,” said Caroline von Hirschberg, Spring Co-CEO. “Vessl has created a truly innovative product that meets an urgent need in the prosthetics field and we look forward to working alongside them to support their transformative work.” 

Top finalists for the 2024 Women-Led IIC cohort included Aruna Revolution, Scotiaderm, and Vitract, who, along with Vessl, emerged as the standout companies from a pool of over 145 applications from across the country. Nova Scotia-based Scotiaderm was awarded the Challenge’s People’s Choice award for its unique treatment for Moisture Associated Skin Damage (MASD). 

“Women-led businesses are driving positive social impact and delivering returns doing it,” said Sévrine Labelle, Managing Director, BDC’s Thrive Lab. “Alongside partners like Spring, the Thrive Lab surrounds these companies with the capital and support they need to reach their full potential, building a pipeline of future female leaders who will redefine what good investing and entrepreneurship looks like.”

Since the launch of Spring’s Impact Investor Challenges in 2019, the program has supported 276 investors and 219 companies, generating over $2.2 million in direct impact investments. To learn more about upcoming Impact Investor Challenges, visit: spring.is/programs/impact-investor-challenge

About Spring 

Spring was founded in 2014 with a simple but bold mission to accelerate and amplify the activities of purpose-driven leaders and investors to create an equitable and resilient world. In 2022 Spring launched Spring Investing Collective, Canada’s Impact Investing Network, and in 2023 launched Spring Impact Capital, an early-stage impact fund, investing in Canadian startup founders to scale innovation in planetary and human health. Nationally and globally, Spring unites founders and investors with the tools, knowledge and community to scale impact together for a better future. For more information, please visit: https://spring.is/

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