Two Alberta CEOs win thousands in investment at national pitch competition

Two Alberta CEOs win thousands in investment at national pitch competition

Table of Contents Reimagining the pitch method‘Increasing food items obtain across the world’Ideas for the

Two Alberta CEOs have won hundreds of pounds in financial commitment by a national levels of competition for women and gender-assorted entrepreneurs.

Shelvie Fernan from Edmonton and Lourdes Juan from Calgary are two of the winners of the 2022 HerStory pitch competition run by Alberta Innovates and The51, an corporation that invests in startups and corporations led by women of all ages and gender-diverse founders. 

The pitch levels of competition, held in Banff previously this thirty day period, featured 29 entrepreneurs from across the place sharing stories of how they came up with the ideas powering their businesses.

Fernan is the CEO and co-founder of Fly & Fetch, a delivery organization that aims to provide speedier and more affordable intercontinental deal deliveries. Fernan won $51,000 for the enterprise as a result of the HerStory competitiveness.

“I was absolutely stunned,” Fernan mentioned. “At the identical time, you just have to declare it due to the fact I also work really challenging and my crew performs definitely hard.”

Alternatively than a conventional delivery approach, Fly & Fetch pays travellers with additional space in their baggage to have and provide packages for purchasers. The corporation addresses 50 to 100 for every cent of flight charges for travellers, Fernan said, and it currently has a databases of about 7,000 travellers who are inclined to provide offers.

Fernan reported the idea for the firm came from her own encounters with global delivery. As an immigrant from the Philippines, any time she sent deals back again dwelling to her mother by way of conventional courier businesses, deliveries ended up high-priced and normally took far more than a week.

It truly is prevalent exercise in immigrant communities to request people travelling back again dwelling to deliver packages for friends and loved ones, Fernan explained. 

“We’ve been accomplishing this for so very long,” she reported. “We require to have a business design that would work since a ton of other persons want that [quick] shipment as nicely.”

Reimagining the pitch method

Shelley Kuipers, co-founder and co-CEO of The51, mentioned the plan behind the HerStory competitors was to re-visualize the pitch approach in a way that serves girls and gender-diverse entrepreneurs. 

“You should not pitch us, but convey to us your story,” Kuipers mentioned. “Is there a lived experience at the rear of this? Why are you the 1 to make this company? Why will this organization be prosperous with you main it?”

Kuipers explained the levels of competition is also meant to be a direct way to maximize investment decision in providers led by women of all ages and gender-various founders. She is familiar with very first-hand how hard navigating the venture ecosystem can be.

“My have lived encounter was it was particularly demanding to elevate money as a girl entrepreneur and founder,” stated Kuipers. 

In 2020, female founders gained just 2.3 for each cent of the billions of bucks handed out in world wide venture cash resources.

Though there was initially only supposed to be just one winner of the HerStory levels of competition, Kuipers said the contestants were being so outstanding that four awards had to be handed out by the end of the party. 

‘Increasing food items obtain across the world’

A person of people awards went to Lourdes Juan, founder and CEO of Knead Systems, a Calgary-dependent tech organization that helps food rescue organizations deal with logistics by way of an application. Juan received $20,000.

Juan mentioned using section in the competitiveness was a person of the best activities in her entrepreneurial occupation. 

“It was so amazing to to be in the space with that electrical power, to just get to know so numerous folks who are who are accomplishing accurately what I’m accomplishing,” Juan reported. 

Juan, whose history is in urban organizing, has founded multiple organizations and charities, together with a spa and the non-earnings Fresh new Routes, a cell grocery shop and pop-up sector that delivers develop and other food items at a discounted price tag.

A Calgarian inspects the high-quality of generate at a person of Refreshing Routes’s pop-up market at an LRT station. Fresh new Routes is just a single of multiple corporations entrepreneur Lourdes Juan has launched. (David Bell/CBC)

Juan stated her enthusiasm for solving food entry difficulties arrives from her very own existence experiences. Her mom, who immigrated to Canada from the Philippines, used to perform three work opportunities, like as a grocery retail outlet cashier, to put foods on the desk. 

“We have been a person of the family members that just wasn’t in a place to waste food items,” Juan said.

“Now, I definitely am fully commited to increasing meals obtain across the world by way of as a result of this new technological know-how.”

Although Knead Systems was only started this 12 months, Juan said her group has currently obtained phone calls from companies across the globe from Jamaica to Ivory Coast.

Ideas for the long run

The a variety of companies that have invested in the HerStory winners will stick to up with each and every enterprise to see how they prepare to use their new money, Kuipers said.

“We will be heading as a result of a due diligence approach to make sure that every thing is checked out from an financial investment standpoint,” she stated. 

Juan reported the revenue her business received will likely go toward strengthening the app to far better to current market to companies throughout the globe. 

Fernan said her organization is hunting to increase its attain. Although it at this time delivers largely to Canada, the United States, the Philippines and Pakistan, the company is hoping to arrive at international locations like Brazil and India also.