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  • 05 Nov 2019 by Frank Leffelaar

    In our upcoming investor meeting Investing in Agrifoodtech & Cleantech on Wednesday, November 6th, we are excited to introduce you to some of the most promising seed stage companies in the Agrifoodtech and Cleantech. The Agrifoodtech industry is one of the largest sectors in British Columbia today. By 2025, experts have predicted that the value of the agriculture and agri-food exports from Canada will be at least $75 billion. 

    You still have time to buy a ticket and be part of our investor meeting and meet the CEO's of the 16 companies that will be presenting.


    For this month’s meeting, we are featuring 5 promising companies that will be presenting. This includes Open Ocean Robotics, Susgrainable Health Foods, Scout Canning, BarrelWise Technologies, and ThisFish. 







    ThisFish Inc. is a smart technology solution for seafood processors. They are a leader in seafood traceability and production software that strives to improve social, environmental, and financial sustainability of the fish industry. 

    In recent news, Ecuador was given a warning for its poor enforcement and traceability in the seafood sector. NIRSA, the country’s largest tuna exporter, processes 340 tonnes of tuna everyday. ThisFish’s team has been commission and will be flying to Ecuador to install their Tally Software for NIRSA.

    Seafood is a $143 billion industry and the world’s most globally traded protein. Traditionally, the massive amount of data has been all paper-based. There has been no place for the seafood processors to sync their data. Because of the lack of traceability, there has been problems including illegal fishing, seafood fraud, and human slavery. Their software is being used in Canada, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. 

    TheFish’s Trace software allows for improved traceability and efficiency.  They make it easy for seafood enterprises to code their catch, upload their seafood catch’s information, upload information on handling and shipping, and trace their seafood to connect to their harvester. 

    TheFish Inc. was selected as a finalist for the $100,000 Neptune Award in 2019. Eric Enno Tamm, CEO and Co-founder has been asked to join the Consultative Committee of Seafood Alliance for Legality and Traceability. In this role, he will be providing technical advice on the development of guiding principles for electronic catch documentation and traceability systems.

    Eric Enno Tamm, CEO will be presenting at the VANTEC Investor Meeting on November 6th during the company presentations at 4:15pm. 

    For more information about ThisFish, please visit:







    Open Ocean Robotics is a cleantech solution to collecting ocean data. Using proprietary solar and wind-powered autonomous boats equipped with sensors and cameras, the start-up is on a mission to provide actionable, real-time ocean insights. 

    With over 80 percent of the ocean still unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored, the ability to collect and analyze ocean data has potential to impact a $3.25 trillion ocean industry. 

    A clean technology solution like Open Ocean Robotics can make a huge difference in the ocean industry. Their boats can be in the ocean and travel non-stop for months without producing greenhouse missions, noise pollution, or oil spills. 
    In the industry, boats in Canada produce more than 1,000 megatons of greenhouse gas emissions every year. Their boats can plot more fuel-efficient roats to conserve fuel and reduce emissions altogether. This is like taking 100 cars off the road for an entire year. 

    Their boats can patrol the ocean, safeguard Marine Protected Areas and crack down on illegal fishing. Illegal fishing accounts for 20 percent of all the wild fish caught. 

    Open Ocean Robotics can help us better understand climate change by measuring the changes in the ocean. The melting Arctic ice has tripled the amount of traffic to the area in the last 25 years. These boats can help provide a cost-effective way to map the Arctic while reducing the amount of boats running aground. 

    The clean technology company was founded by Julie Angus and Colin Angus. Open Ocean Robotics has partnered with MaRS Cleantech and Natural Resources Canada. In June, they won the Most Promising Startup of 2019 Award from NACO at the World Angel Investment Summit

    Julie Angus, CEO and Cofounder will be presenting at the VANTEC Investor Meeting 

    For more information about Open Ocean Robotics, visit:









    BarrelWise Technologies Ltd. (BarrelWise)’s proprietary interlocking winemaking system makes managing wine barrels simple. Their unique system allows winemakers to keep the barrel sealed throughout the entire aging process. Winemakers can barrel tap, sample, sulphate, and analyze the chemical composition all in one interaction, without opening the barrel. 

    Usually, wineries manage 2000+ barrels of wine. These barrels need to be sampled, chemically analyzed, topped and have sulfites added every 2-4 weeks. This process takes about 5 minutes or more per barrel. However, BarrelWise makes this process simple and reduces the time spent on barrel management by 70 percent. 

    Currently, there are over 150,000 wineries worldwide with more than 35 million barrels. The wine barrel industry is growing with a potential $1.4 billion market. 

    BarrelWise has recently launched a technology solution, Barrel by Barrel Data. This is a sensor within the barrel gun that measures the free sulfur content in each barrel. This data is shared in the cloud and allows winemakers to get real-time data on their barrel’s sulphur content, trends, and alerts. 

    Jason Sparrow, CEO, will be presenting at the VANTEC Investor Meeting

    For more information about BarrelWise Technologies Ltd. please visit:









    Susgrainable Health Foods upcycles ingredients including spent grain from food and beverage producers to create healthy and sustainable flours and products. Their movement started after realizing most local craft breweries in Vancouver were producing a large amount of spent grain which ended up being wasted. 

    Their proprietary processing technology is exclusive to North America and provides significant cost and quality advantages compared to their competition. Susgrainable Health Foods is able to produce 2,000 to 3,000 kg per month. 

    With over 11.2M tonnes of edible food wasted in Canada every year, Susgrainable provides a massive solution between the $47 billion upcycled food waste and $80 billion functional flour industries. 

    Their product line includes Susgrainable flours, baking mixes, and baked goods. These are currently being delivered through wholesale and retail channels. 

