FounderFuel Sponsors Grandmother’s Prize at StartupFest

Photo credits: Eva Blue 

If you are neither a tech entrepreneur, nor a geek and you don’t work as an investor, tech innovations are sometimes hard to understand. Truth be told, this is often because they’re badly expressed. Business ideas are very clear in the CEO’s mind, but when comes the time to share the story in a concise manner, the message gets lost. Narrative is everything, a fact we know too well at FounderFuel!

Pitching to 5 grandmothers, as part of StartupFest’ famous Grandmother’s Prize, is an ideal way for entrepreneurs to work on how to frame, clarify and share their stories. If a grandmother can understand it, anyone can!

This year’s grandmothers – Brenda, Doreen, Sonia, Marilyn and Pearl – heard about 90 pitches over an intense few hours of judging. After a lengthy deliberation, two teams stood out. Let’s take a closer look at the two winners:

EhEye is improving public safety and security with artificially intelligent video analytics. Founded in New Brunswick by three co-founders, EhEye now counts 6 employees. EhEye focuses on building real-time analytical modules for such things as weapon detection, disturbance prediction, and counter surveillance of critical infrastructure. They currently have two key pilots: a professional sports stadium where they will be deploying their platform solution to detect firearms and fights, and a pilot with a police agency where they will be deploying their edge-based mobile solution on a police car to detect approaching persons, fights and firearms.

Waste Robotics is an intelligent recycling company specialized in robotic waste sorting solution. Built in Quebec City by five co-founders, Waste Robotics plans to develop the most advanced software solutions for waste material recognition and robotic extraction. Their first product is a waste organic bags extractor is commercially available. Two new products are coming up this fall: one solution for extracting high-value recyclables and another for construction and demolition robotic sorting.

For the first time, the winners of the Grandmother’s Prize get more than just fame. Both winners will receive six month of mentoring from the FounderFuel team and a spot in the final round of pitching for FounderFuel 2018. They also receive support packages from EY and Fasken, both FounderFuel sponsors.

A few weeks after winning the prize, James Stewart, co-founder and CEO of EhEye says that his team “is already feeling the difference on several fronts. We now have a significant portion of our current raise committed, and are being vetted by a wonderful group of angels, we have interest from a potential hire that is an absolute ace, a key organization reached out to us to offer help, and we just landed a significant critical infrastructure customer who is as excited about us as we are about them”.

James concludes by adding “we’re so excited about the Grandmothers’ Prize for so many reasons. it validates our mission to protect, for one, and gives us access to one of the most prestigious accelerators in Canada, for another.”


Adelaide Andriot
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