Winner Selected in U of S Tech Venture Challenge
This morning at the U of S 2012 Tech Venture Challenge Finale judges awarded the Grand Prize to Renterra Farmland Sales and Rental Auction Inc. The company, created by Lyndon Lisitza, connects farmland owners and renters through an online auction website. Lisitza is an alumnus of the U of S with a MSc in agricultural economics.
Renterra will receive $50,000 cash, a year of office space at Innovation Place, and professional services valued at $6,000 from Deloitte.
“It was not an easy decision for our judges to choose a winner from the finalists,” said University of Saskatchewan’s Industry Liaison Office representative Lorna Shaw-Lennox. “It was a diverse pool of intriguing, commercially viable technology ideas. And they all worked very hard planning for their business.”
“The Tech Venture Challenge pushed us out of our comfort zones,” said Kurt Woytiuk of Tera Watt Innovations, one of the participants in the competition. “We made excellent connections in both the university and local industry. And most importantly, it’s exciting to see our research potentially turn into something real regardless of the final outcome.”
Two other Tech Venture finalists that advanced to the finale were:
TRIUMF Rewards: Jacqueline Cook, Ethan Baron, Paul Lee and Freddy Chen – a mobile marketing and digital loyalty platform that makes it easy for retailers to send personalized promotions directly to customers’ smartphones anytime, anywhere.
Indie Ink Publishing Inc.: Jeff Smith, Suzanne Paschall and Rob Macguire – a platform for maximizing delivery of book content into multiple technology formats
The remaining 4 finalists in the competition were:
Medinstructional Resources: Kalyani Premkumar and Neil Cowie – a mobile technology to allow multiple centred, multiple stations student assessment using multiple examiners for clinical examinations in all medical fields of study.
INS Innovations: Josh Simpkins – a technology to maximize internal combustion efficiency in vehicles.
Tera Watt Innovations: Kurt Woytiuk, Regan Gerspacher and Bill Campbell – a development company specializing in particle engineering for the energy industry; bringing biomass resources to energy producers in the most efficient and effective manner possible.
Quintesec: Trevor Paschke, Adam Knox – A company providing improved password security solutions for businesses with the assistance of proprietary mobile device applications
“Going into this competition, I wasn’t sure what to expect with this being my first foray into the business world,” added Adam West of Quintesec, another participant. “It has definitely opened my eyes to the scope of skills required to successfully start a business. The knowledge gleaned, and connections formed over the course of the competition will be very helpful to any future business endeavours.”
The Industry Liaison Office is preparing to launch Tech Venture Challenge 2013 – stay tuned.
The Tech Venture Challenge is sponsored by the U of S Industry Liaison Office, Innovation Place, Deloitte and the Royal Bank of Canada. It gives University of Saskatchewan employees, researchers, students and alumni an opportunity for support in creating their own company.
Thank you to all of the participants, judges and sponsors.
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