Original article posted Machr 16, 2023 by Thuy Tran available on Accelerate Okanagan.
After 10 fast-paced weeks of capital training, pitches, investor meetings, and due diligence, Brad Pommen, President & CEO of SMRT1 Technologies, has secured the $225,000 investment fund. SMRT1 is headquartered in Nelson BC and specializes in interactive smart dispensing solutions for healthcare products and medical supplies. This is the second year in a row that a Kootenay company has won the Summit investment. In 2022, Sami Majadla of CertiCraft took home a $150,000 investment.
“We first came here five years ago for some of the Summit training sessions and met wonderful people in community along the way. That’s who’s invested in us, whether that was their time, attention, or dollars. This ecosystem is so amazing to have,” said Brad Pommen, CEO of SMRT1 Technologies.
The goal of the OKGN Angel Summit is to help bridge the gap in our ecosystem and create more connections between companies looking for growth capital and investors looking for investable companies. Since its inauguration in 2019, the OKGN Angel Summit has supported over 200 companies, and 98 investors who have directly invested over $800,000 through the Summit program.
This year, the OKGN Angel Summit attracted over 45 companies from across Western Canada, and 43 Okanagan-based investors, making it the largest summit, and the largest investment fund in the programs 5-year history. Throughout the last 10-weeks the investor group had the difficult job of narrowing down the applicants to the final 6 companies who pitched at the live finale, and then to deliberated to decide which company would receive the $225K investment fund.
The March 16th finale was the culmination of 10 weeks of training and meetings for both the companies and the investors. It was also the first time since 2020 that Accelerate Okanagan was able to welcome the community in person for the finale. Over 200 members of the community came out to support these founders and celebrate the hard work they’ve put in throughout the duration of the angel summit program.
Jason Lotoski, CEO of Tonit, took home the People’s Choice Award. Tonit is a social platform that connects motorcycle riders and enthusiasts to a community of like minded people. “I want to thank the amazing community we have here to support the Okanagan tech startups. I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for Accelerate Okanagan and some of the mentors and investors,” said Jason Lotoski.
After the pitches, attendees were treated to a panel discussion with four prominent Okanagan founders who have recently accomplished the acquisition or merger of their own businesses. Moderated by Claudio Rojas, entrepreneurs Joshua Fraser, Corey Wagner, Anne Marie Kirby, and Chris Priebe shared their first-hand stories and unique insights into their entrepreneurial journeys.
Learn More About the OKGN Angel Summit
Win or lose, the founders that participated in the 2023 OKGN Angel Summit had an incredible opportunity to build personal connections with Okanagan investors, industry experts, mentors, and other startups from across Western Canada. We look forward to cheering on these companies as they continue to grow, and we can’t wait to see what will happen at next year’s summit.