    Susgrainable Health Foods was founded by Marc Wandler and Stuart Karol. They were a finalist in the Small Business BC Award’s Best Concept category. They were also a top 100 finalist in the TELUS Pitch in 2019. 

    Marc Wandler, Cofounder and President will be presenting at the VANTEC Investor Meeting

    For more information about Susgrainable Health Foods, visit:










    Scout Canning modernizes canned seafood for consumers by giving them a premium ‘seacuterie’ product. Scout is the first premium North American canned seafood brand. Using tradition canning techniques combined with modern, chef-prepared recipes, their produce high-quality canned seafood products with a long shelf life. 

    Seafood consumption is the highest it has been in decades. The global canned seafood market is expected to reach $38 billion USD by 2025. With more and more consumers wanting local products, Scout is North AMerican sourced and hand-packed. 

    As an activist brand, they have developed an Ocean Program where 1 percent of their profits are given back to ocean health projects. They also use 100 percent recyclable packaging and no plastic. 

    Their first phase of products include Atlantic Canadian lobster, PEI mussels with roasted red peppers and tomatoes, and Ontario lake trout with dill. Scout has plans on expanding to vegetarian source seafood products and prepared foods in the near future. 

    Adam Bent, CEO will be presenting at the VANTEC Investor Meeting on November

    For more information about Scout, please visit:


  • 31 Aug 2019 by Pip Brangam

    VANTEC’s mission is to grow the Angel investor community in BC and to present investors with vetted investment opportunities in BC’s most promising startups.


    Every year after the summer break we invite BC's accelerators to present themselves, their programs and some of their most promising ventures.


    VANTEC Open Network Meeting

    As our startup eco system evolves, so do our university programs and accelerators. This is a great event to get a quick update on who and what's new in our eco system, meet some promising startups and network with all these great people. All presentations and pitches are 90 seconds and the companies have a chance to show their wares and have investor conversations. VANTEC Open Network 2019 is on the 11th of September at VentureLabs downtown Vancouver, 11th floor, 555 W Hastings St.

    What accelerators do?

    The BC Tech Ecosystem has a rich network of resources available to startup founders. For early-stage companies who want to get on the fast track to being ready for investment, accelerators are a great option. 


    Accelerators are often lumped in with other institutions supporting early-stage startups, such as incubators, but they differ in several respects. Often Industry-specific in their focus, they offer a highly immersive period of intense and focused instruction providing founders with the opportunity to learn at a rapid pace. 


    During an accelerator program, companies are partnered with mentors and a cohort can last anywhere from 3 to 6 months. Competition to be accepted into the program is high. Accelerators cherry-pick what they determine to be scalable, high growth companies and coach them over that period to become ready to seek investment. Some accelerators also offer financing as part of their program. At the end of a cohort, there is a demo-day, an opportunity for the cohort companies to present their company pitch. Often angel investors attend these events scouting for potential investments. 


    Here are a selection of BC accelerators, their industry of focus, where applicable, and how they assist early stage companies. 


    Accel RX - Health And Life Sciences Accelerator

    With a focus on life sciences, the Accel program is Canada’s national health innovation accelerator fund providing seed capital and expertise to promising early-stage companies developing therapeutics, diagnostics and medical devices.


    Entrepreneurship@UBC - eHatch Accelerator

    e@UBC is a unique program that delivers a combination of education, venture creation, and seed funding to maximize the number of successful ventures coming out of UBC and UBC Okanagan 


    Foresight - Cleantech & Agtech Accelerator

    With a focus on Canadian transformative clean technology start-ups Foresight helps companies go from  launch to scale in collaboration with industry, corporate partners, universities, government agencies, and local service providers.  Foresight has three pillar programs,  Launch, Growth and Challenge. 


    Founders Institute - Pre-Seed Accelerator

    The world's largest pre-seed startup accelerator,  Founders Institute has helped launch over 3,500 companies across 180+ cities and six continents. During their 14-week program companies work through a rigorous company building curriculum with a focus on doing rather than learning. Local Industry experts are on hand to mentor and demo days are streamed to the global network. 


    Launch Academy

    Cited as a pre-accelerator program. Launch Academy helps early-stage tech entrepreneurs from diverse industries execute on their startups through education, mentorship, and networking opportunities to launch and find their product-market fit, scale, and grow their companies. The Launchpad is space offering a community for entrepreneurs to support each other in their journey. 


    Radius SFU - Social Innovation Hub

    The RADIUS Slingshot Accelerator is a six-month program that supports early-stage, social impact ventures that are ready to grow. Through their combination of cohort-based learning, individualized mentorship, and equity investment, they help companies to become investment and market-ready.


    Spring Activator - Impact accelerator 

    Spring is committed to global tech ecosystem development offering a startups school for impact entrepreneurs. They offer an IMPACT Startup Visa Accelerator, helping founders and companies to move to Canada to scale their businesses and maximize their impact. They also offer a 2X acceleration program for B2B companies. 


    Tamwood - Global Startup School

    Part business school and accelerator the Startup School helps individuals discover and learn the skills to launch their Business. Students can take courses in innovation and entrepreneurship and then follow on to use the skills they have learned to starting their own company. 


    SFU VentureLabs - Accelerator

    VentureLabs accelerates innovation-based ventures through the BC Venture Acceleration Program, helping businesses accelerate market validation, access mentoring from experienced serial entrepreneurs, learning opportunities and workshops, co-working, meeting, and maker spaces, as well as access to financing. 

    Let us know if we missed anyone or if you’d like us to include or link to more details more details on programs, demo days etc. Just send an email to