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From nanotech healthcare solutions to personalized digital real estate transactions, 10 Calgary startups battled for three trophies: the Alumni’s Choice Award, the Alex Raczenko Pitch Award, and the People’s Choice Award.
The signature event of Innovation Week took place in November at the Calgary TELUS Convention Centre and three startups walked away with hardware.
The Alumni’s Choice Award was won by Caret, a tenant experience platform. Material science innovator NanoTess continued their winning streak with the Alex Raczenko Pitch Award, while the People’s Choice Award was won by property management platform Propra.
As Calgary’s technology publication of record, Calgary.tech dove deeper into each of the three winners.
Alumni’s Choice: Caret
Rob Blackwell says he cofounded tenant experience platform Caret in direct response to a phenomenon he observed during a redevelopment of a downtown office high-rise in Calgary.
“We were attracting a number of new users to that building,” he recalls last year. “These smaller companies were less hierarchical than traditional ones, and this led to more people interacting directly with our management team whenever they had questions or needed to place a service request.”
He tried to find an all-in-one software solution that met his needs—but couldn’t—”so we decided to build our own.”
“We wanted to create an app where we could not only facilitate this conversation, but also easily connect our tenants to all of the new amenities we had included in the redevelopment,” he explained. “We quickly recognized the value in removing the traditional ‘gatekeeper’ role that many tenants use when they want to interact with their building.”
With regards to customers, Caret already powers nearly 200 properties.
“We provide the technical expertise and maintenance in the background,” states the all-encompassing communication, booking, and work order solution built by real estate professionals for real estate professionals.
People’s Choice: Propra
Propra is a proptech startup offering an end-to-end property management solution focused on improving rental management for landlords and tenants through a seamless experience that solves inefficiencies across property management, search, and transactions.
The most challenging part of property management is the complex combination of “managing time, sustainably scaling, reducing costs, retaining quality tenants, and managing mental health throughout it all,” according to Propra.
It’s a big problem and one the startup aims squarely to solve through technological innovation.
“Instead of trying to clean up as many messes as possible, put the right processes in place so that those messes are never made in the first place,” the Alberta company says. “This begins with utilizing technology to maximize your leverage as a property manager over these manual daily tasks.”
Propra’s dashboard provides visibility across every portfolio, property, and unit detail for decision making. The startup adds its automation features allow free up to via streamlining maintenance requests, scheduling, and communication. And in addition, faster communication and increased transparency are apt to increase resident satisfaction, the founders note.
Propra’s founding team is led by Calgary locals Craig Adam and Al-Karim Khimji.
Pitch Award: NanoTess
The vision of NanoTess Technology Solutions—”to prevent unnecessary suffering through technological innovation”—speaks loudly to the “values-based enterprise” that NanoTess aims to be.
“Invisible to the naked eye and 1,000 times smaller than bacteria, nanotechnology solutions provide several exciting opportunities,” the Alberta firm states. “Nano-medicine forms the basis for the next revolution within the health industry.”
The founding team claims 40 years of cumulative experience in material science developing innovative solutions to solve a wide variety of health-related needs, including for S&P 500 companies.
Cofounded by Julian Mulia and Megan Leslie in 2020, NanoTess is currently tackling high rates of amputations with NanoSALV technology, an advanced wound dressing for the management of chronic wounds. They are battling a “silent pandemic.”
The startup recently received regulatory approval from Health Canada for its NanoSALV technology.
“Apart from our strong focus on our bottom line, NanoTess aims to ensure our products are accessible and affordable for those who need them,” says the fledging material science innovator. “By focusing on patient-first solutions, we believe we can create cutting edge technologies that bring value to all stakeholders.”
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