There’s no better time to invest in climate tech – or to be a climate tech startup.
With the climate crisis becoming more and more urgent, the need for innovative solutions is greater than ever. Thankfully, investing in climate technologies is an effective way to empower and build resilience. With Vancouver – as well as the rest of BC – known for its robust and supportive cleantech ecosystem, startups across the province continue to develop groundbreaking solutions.
The 15 startups below have stood out from an extremely competitive applicant pool to be selected to compete for a $100,000 investment from a cohort of angel investors. Over the next six weeks, these startups are honing their pitches, navigating deal structures, and presenting their innovation pitches to the investor cohort.
At the end of the six weeks, five startups will advance to a 10-week training intensive and vie to win the $100,000 investment. The top five will also receive special application support and coaching to submit their solutions to VEC’s flagship Project Greenlight program.
Meet the top 15 startups
The 15 startups profiled are working to progress a climate-resilient economy. Their proposed solutions are as diverse as the founders themselves, ranging from smart mushroom farming to steel frame housing solutions, circular grocery delivery, and improved data management and efficiency.
Smart city infrastructure matchmaking
★ Top 10
Asset Market is a B2B SaaS platform that connects organizations needing to install EV chargers, telecoms and IoT devices with owners and operators of the land, buildings and structures where these devices will be placed. The company’s platform helps to reduce costs and time associated with finding suitable locations, while advanced analytics identify the best sites. Our aim is to reduce the capital costs of EV charging deployment by 20 percent and the time and cost to locate suitable sites by 80 percent.
Scaling plant-derived compounds
BryoSphere Biotechnologies is an early-stage sustainable specialty chemical provider. The company uses engineered moss plants to make rare, plant-derived ingredients for many industries, including skincare and cosmetics, nutraceuticals, therapeutics and food and beverage. Although plant-derived compounds can be health-promoting and valuable, several are difficult to produce at scale with current methods. BryoSphere Biotechnologies’ method is high-yield, environmentally friendly and cost-competitive.
Prefabricating steel-frame homes
★ Top 10
Build Smartr Robotics
Build Smartr Robotics is a construction technology company that endeavours to make housing cheaper, more efficient and more sustainable. The company employs an arsenal of technology, including computer automated design, material engineering, 3D modeling and robotics, to prefabricate homes. By building homes out of 100 percent recycled steel, Build Smartr Robotics creates a circular loop of building materials and makes homes that are non-combustible and resilient; the process is also faster and cheaper compared to traditional wood buildings.
Power systems management
EdgeTunePower Inc. (BDM) is commercializing a new electric grid distributed management system to reduce grid outages and realize the operation of legacy electric grids as net-zero and fully decarbonized systems. Its power management technology expands the hosting capacity of electric grids for high-volume integration and operation of renewable energy sources and EV charging stations. EdgeTunePower’s first project was implemented with a utility in Ontario in April 2022, and it launched a pilot project in Quebec in January 2022.
Smarter energy generation
★ Top 10
Etalim Inc. has developed an ultra-reliable remote power solution, 1GEN. By utilizing it for methane venting elimination at wellhead controls in the Canadian oil and gas industry, it can cost-effectively help reduce CO2e emission by over 98 percent and reduce Canada’s GHG emission by 1% (-600M tCO2e, or 1.3M cars).
Regenerative livestock farming
★ Top 10
Farment Biosolution Ltd
Farment Biosolution Ltd. is an agtech start-up on a mission to provide livestock farmers with cost-effective regenerative farming solutions to manage livestock waste, improve soil health, and reduce the environmental impact of livestock farming. Our fermentation technology reduces the need for chemical fertilizers by transforming nutrients into a more available form for plants, increasing soil water retention capacity and allowing farmers to produce more with less.
Financing low-carbon buildings
★ Top 10
With Halitra, all banks can become green banks and all buildings can qualify for low-carbon finance. The company provides innovative real estate financing solutions to facilitate the retrofitting of small commercial buildings; they’re designed to close the financing gap that accounts for 8 percent of total US GHG emissions. Halitra recognizes the immense potential of the commercial building sector to reduce global GHG emissions and is determined to break through barriers that have prevented lenders from financing such projects.
