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A Closer Look at the Canadian Startup Awards’ Technology Innovation Finalists

The technology industry is full of new innovations.

Consider the iconic tech breakthroughs that have shaped our modern lives: Steve Jobs pushed to create Apple’s version iPhone smartphone; the U.S. Department of Defense engineered an early version of a global positioning system, which now graces the dashboards of many car models and smart devices; a series of large-area networks were connected in the 1970s to create the Internet.

The last century has spawned a number of progressions in technology, and the three Technology Innovation finalists in the Canadian Startup Awards are aiming high. This trio rise above the rest due to their commitment to create high-quality, unique technology solutions or products.

And here’s what they’re doing to innovate in their space.

Transpod

There are millions of working professionals around the world who are relegated to daily commuting. For example, a study commissioned by the Toronto Board of Trade showed that in Hogtown, commuters spend an average of 80 minutes round trip to reach their offices. That’s more than an hour each day that workers will never get back.

But Toronto-based Transpod is hustling to create an alternative. Touted as the world’s leading hyperloop system, Transpod aims to disrupt and redefine commercial transportation. It was originally formed back in 2015 as an answer to Elon Musk’s challenge to create a half-scale model concept. This high-stakes contest is meant to create a super-fast, sustainable, tube-inspired transportation option aptly titled the Hyperloop. And Transpod’s hyperloop technology is the Canadian response to this call.

“Here at TransPod, we’re working on introducing the fifth mode of transportation (after boats, trains, planes, and automobiles) around the world,” says Sebastien Gendron, founder and CEO. “What we have today doesn’t help to solve the challenges we’re facing, including urban density, mobility, and efficiency. We’re seeing increased interest in hyperloop and its potential for realizing true urban mobility: the dream is to not be confined by distances.”

And this new form of transportation is catching the attention of investors. In November 2016, Transpod closed a seed funding round of USD$15 million to commercialize the technology.

Goldmoney

Gold serves as the commodity of choice in most of the financial products. The price is relatively stable or regularly rises, and is often regarded as an crucial component for a diversified investment portfolio.

And that’s one of the many reasons why the founders of Toronto-based public company Goldmoney decided to create create financial software on top of the existing gold network.

“We believed this massive gold market needed better technology and we wanted it to be accessible to everyone,” said Josh Crumb, cofounder and Chief Strategy Officer. “Put simply, if you were going to ‘Uberize’ the market for just one element in the periodic table, why wouldn’t you choose gold?”

This is the trail Goldmoney is blazing; no other organization has created a comparable digital gold-based money network, according to Crumb.

And company execs attribute their success to their growing global network of loyal users and their mission.

“Unlike many bitcoin companies and other gold-focused companies, our philosophy is not about fear, greed, or politics,” Crumb said. “We’re not promising riches, or recommending that people pull out of banks or society in fear, but to simply use gold for the logical reason that it is valuable and constant. Gold doesn’t make you rich, but it will never make you poor.”

Via Science

Data science is a growing (and increasingly sexy) field in tech.

Estimates say that there’s around 11,400 to 19,400 data scientists worldwide, but there’s a major shortage. These talented individuals help tame the ever-intimidating Big Data to make it palatable for teammates and companies.

Montreal-based Via Science is using Big Math to tame the help solve the same kind of problems for companies. According to the company’s site, Via Science’s microservices architecture, called Focus, the startup solves mission critical risk assessment, anomaly detection, and causal analytics challenges in both the energy and security sectors.

Essentially the organization uses complicated math formulas and machine learning to manage data for real-world applications like power grids and cybersecurity. Their business clients can then make more informed decisions based on the readily available data accessed via the cloud (or on-site or via the organization’s team of data experts).

Choose Your Favourite

Which of these deserving young companies deserve to win in the Technology Innovation category? Make sure you vote for your favourites before February 19 at midnight to have your say in which startups should win in their respective categories.

The winners will be announced at a live gala on March 2nd at Steamwhistle Brewery in Toronto.

Real Ventures, iNovia Capital, Relay Ventures are Finalists in Canadian Startup Awards

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