The 2022 Health Impact Investor Challenge wrapped up its Top 5 Pitch Finale night on June 8. Born out of the commitment to drive impact in enabling equitable access to healthcare, prevention and harm reduction, the TELUS Pollinator Fund for Good partnered with Spring Activator to present this health challenge. It brought together over 81 purpose-driven healthcare startups, with 20 companies selected to pitch their business to 35 early-stage impact investors across Canada.
Over the course of eleven weeks, the Impact Investor Challenge teaches new investors the basics of impact investing. The investors learn in a cohort based environment. Additionally, experienced investors are often brought in throughout the program to share their knowledge and expertise as guest speakers. At the end, the investor cohort will apply newfound knowledge and collectively choose the top healthcare company for investment.
After an incredible night of pitches, UVX Inc. took home a record investment prize of $165,000. This capital was committed by the investor cohort themselves at the beginning of the program. UVX is developing a smart ceiling device that disinfects the air and surfaces using a form of light. It is six times more effective than chemical disinfectants, seven times more effective than air purifiers with HEPA filters and is safe for human exposure. Relive the event here.
The Pollinator Fund is always looking for ways to accelerate the growth of the impact investing ecosystem by connecting early-stage businesses and mission aligned entrepreneurs, with resources and capital needed to grow and thrive. The Health Impact Investor Challenge was an exciting opportunity and platform to bring together the impact investing community, and purpose-driven startups to drive innovation and lasting change.
Advancing diversity is another key mandate of the Pollinator Fund. During the Health Impact Investor Challenge, 38 per cent of the 81 startup applications identified themselves as women, while 37 per cent of the investor cohort identified as women. The current venture landscape is still lagging when it comes to providing equal opportunities for women founders and investors. However, these optimistic numbers show there is an increasing interest and participation from both communities.
With this in mind, we are excited to announce the continuation of our partnership with Spring Activator to host the Women-led National Impact Investing Challenge in September 2022. Women entrepreneurs and aspiring or experienced investors are encouraged to reach out to the Spring team for more information.