media release

SFU entrepreneurs pitch to win over $75,000 in cash and prizes

April 10, 2019

On Thursday, April 11, Simon Fraser University’s most promising entrepreneurs will go head-to-head in a final pitch-off at the university’s largest entrepreneurship competition. The eighth annual Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize will celebrate innovative ideas and ventures from the SFU community with cash and in-kind prizes totaling more than $75,000. Winning teams will be announced later that day at an awards ceremony and reception.

The pitch finale will be presented in front of judges and a public audience, concluding an intensive month-long competition.

Previous Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize winners MetaOptima, Ionomr, Empower Operations and Zennea Technologies have gone on to expand their businesses into local and global markets. 

Finalists are selected based on the quality of their business concepts, current progress and ability to execute. The top eight contenders for 2019 include:

• Anonymous Chat
• CareCrew
• Davos
• FluxPharm Canada
• Spexi GeoSpatial
• Aplica!
• Employ to Empower
• SSR Security Services

Media are invited to attend and cover the finals. Please RSVP Pauline Leoncio ( prior to the event and register upon arrival. 

WHAT: Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize competition 

• Thursday, April 11, 2019
• 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM - Final Pitch-Off
• 5:00 PM - 7:00 PM - Awards Ceremony & Reception

• Borden Ladner Gervais LLP
• 1200 Waterfront Centre, 200 Burrard Street, Vancouver, BC V7X 1T2

Additional information on the eight finalists:

• Anonymous Chat
Anonymous Chat enables users to chat while maintaining confidentiality and anonymity. Their proof of concept testing resulted in $20k profit in 10 months with 30,000 daily active users, verifying a need for improved solutions.

Aplica! is a start-up enterprise focused on delivering exceptional educational results for high school students looking to attend university in Canada and theU.S.. Aplica! offers personalized consulting services and methodology, vocational development, and a web-based SaaS platform designed to streamline the university search and application process.

CareCrew aims to solve one of health care’s biggest challenges: how to care for and support the aging population. CareCrew’s seniors care solution (called Caren App) coordinates and communicates the care plan. Users can share to-do lists, digitally log updates, and see changes to the care plan that is personalized to the senior's needs and preferences.

Davos is a cost-effective intuitive web platform for online fundraising and donor management for small- and medium-sized Canadian charities. Its goal is to provide a unified experience for donors while easily integrating with the other tools charities already use.

Employ to Empower
Employ to Empower (ETE) is a non-profit organization that focuses on reducing homelessness through meaningful, long term employment that people are passionate about. ETE provides an individualized and holistic approach by serving as client mentors and resource navigators. For low-income entrepreneurs, ETE provides access to fair and equitable loans and offers personalized mentorship to turn loans into something tangible. ETE’s focus is Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) and plans include expanding the concept worldwide in the coming years.

FluxPharm Canada
Utilizing patented technology and know-how, FluxPharm Canada will produce generic pharmaceuticals in a highly scalable, modular, and systematic manner at significantly cheaper prices than current market values. FluxPharm Canada also addresses the rapidly rising need of a skilled workforce in continuous manufacturing through training programs, where workers gain the skills required for this disruptive technology in both R&D and GMP simulated, operational manufacturing environments.

Spexi Geospatial 
Spexi Geospatial is a startup using drone technology to make geospatial data more accessible than ever before. Its cloud-based platform provides organizations with a streamlined end-to-end solution that automates drone flights, photogrammetric data processing, and geospatial data analysis. Spexi’s goal is to empower new industries and unlock the power of drone technology to help deliver aerial intelligence at scale.

SSR Security Services
SSR Security Services Ltd is an acclaimed firm of security professionals with a reputation for both effective security solutions and the use of innovative technology in the protection of life and property.

• Full Bios: 
Team Photos 

Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize competition
• Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection program


Coast Capital Savings Venture Connection® is Simon Fraser University's flagship program for early-stage ventures, offering support through incubation, mentorship, office space, training, co-op terms and access to the university's research and innovation community.
Operating across all three SFU campuses, Venture Connection serves current SFU students, staff, faculty and recent alumni from all faculties and programs, and supports ventures of all business models, in all industries. 
Coast Capital Savings is Canada’s largest credit union by membership and B.C.’s first credit union to be granted federal credit union status.  An Imagine Canada Caring Company and a certified B Corporation in recognition of its social performance, the credit union invested $5.6 million into local communities in 2017, focusing on empowering and engaging youth. Coast Capital is one of Canada's Most Admired Corporate Cultures™, and is a winner of the Canada's Best Managed Companies Platinum Club designation. In 2018, Coast Capital was awarded the Corporate Responsibility Award at National Philanthropy Day by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Vancouver Island Chapter. It has 52 branches serving its 555,000 members in the Metro Vancouver, Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island and Okanagan regions of British Columbia. Product innovations include Canada's first free chequing account from a full-service financial institution. To learn more, visit

About Simon Fraser University:

As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded more than 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is Canada’s leading comprehensive research university and is ranked one of the top universities in the world. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 155,000 alumni in 143 countries around the world. 


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities

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