Calling the hottest technology startups, entrepreneurs and growth companies with vision, technology and management  – are you ready to take your business to the next level?

The Jump:Start:Challenge, an annual competition run by Accelerate Okanagan, is an investor-ready pitch contest to support technology companies and entrepreneurs looking to start, accelerate and grow.

An investor pitch is a 5 minute presentation (plus 3 mins. Q&A) made to potential investors telling them what they need to know to decide whether or not to invest in your company. To make your pitch investor-ready, you will need to prepare your presentation through the eyes of the investors and address their concerns.

The top 10 entrants will receive eight weeks of expert training, coaching and mentorship to improve their pitch and increase their chances of raising capital. Five finalists will then present their “investor ready” pitch to select members of the BC investment community.

Jump:Start:Challenge from Accelerate Okanagan on Vimeo.

Why Enter

Accelerate Okanagan’s Jump:Start:Challenge provides technology companies and entrepreneurs with a unique opportunity to benefit from the support, assistance and insights of a dedicated team of experienced experts and Executives-in-Residence.

Alison Media CoolerFor Alison Yesilcimeh, CEO of Media Cooler Innovations and winner of Jump:Start:Challenge 2012, said “The mentorship that you get is incredible, as it allows you to continuously improve how you pitch your company’s idea. As an entrepreneur, you are going to need these skills anywhere, whether it’s in a boardroom selling your product or presenting to investors and so having those skills, and always refining those skills, is very important.”

In addition to this mentorship, the Jump:Start:Challenge benefits entrants by providing concentrated help in cracking one of the most persistent business challenges: raising capital.

The Challenge provides participants with fresh thinking to help refine and validate their business idea, and will help provide new momentum to fund raising efforts.

Rob-headshot-bwRob Bartlett, CEO of WTFast and the winner of Jump:Start:Challenge 2011, said, “I found the Jump:Start:Challenge invaluable – it’s like a boot camp for companies looking for investment. You will learn what investors are looking for and how to present. Along the way you will learn more about your company and ways to improve it. Thanks to AO and this program I have gone from never pitching before in my life to now pitching to investors in Vancouver, California and Seattle. These pitches led to $150k in investment for WTFast in 2012, which helped drive company revenues in 2013, leading to an additional $424k in debt and grant funding in 4th quarter 2013.”


  • The top 10 entrants will receive eight weeks of expert training, coaching and mentorship to improve their “pitches” and increase their chances of raising capital.
  • Five finalists will get to present their business ideas to pre-selected members of the BC investment community.
  • The winner will receive a cash prize.

Selection Criteria

We are looking for technology ideas that have an excellent chance of market success and are deemed “fundable”.

Having a multidisciplinary team already in place would be considered an asset, but is not essential.

Even though there is no charge to enter the Jump:Start Challenge, we do require an absolute commitment from all entrants to participate fully in the various events and meet their commitments.

How to Enter

At 2014′s Jump:Start:Challenge, we announced the winner, DevOne Sports. Please check back here for more information on 2015′s competition or contact us at contact@accelerateokanagan.com.