Startup TNT names its top 20 for three sector summits

· The Pulse

Varme Energy is the only Edmonton company with a chance to make it through to the finals of the upcoming Cleantech Investment Summit.

The subsidiary of Norway's Green Transition Holding, which gasifies waste at landfills and stores the resulting carbon underground, made it into the cleantech top 20 pitch night on Feb. 9. It will compete for the opportunity to pitch to investors for at least $200,000 at the cleantech summit finale, which Startup TNT is presenting with Foresight Canada.

The cleantech finale will take place in person in Edmonton on March 23, and Startup TNT co-founder Zack Storms "would have loved to see more YEG companies in the Top 20," he told Taproot via email. He noted that Edmonton companies have seen success at previous cleantech summits, including side deals for Nanode Battery Technologies in 2022 and Wyvern in 2021.

"So I'm hesitant to draw too many conclusions from a single summit cycle," he said. "Sometimes, the timing isn't right."

There will be seven Edmonton companies at the life sciences top 20 pitch night and five at the agtech top 20 pitch night, both of which also take place online on Feb. 9.

Four men smile at the camera in a boardroom with a view of Edmonton skyscrapers

Varme Energy CEO Sean Collins (centre), seen here with members of the company's leadership team, will be pitching at Startup TNT's cleantech top 20 pitch night on Feb. 9. (LinkedIn)

The Edmonton representatives in the life sciences pitch night, presented in partnership with Applied Pharmaceutical Innovation (API), are as follows:

  • Bio-Stream Diagnostics, which has developed a diagnostic testing platform to make it easy to regularly test people for COVID-19;
  • FentaGone, which is working on a discreet and portable system embedded in a syringe-like device to detect fentanyl in street drugs;
  • IMBiotechnologies, which has developed a biodegradable embolic agent that is detectable by ultrasound, making it easier to cut off the blood supply to tumours;
  • KARMED, which has developed a device called FEPSim to aid the rehabilitation of disabilities related to the hand, wrist, and forearm;
  • Mosaic Sensors, which designs and produces handheld sensors for health and safety monitoring at the point of care;
  • Nanostics, a precision health company that designs minimally invasive diagnostic tests by detecting biomarkers;
  • Northernmost, which makes medical equipment for organ procurement, regenerative medicine, and transplantation.

They'll be competing with 13 companies from southern Alberta for a berth in the Life Sciences Investment Summit finale in Calgary on March 23.

Here are the five Edmonton-area companies in the agtech top 20:

  • Annelida Organics, which provides premium earthworm castings as organic plant food;
  • Canna Stream, which is working on upcycling waste from cannabis and industrial hemp;
  • DeepBlue Greens, which sells technology to increase yields for indoor farmers;
  • GrainFrac, which is developing technology to make it more sustainable and efficient to extract plant protein;
  • Nu Terra Labs, which has developed a control system to help indoor farmers manage their environments.

They'll be competing with 15 companies from southern Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba for a berth in the Agtech Investment Summit finale in Regina on March 23.

A complete list of the 60 Prairie startups pitching on Feb. 9 is in the Startup TNT newsletter. They were chosen from among 52 applicants in life sciences, 45 in cleantech, and 26 in agtech, Storms said.

The nine investment summits held in 2022 raised more than $3.7 million, the organization said in its Report to the Community. It is planning 11 summits in 2023 and is looking to launch in a fifth city.