WFP: Keeping startups here can be tricky business
Tuesday’s Fundica Roadshow startup pitch event showcased some of the best young businesses Winnipeg has to offer. At the event the winning pitch earns six-months of office space in San Francisco and round trip airfare to pitch investors in Silcon Valley.
Exigence Technologies Inc. was the winner. It is the poster child for the startup ecosystem that exists in the city.
It was created by former University of Manitoba MBA students led by Zach Wolff and Sheri Governo, who developed a business plan around an anti-microbial technology developed by Song Liu, an associate professor of polymer chemistry at the University of Manitoba.
The company now operates out of the Eureka Project, the business incubator at the U of M that offers a host of operating services for companies getting off the ground.
Exigence gained access to the technology through the U of M’s technology transfer office under a new initiative that is attempting to allow more commercialization of academic discoveries. It means partners do not have to negotiate dense legal agreements before they know whether there is a market for the technology, let alone the possibilities of royalty payments.
In less than a year, Wolff, Governo and a growing team have raised about $250,000 and leveraged another $1 million or so in research funding.