Calgary-based Leankor wins oil and gas technology battle
Innovation is alive and well in the Canadian oil patch, judging by a recent competition that had oil and gas technology start up companies chasing a $50,000 top prize.
“The oil and gas sector is undergoing a significant evolution, and now is the time for innovations that allow organizations along the entire value chain to quickly adapt,” said Emilio Bernabei, CEO of Leankor, the Calgary-based company whose enterprise-ready visual process management solution beat out competitors from Canada and the United States to capture top honours.
Powered by Salesforce, Leankor is a visual collaboration tool that distills workflow management into three simple steps, cutting the time and costs typically required to set up such systems, while reducing the number of meetings and unnecessary emails.
“The $50,000 prize will help Leankor deliver its workflow automation tool to even more organizations to assist them in running leaner operations and streamline their workflows. We are very proud of our accomplishments to date, and we are honoured by the first-place finish at the Energy New Venture Competition,” said Bernabei.
Leankor’s prize includes $25,000 of in-kind services from Davis LLP and the opportunity to attend and pitch at the PROPEL Energy Tech Forum – which ran Tuesday and Wednesday in Calgary – to more than 100oil and gas technology investors.
Fourteen ambitious emerging oil and gas technology entrepreneurs and companies competed Dragons’ Den-style, pitching their concept and early-stage ventures to a panel of judges from Fronterra Ventures, Collins Barrow, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, VA Angels, AVAC Ltd, Innovate Calgary, BASF Venture Capital and GE Canada.
“Our goal is to help drive Calgary forward as a leader in energy technology and development,” said Kim Neutens, director of the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “We provided emerging companies and concepts with a major hand-up with their ventures through mentorship from experts in entrepreneurship, innovation, company creation and investment development leading up to the competition as well as the opportunity to pitch for cash prizes and network with potential investors.”
Taking second place in the venture stream and $15,000 in cash was Sustainable Power Systems, a Boulder, Colorado company that delivers electricity to remote, off-grid communities through the Universal Microgrid Controller(TM), which addresses the technical challenges of microgrid deployment and operations. SIX Safety Systems, also from Calgary, took home third place and $10,000 in cash for its industry leading technologies for reducing risk in the workplace and positively impacting their client’s bottom line.
AltaCarbon Inc., a clean-tech manufacturing company, based out of Edmonton, is developing a patented platform process for converting petroleum coke into a valuable filtration material which took top prize in the concept stream earning $7,500 in cash, plus $2,500 in-kind prizes. Second place was awarded to Illusense Inc. from Richmond BC, for a high accuracy pipeline leak detection and prevention solution. Jamii Power, from Logan Lake BC, took third place for their low-cost, smart mini-grid metering and management system.
Created by the Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business and Innovate Calgary, and supported by Encana, the competition was designed as a platform to help advance emerging energy technology companies and concepts to the next level.
The Energy New Venture Competition was a pre-event to the PROPEL Energy Tech Forum, a new two-day energy technology-focused investment conference that grought together a delegation of 200 stakeholders and investors within the energy tech industry.
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