Startupfest took place this past week in Montreal, and to coincide with hundreds of founders and entrepreneurs coming to town, Fundica held the finals of their Roadshow on Thursday.
One startup was originally supposed to take home the $500,000 grand prize but after several convincing pitches, the judges came to a decision to split the prize amongst three deserving companies: Lumen5, InVivo Ai, and FleetOps. Along with splitting the $500,000, BCF Ventures pledged to also award $50,000 to the winner, but with three total winners, the new VC firm boosted that pledge and gave the prize to each of the winning three startups. In total, each startup will bring home over $215,000.
FleetOps is an on-demand freight marketplace. Based in Toronto, the startup can match cargo from brokers and suppliers with drivers who have available capacity through leveraged data. This can lead to increased efficiency and lowered strains on resources and the environment.
InVivo AI is a Montreal company using AI to streamline how new medicines are developed. They use public and private data to address different toxicities and develop ways to fight them through deep learning.
Lumen5, based in Vancouver, helps transform articles, blog posts, and other forms of written content into social videos through an easy-to-use platform.
“It’s pretty amazing. Fundica is really now the beginning of fundraising for us,” says Michael Cheng, co-founder of Lumen5. “We hadn’t really been thinking about fundraising, as we’ve been heads down working on the product. Hearing what investors think about our business is fascinating because they provide a form of validation that we don’t really get from staring at the numbers. It’s fresh in my mind that this large panel of investors who look at hundreds of startups think there’s something interesting that we’re working on.”
The Fundica Roadshow held events in Montreal, Vancouver and Toronto before culminating with the finals during Startupfest. In total, 11 different startups were invited to attend the finals to vie for that final $500,000 grand prize, but they all received a package of perks from companies like WeWork, FrontFundr, Intuit, Google and more.
Over a dozen different judges from organizations like BDC, Panache Ventures, iNovia, Brightspark and others listened to the 11 finalists pitch, then asked a series of questions to test the founders on what their business’ vision was. They tabulated their scores at the end of it all and came to the conclusion that the $500,000 had to be split three ways.
Fundica’s 2017 Roadshow saw Quote Kong and Vini split the final prize.