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Meet the Top 20 Companies of Our 2021 National Impact Investor Challenge

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2021 National Impact Investor Challenge Top 20 Ventures

Our first-ever Canada-wide Impact Investor Challenge is launching in April, and we’ve just selected the Top 20 companies entering this competition for $100,000 in impact investment!

The response from the community was overwhelming! We received over 150 company applications from across the country, and are excited that our vision to improve access to impact capital through training impact investors is well received. This program would not be possible without amazing impact entrepreneurs pursuing innovative solutions to today’s challenges.

In a snapshot, the selected Top 20 comprise companies from seven regions:

  • British Columbia
  • Manitoba
  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Ontario
  • Quebec
  • Yukon


Nine of the ventures are founded by women, eight are BIPOC-led, and one is Indigenous-led. As concerns, industries, the variety spans over seven areas including cleantech, education, medtech, e-commerce, food innovation, agtech, and circular economy.

What’s next? At Pitch Night on April 20, these companies will pitch to the program’s investor cohort and the narrowing down will begin. Once a Top 5 are selected, the venture cohort—the companies that will complete the core program alongside the investors—will be announced. At the National Impact Investor Challenge Finale on June 17, the newly trained impact investors will award $100,000 to one winning company.

Are you ready to meet the Top 20 ventures of our 2021 National Impact Investor Challenge?

Ample Labs

Ample Labs is a social start-up using AI & data to solve homelessness. Ample Labs’ flagship offering is Chalmers Suite: homelessness prevention software designed to serve everyone from at-risk individuals to policymakers. Chalmers is a friendly chatbot who connects people in tough situations to critical services in seconds, while Chalmers Enterprise equips cities with real-time data to inform decision-making and improve outcomes to reduce homelessness. The software has been adopted by over 50% of Ontario in seven major municipalities with over 250K users to date.
 
HQ: Toronto, Ontario 

Audette

Audette is a software marketplace that connects large property groups with the funding necessary to get to carbon neutral. Our platform enables users to build a project-by-project roadmap for their entire portfolio and receive funding offers from incentive providers, government grants, and impact financiers. Our mission is to turn every commercial building upgrade into a carbon reduction project, the climate crisis demands nothing less.

HQ: Victoria, British Columbia

Backcountry Wok

Backcountry Wok offers sustainable and healthy meals for people on the go—in nature, at work, or anywhere convenient food tends to be unhealthy, bland, and in single-use packaging. Their mission is to inspire outdoor adventures that are sustainable, inclusive, and nutritious. By adding hot water into the heat-resistant and 100% compostable pouches, and waiting 15 minutes, your tasty Asian-inspired and vegan dehydrated meal is ready to enjoy.
 
HQ: Ottawa, Ontario

Chiwis

Chiwis Chiwis is a company dedicated to making 100% natural snacks that taste amazing and do wonders for the body. Chiwis has a focus on the kiwi, a fruit that is highly underused in the snack aisle, but carries a nutritional punch that is unparalleled in healthy snacks. As a company, Chiwis is focused on sustainability, using only upcycled kiwis for their kiwi chips.
 
HQ: Squamish, British Columbia

Discovelo

DISCOVELO’s software connects to any stationary bike to help users leverage the power of exercise to manage stress and anxiety, and they begin in classrooms where the need is most urgent. Gamified content connected to classroom stationary bikes and driven by biofeedback guides students to regulate their emotional energy, moving students and teachers towards socio-emotional and academic success. They are poised to change the way mental health support is provided in education. DISCOVELO been called Peloton for kids, but they’re more than that—they’re Peloton with Purpose.

HQ: Whitehorse, Yukon

Earthli

Earthli is a 100% Canadian-owned producer of sustainably grown and zero-waste packaged plant-based superfood products to promote a healthy lifestyle with a planet-friendly approach. The world is discovering the many benefits of plant-based nutrition, and Earthli vegan proteins provide easier, tastier, and more sustainable options for earthlings everywhere!

HQ: Halifax, Nova Scotia

The Farmers’ Truck

The Farmers’ Truck’s mission is to provide an affordable mobile market truck for organizations to serve food deserts in their communities while creating a market-style experience that fosters pride and dignity. The business straddles several sectors including cleantech, manufacturing, engineering, and consulting. Their services include fund research and grant writing, marketing (including their custom app ParkVote), graphic design, advertising, vehicle wrap printing, business coaching, and staff training.
 
HQ: Edmundston, New Brunswick

Fusion Fit Foods

Fusion Fit Foods creates delicious and nutritious high-quality protein snacks elevated with adaptogens—a special class of plants and mushrooms that support our bodies to adapt, balance, or recover from physical and mental stress. The snacks are purposefully crafted for ‘fit foodies’—those who value and enjoy plant-powered, locally-sourced, whole food snacks high on flavour yet low in SOS ingredients (sugar, oils, salt). Ultimately, Fusion Fit Foods is reimagining what mainstream snacks look and taste like—honouring the underrepresented fusion cuisine culture of the Caribbean and Asia on the inside, and using eco-friendly, sustainable packaging on the outside—all to nourish and uplift the wellbeing of people and the planet.
 
HQ: Toronto, Ontario

Gotcare

Gotcare is transforming how home care is delivered nationally. Leveraging a network of 14,000+ care workers, patients receive a personalized home care experience that provides more efficiency, empathy, and control. Gotcare’s core tech experience includes patient matching, digital care wallets, and dedicated ongoing care. Case studies of Gotcare services have already been published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. Since launching in September 2018, the company has already generated over $2.3M in revenue.

