Kelowna BC-based technology firm DevOne Sports has been named as the winner of Accelerate Okanagan’s Jump:Start:Challenge; a pitch competition for technology companies and entrepreneurs seeking investment to finance their growth.
DevOne Sports is focused on the effective, online delivery of sports education with the goal of improving the experience of families and the fundamental skill base of young athletes and coaches. DevOne’s Education Platform supports the efforts of youth sports associations and their members by providing streamlined content, developed by professionals and designed for kids.
“Our goal is to ensure no family is ever left behind in sports,” says Al Schuler, founder and CEO of DevOne Sports. “To win the Jump:Start:Challenge is a great bonus on top of the value our young company has enjoyed being associated with Accelerate Okanagan. We want to thank AO for all the support they have provided our team as we lead up to launch.”
Jeff Keen, CEO of Accelerate Okanagan said, “We were extremely impressed by the caliber of the companies that entered this year’s competition. All of the finalists were able to demonstrate sound business and investment opportunities with the key points being management team, market size, and the ability of the team to execute on their plan. DevOne has made incredible progress over the last few months taking the business from concept stage to product development to finding paying customers and building a strong leadership team.”
In total, 35 applications were received for Accelerate Okanagan’s Jump:Start:Challenge. The competition kicked-off in January 2014 with the successful entrants being invited to present their business opportunities at an open forum. 10 companies were then selected by an expert panel of judges to move on to the next round of the Challenge, where they received 8 weeks of intense training, coaching and mentorship to improve their investor presentations.
At the finale pitch event on March 11th, the top four companies: DevOne Sports, Perked!, GreenStep Solutions Inc. and Upward Solutions Inc., pitched to a packed room of top-tier investors and supporters. For winning, DevOne Sports received a $2000 cash prize and a guaranteed place into the 2014 BCIC-New Ventures Competition.
“The Jump:Start:Challenge aims to get companies investment ready. The tools, resources and mentorship the finalists received over the nine weeks of the competition have proven to be invaluable to the entrepreneurs in their efforts to secure funding and grow their companies,” says Andrew Greer, program manager at Accelerate Okanagan.