July 3, 2019

Budding entrepreneurs take home over $125,000 in prizes at Energy New Venture Competition

Winners celebrate at Canada’s premier energy early-stage pitch competition

Author

Alina Cox, for the Office of the Vice-President (Research)

Laura Mislan, left, LiEP Energy of the Concept stream, and Janelle Watson, HAWKiiii, Venture Steam.

Laura Mislan, left, LiEP Energy of the Concept stream, and Janelle Watson, HAWKiiii, Venture Steam.

Adrian Shellard, for the Haskayne School of Business

The sixth installation of the Energy New Venture Competition (ENV) featured wins from leading woman innovators and their companies, showcasing dynamic solutions to today’s energy challenges.

Hosted on June 4 by the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, the winning teams received more than $125,000 cash and in-kind prizes along with valuable connections to potential investors. Each team had 10 minutes to pitch their innovative startups to a panel of judges and the live audience that submitted votes for the Audience Choice awards.

“The success of this year’s event has set the benchmark for future years of ENV,” says Joelle Foster, Hunter Hub executive director. “The amount of thought and ingenuity that went into each venture demonstrates the calibre of talent that this city attracts.”

Overall, pitches were heard from five teams in both the Concept and Venture streams, with common themes arising in lithium extraction technology, renewable energy production, and oil and gas efficiencies. The winners included LiEP Energy Ltd. in the Concept stream with their approach to rapid lithium extraction, and Hawkiiii in the Venture stream that featured wireless equipment-monitoring technology.

“We were very honoured to be finalists in a class of novel startups and industry innovators,” says Janelle Watson, competitor for Hawkiiii and first-place winner of the Venture stream as well as Audience Choice. “Receiving the awards at ENV dramatically increases our product and brand awareness that can take years to build as a startup on the energy scene.”

The competition is designed to empower the next generation of energy entrepreneurs, and is guided by an advisory board drawn from the Calgary investment, academic, and entrepreneurial communities.

“The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Calgary is growing and diversifying,” says Laura Mislan, competitor for LiEP and winner of the Concept stream and Audience Choice. “Competitions like ENV help to showcase and celebrate local talent, and create opportunities for connections between startup companies and the support network they need to succeed.”

The winners were announced on the day and presented with their awards.

This year’s competition featured pitches from the following companies:

Concept stream

First place and Audience Choice: LiEP Energy Ltd.’s proprietary rapid lithium extraction technology unlocks lithium brine resources, providing secure supplies of lithium hydroxide to battery manufacturers.

Second place: High Density Power Conversion is a potential spinoff of the University of Alberta, focusing on developing compact and lightweight power conversion systems for renewable energy, energy storage, and electric vehicle applications

Third place: Carbonova Corp. targets to produce a large amount of pure carbon nanofibres (CNFs) as a revolutionary manufacturing material from waste energy and greenhouse gases.

FalconX Corp. is developing an innovative water purification technology which relies solely on electrical energy. This technology is simple, straightforward, and low cost with no consumables or byproducts. It is an environmentally friendly solution that offers clean water on demand without using toxic chemicals or filters.

Total Containment Inc. was created for one purpose, to develop the Envirolock System. Envirolock is a pipeline leak containment system that keeps pipelines and the environment separate and safe from one another.

Venture stream

First place and Audience Choice: Hawkiiii brings the world’s most advanced wireless sensor technologies to meet growing industry demand for live, on-site equipment and infrastructure monitoring. Hawkiiii-patented non-intrusive strain and motion technology is ideal for load and torque applications.

Second place: Summit Nanotech, a Calgary-based startup company on a mission to create and implement greener extraction processes in the energy industry by leveraging breakthroughs in nanotechnology.

Third place: Proton Technologies Canada Inc. has a patented process that allows pure hydrogen production from almost any oil and gas field, even depleted or abandoned ones without carbon emissions. When everyone realizes hydrogen energy can be lower cost than hydrocarbons, the world will switch to clean energy.

eDecisions Ltd provides a software platform which optimizes capital deployment for energy efficiency projects to maximize financial return and environmental performance.

Cnergreen Corporation brings a patented technology to the oil industry that offers a step-change increase in production. Cnergreen technology is compatible with existing processes and reduces both the environmental footprint and the greenhouse gas emission of those processes.