What is the Challenge?

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SASKATOON – Fifteen technology-based entrepreneurs have been chosen from a field of 56 to advance to the next phase of the 2016 Tech Venture Challenge, the annual business start-up competition presented through the University of Saskatchewan (U of S) Industry Liaison Office (ILO).             

“This is a record-breaking number of applications, almost double what we anticipated,” said Lorna Shaw-Lennox, Manager of Startups and Projects for the ILO. “Every college was represented and every university relationship, from faculty and students to staff and alumni.”

 Over the next four months the participants will attend workshops and benefit from business and advisory support from the ILO. They will be mentored and guided, leading to the selection of three finalists in May, 2016.

 The 2016 Tech Venture Challenge cohort includes technologies in communications, 3D printing, medical devices, biologics and pharmaceuticals, health care, manufacturing and green technologies. They are:

The University of Saskatchewan Industry Liaison Office (ILO) annual business plan competition is an opportunity for entrepreneurs to launch their technology-based business idea. Tech Venture Challenge is open to anyone with a University of Saskatchewan affiliation -employees, researchers, students and alumni - who want to take their technology idea and translate it into a business.

The completion runs from mid-October through to the end of April each year. Completing an on-line application is the first step. In early December, all of the applications are reviewed by a panel of external judges and 10 finalists are chosen to move to the next stage of the competition.

From mid-December to May, all of the finalists receive mentorship, guidance, and training to help with the development of their business plan and their pitch to the judges. Workshop space generously provided by Innovation Place.

The Finale this year, as in the past, will be held in May.

Click to view top fifteen finalists

Sponsorship and Prizes

  • The Grand Prize winner receives $50,000 from the U of S Industry Liaison Office and up to 1 year of leasing space provided by Innovation Place.
  • 2nd Place receives $25,000.
  • 3rd place teams will receive up to $10,000, sponsored through our Tech Community Fund.

The top three finalists are also offered professional services from business sponsors, as well as banking services.

The Graduate Students' Association is sponsoring a $10,000 loan, terms to be negotiated, to a Graduate student team selected by the TVC judges. 

Past Tech Venture Challenge Winners

2015 TrueVation
2014 Innocorps Research
2013 BitStrata Systems
2012 Renterra Farmland Sales and Rental Auction Inc

Tech Venture Challenge Alumni Businesses

From the past 4 competitions, 18 Tech Venture Challenge start-up companies are not only operational but thriving, in our local economy and beyond.

The TVC alumni are also supporters of the TVC, participating in workshops, sharing their experiences and providing mentorship to the new teams each year.

To find out more, contact our office at 306-966-1465 or brittany.safinuk@usask.ca or sign up for ILO Connect - news, events and other good things that are happening at the ILO.