HQ: Toronto, Ontario

Gyanberry

Gyanberry is a website for international students to find, compare, and contact universities around the world. Their mission is to make international education more accessible and transparent by connecting all international students and universities on a single platform. Gyanberry is helping host countries attract quality international students who will positively contribute to the local economies, create employment ,and enable cross-cultural exchange.

HQ: United Arab Emirates (relocating to Canada)

Hernest Project

Hernest understand’s the challenge of finding sleepwear and loungewear that is uncompromising on comfort and style. They also know the apparel industry is a big contributor to our environmental crisis and social injustice. Hernest wants to do things differently and influence change in our industry by changing the world through their business practices.
 
HQ: Mont Tremblant, Quebec

ioAirFlow

ioAirFlow’s analysis platform helps the energy services industry identify performance and ioAirFlow’s analysis platform identifies performance and efficiency issues in commercial buildings. Their tool saves their customers time spent on analyzing data and drafting reports, which reduces their labour costs by an average of 30% per building tested.
 
HQ: Winnipeg, Manitoba

LABORA

LABORA is fintech for temporary foreign workers. The company helps farm owners securely and efficiently pay their agricultural workers and benefit from the streamlined money transfer process from Canada back home. LABORA also assists workers by filing their tax returns and providing online services to farm owners and workers to keep their information (T4, payroll stubs, tax returns, contract, ROE) up to date at no cost. LABORA positively impacts the workers’ financial conditions based on the UN SDG’s metrics.

LABORA has won numerous recognitions including the 2019 Idea Prize at the Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize competition, the 2019 Vancouver Winner at the Startup World Championships in Montreal, and was a top 100 finalist in the TELUS Pitch contest. In 2020, they received the SFU Alumni Founder Award from the Coast Capital Venture Prize and Future of Good recognized LABORA as one of Canada’s Top 100 Recovery Projects. The company has also made the Ready to Rocket program’s Emerging Rocket Agri-Food List in 2020 and 2021.
 
HQ: Surrey, British Columbia

Moment Energy

Moment Energy is a cleantech company creating sustainable energy storage systems for microgrid, commercial, and industrial customers. Their solution helps with peak energy demands and can be paired with any renewable source to solve energy intermittency and increase energy reliability. As an impact-driven organization, Moment creates their solution with second-life electric vehicle (EV) batteries, where they provide a reliable, environmentally friendly, and price-competitive offering.

Moment works with leading auto manufacturers to prevent toxic battery disposal in landfills and the mining of lithium for the creation of new batteries. They have been featured on CTV & CityNews and have won numerous awards such as the Top Social and Sustainable Venture in the NEXT Canada 2020 Program and the Judges’ Choice and Clean Energy Award in the Alaska Airlines Environmental Impact Challenge. Moment is a MaRS and Foresight CleanTech Accelerator portfolio company.
 
HQ: Vancouver, British Columbia

Off the Grid

Off the Grid specializes in the production of cardio training equipment and a web application that generates electricity from physical activity. The electricity is then distributed directly into the local electrical circuit in order to reduce the energy consumption of gyms or schools in real-time. The user has access to a connected web application that allows them to compete with other users and to follow their electricity production in real-time, among other things.
 
HQ: Montreal, Quebec

Origen Air

Origen Air’s smart living air purifiers make investments into health and safety programs profitable for enterprises operating within public spaces. Through fleet leases and digital ad revenues, they supply and maintain air purification hardware, software, and air quality data. Their clients use Origen Air to build consumer trust and confidence within their facilities and operations.
 
HQ: Victoria, British Columbia

RainStick

RainStick is a Canadian water technology company with big plans! Their vision is to allow people to live a sustainable lifestyle without compromise. RainStick’s first product is a high-flow shower system that saves 80% energy and 80% water through point-of-use recirculation and proprietary filtration, making water clean and clear. The company is supported by MaRS and SheEO, has waitlist orders in place, and is getting ready for its big launch in early 2022.
 
HQ: Kelowna, British Columbia

Raven Reads

Raven Reads is an award-winning Indigenous subscription box that connects global subscribers with authentic Indigenous content and cultures. Utilizing their extensive network of Indigenous entrepreneurs, Raven Reads curates books and giftware from Indigenous authors and entrepreneurs from across North America and ships to thousands of subscribers around the world from their warehouse and fulfillment centre in Kamloops, BC. Through their work, Raven Reads has invested over $150,000 in capital back into the Indigenous economy through wholesale purchasing of content and materials for their boxes.
 

HQ: Kamloops, British Columbia

Sensoreal

Sensoreal has developed the first blood test ever conducted in space. Their technology was successfully tested at the International Space Station in 2019. Since 2020 and in collaboration with Health Canada, they have been developing a prototype to differentiate bacterial/viral respiratory infections at the point-of-care. Sensoreal’s tests use disposable microfluidic chips with only a finger prick of blood, and the data is analyzed using novel AI techniques. The company wants to fight against antimicrobial resistance and help physicians guide antibiotic therapy in less than 15 minutes.
 

HQ: Montreal, Quebec

Speakbox

Mental health is a critical component of our overall health. Yet, a lack of accessible care and fragmented data causes daily harm and impedes millions of people from living happier, healthier lives. Speakbox enables any independent mental health clinic to become a collaborative practice capable of effortlessly sharing health information with their clients while optimizing their administration to save time, money and increase clinical capacity. The company envisions a future of healthcare where regardless of your age, employer, insurer, or condition, your health data is always on hand and transmissible to anyone on your care team.

HQ: Vancouver, BC

Interested in additional information about the Impact Investor Challenge?

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