Written by Sonam Swarup | All photos by Jackie Dives Photo
The Slingshot program at RADIUS Ventures wrapped up its 3rd cohort of radical ventures at the Backstage Lounge on Granville Island on June 6th. Hosted by RADIUS Ventures Director Donovan Woollard and Entrepreneur-in-Residence Mike Rowlands, the evening was part social innovation mixer, part demo-day and part kick-off to Startup City: Impact.
Over the last six months, the Slingshot entrepreneurs had the opportunity to test, challenge, learn and grow their venture alongside one another. The program is designed to deepen their business knowledge, expand their networks, provide hands-on coaching, and to establish a peer community of Doers moving forward. Based upon the number of BlastOff guests that stated that their favourite part of the event was watching the entrepreneurs support and congratulate each other, we are proud of the results. Thanks to everyone who came out, and check out how it went down on Twitter!
The room was packed with company founders, mentors and supporters, all there to celebrate the hard work of the cohort. There were people chatting and snacking on the different samples offered by the ventures, including munching on delicious insect-based protein bars, teas, shrub syrups and more.
Here are the seven ventures and a snippet of what they shared with the crowd:
Amoda Tea – Amoda tea is a health and wellness brand that provides a fun and simple way for tea drinkers to discover the industry’s best tasting teas and the amazing independent tea makers who craft them. Along with a retail e-shop, they also offer a monthly tea subscription box.
The Capilano Tea House and Botanical Soda Co. – The Capilano Tea House and Botanical Soda Company is Indigenous-owned and plant-inspired. They infuse the traditional local with the traditional global for a very Vancouver flavour offering. In addition to providing a brand experience at their Gastown location (221 Abbott Street), the mother and daughter duo from the Squamish Nation are looking to expand their teas into other retail outlets!
Coast Protein – Coast Protein is a disruptive product positioning itself as a premium brand for cricket protein powders, supplements, meal replacements, protein bars and cookies. From the Slingshot experience, the team learned how to better position and brand their product in comparison to their competitors.
Heilu – Heilu is a sustainable and nutritious whole food powder made from black soldier fly larvae that can be used in anything from shakes to cakes and soups to sausages. The team had delicious sweets for the crowd to sample.
Naked Snacks – Naked Snacks is an online food company delivering healthy and delicious custom snack mixes throughout Canada. They recently got their product into some of Canada’s finest hotel chains including Shangri La and several Fairmont Hotel locations.
Thirsty Whale Elixirs – Thirsty Whale Elixirs makes deliciously natural shrub syrups, hand-crafted with local BC fruit. Also known as drinking vinegars, shrubs make excellent soda and cocktail mixers. They are stocking their shrub syrups in more retail stores, including Cocktail Emporium in Toronto.
Zero Waste Market – Zero Waste Market is Canada’s first grocery store to offer 100% package-free whole foods and fresh produce, specializing in local, organic, and ethically sourced items.The team are planning to open a storefront in Vancouver in the fall 2016!
We wish the ventures all the best and are excited to continue to support their growth and acceleration.
A huge thank you to our partners at the Business Development Bank of Canada, Vancity, Fasken Martineau LLP, and Miller Titerle + Co for their continuous support, as well as to the BC Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation for their event sponsorship.
The night also included a pre-event delivered in partnership with the Vancouver Economic Commission. Called the Startup City: Impact Founder Hour, this event for venture founders featured a moderated discussion between RADIUS Ventures Director Donovan Woollard and serial impact entrepreneur and investor, Tom Williams. Originally from Vancouver Island, Tom has created or invested in over 30 tech-oriented ventures. He shared some of his wins, some of his dark times, as well as his vision for the economic transformation required to enable social and environmental systems to flourish.
All in all, it was a great night out for the RADIUS community, aligning innovation with impact, inspiration, and fun. Join the RADIUS mailing list to learn more and join the community!