Smart mushroom farms
★ Top 10
InHubs Farms’ vision is to revolutionize the North American food supply chain with a network of smart mushroom farms in every city. The company’s farms use robotics and smart control systems in the cloud to mimic how mushrooms grow in nature to improve the taste, nutrition and yield. By eliminating the need for long fulfilment trips and supply chains, InHub Farms is both improving the taste of crops (mushrooms don’t like long trips!) and actively contributing to the health of people, forests, and ecosystems.
★ Top 10
NanoTerraTech has developed a proprietary method to create environmentally friendly and sustainable advanced carbon materials from biomass waste, replacing fossil fuel-derived carbon materials in manufacturing. This method is 100 percent sustainable, utilizing natural biomaterial to produce a zero-carbon footprint. With industry leaders making a call to action to produce sustainable carbon black – something that currently does not exist in mass quantities – NanoTerraTech intends to pave the way to help manufacturers meet commitments outlined in the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Green stormwater infrastructure
★ Top 10
Novion is a Vancouver-based company founded in 2021 with the mission of reducing urban flooding by helping cities adopt and manage green stormwater infrastructure. With a team of experts in capital planning, data analytics, and Internet of Things (IoT) tech, Novion offers the world’s first Green Stormwater infrastructure platform to help cities manage green infrastructure needs ranging from planning and design to operations and maintenance. By working closely with cities across Canada, including the City of Vancouver, Novion provides guidance to help create a more livable and resilient future for communities around the world.
Zero emissions marine transportation
Open Waters is an advanced composite manufacturing company headquartered in Prince George BC. Our mission is to facilitate the move to zero emissions in the transportation and marine industries by providing solar energy that is integrated into the structure of the vehicle needing power. We will improve the efficiency and sustainability of commercial electric vehicles and prove that marine vessels can successfully be 100% electric with no need for fossil fuels.
Vertical farming systems
QuantoTech QuantoTech is a woman-led and BC-founded vertical farming company that designs, builds and operates automated equipment. It sells leafy greens and herbs, and has designed microfarm equipment for communities with populations of fewer than 1,000 people in order to help reduce imports and support small, remote, and First Nation communities in their quests to become more food secure and resilient to the climate emergency.
Reusables as a service
★ Top 10
Reusables.com is on a mission to eliminate single-use packaging waste. The company helps food businesses replace single-use containers with reusables through tech-enabled packaging paired with a proprietary tracking software. Its Reusables Management System (RMS) tracks the reusable packaging across a network of stores, consumers, cleaners, and distributors, while simultaneously capturing the impact data on plastic waste reduction and CO2e emissions avoidance.
★ Top 10
Rockburst Technologies Inc. is a mining innovation startup developing a new comminution (particle reduction) technology that uses supercritical CO2 to exert tensile breakage in ore and other materials. This new way of breaking ore and liberating valuable minerals reduces both direct and indirect energy (no grinding media required) and emissions by an estimated 50 percent. Given that comminution in mining consumes up to 3 percent of the world’s electricity, Rockburst Technologies is on a mission to, at minimum, halve this energy utilization and its associated GHG emissions.
Training AI for farms and forestry
Sentire augments robots and advanced machines (perception and processing), so they can quickly learn a new task, adapt or react to complex environments (i.e., farm). The company’s unified machine learning (ML) workflow has been designed so users can easily deploy vision AI solutions via cloud or edge computing. It has also developed pre-trained APIs for users to infuse image and video data into existing ML models across a broad range of use cases such as optimal harvesting, crop management, yield estimation, predictive modelling and more. Ultimately, Sentire delivers AI as a service (AIaaS) and custom solutions for vision in agriculture, horticulture, livestock farming and forestry.
Join us on Feb 28 to watch the Top Ten Selected – Live
Are you interested in investing in climate solutions? Keen to keep an eye on up-and-coming startups in Vancouver and BC? This first pitch night will narrow down the list of contenders from 15 startups to 10; a later pitch night will select the top five startups that will advance to pitch investors for more than $100,000.
Learn more and register today: