Sprout Fund LP
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Five Pitchfest Contestants Advance to Funding Stage

Press Release 



Five Pitchfest Contestants Advance to Funding Stage  

Sprout Fund judges and the audience selected five companies to be considered for up to $250,000 in aggregate seed investment at the inaugural Pitchfest event on December 7, 2018. 

Edmonton, Alberta – December 10, 2018 

Five startup companies from Alberta have been selected to advance to the funding round at the inaugural Pitchfest event, held on December 7, 2018 at the Shaw Conference Centre.  Each company will be eligible for up to $50,000 in seed capital from the Sprout Fund. 

The managing partners of the Sprout Fund selected the top three pitches of the afternoon: Flock Audio, UNDO Divorce, and HonestDoor.   

The 150 members of the audience selected the “audience favorite” resulting in a tie between two companies: Umay Care and Azera Shelter Technologies. 

“This is an important milestone for each of these companies,” said Mark Benning, one of four managing partners at the fund. “Of the almost 40 companies that applied, ten were selected to pitch at the event and the 5 most promising were selected to advance to the funding round. The competition was pretty intense.” 

The high-profile event was keynoted by one of Edmonton’s most well-known and successful technology entrepreneurs and investors, Ashif Mawji.  His inspiring message highlighted to the many entrepreneurs in the room “to be passionate about your product because that is what gives you the energy to get through the difficulties you will inevitably face.” 

Special guest David Shepherd, the MLA for Edmonton-Centre, spoke of the importance of new companies to the Alberta economy.  “Government can play an important role in the development of a start-up economy,” said Lindsay Dodd, Sprout Fund managing partner and host for the event. “We were pleased to have representatives from the Government of Alberta and the City of Edmonton at the event.” 

Each of the five selected companies will now enter into formal due diligence  with the Sprout Fund.  “Early stage capital is in short supply in Alberta which is one reason we started this fund,” said Shaheel Hooda, managing partner of the Sprout Fund.  “We now have to establish whether these young companies are truly ready for our investment and mentorship to grow into significant businesses.” 

With the tremendous excitement and success of this inaugural event, the next Pitchfest event is already scheduled for May 2019.  The event organizers will soon be accepting applications from companies hoping to pitch at the event.   

To learn more about the event, or to book an interview, contact Lindsay Dodd at 780-887-4757, email him at lindsay@sproutfund.ca, or visit the website at sproutfund.ca. 

About the Selected Companies 

Flock Audio:  https://www.flockaudio.com/ 

UNDO Divorce: https://www.undo.ca/ 

HonestDoor: https://honestdoor.ops.bz 

Umay Care: http://www.umay.care/ 

Azera Shelter Care: https://www.azera.com/ 

About Pitchfest 

Pitchfest is an event created and run by Mark Benning, a local investor and entrepreneur with strong ties to the Silicon Valley.  

Pitchfest provides an opportunity for technology start up founders to pitch their companies to a select audience of entrepreneurs, private investors, public funders, service providers, business leaders, and community members. 

More information is available at https://pitchfest.org/ 

About Sprout Fund 

Sprout Fund invests in seed and early stage companies with Series-A funding potential. The fund leverages the collective experience of its Limited Partners to select high potential technology companies. Investments average $50,000 per company and carry a contracted 24-month exit plan.  

Our Managing Partners oversee the three key principles for the fund: 

  1. Acquire an interest in high potential, early stage technology companies. 

  1. Mentor the founders to accelerate the business to the next significant stage. 

  1. Assist the founders in acquiring follow-on capital to facilitate a Sprout Fund exit within 24 months. 

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Lindsay Dodd