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Posted on Sep 25, 2013

SEWF Announces 10 Venture Pitch Quarter Finalists

SEWF Announces 10 Venture Pitch Quarter Finalists


SEWF 2013 is pleased to announce the ten quarter finalists for its social venture pitch contest. 

The ten quarter finalists will attend a pitch mini-bootcamp from which four semifinalists will be selected to compete at the October 4 "Learn and Lead Luncheon"

The four semifinalists will receive: 

  • a video interview with Tim West, founder of Good Deals, and the interview will be posted on the SEWF 2013 website and Pioneers Post.
  • an interview and profile, post SEWF 2013, on 

The ultimate winner will also receive:  

  • $20,000 CDN
  • a Skype session to get input and advice from three experts from the Global Entrepreneur Programme team. 

A portion of every delegate fee and financial partnership from SEWF 2013 was put into a pot to add up to $20,000 CDN for the SEWF Pitch Contest, making every delegate a ‘social investor’. While the finalist will be selected by four main stage judges, they will take into the account the votes and feedback of all SEWF attendees. 

The Quarter Finalists (listed alphabetically):

  • City Farms coop
  • Cowichan Energy Cooperative
  • Localize
  • Pillar Non-Profit
  • Prasino Group
  • RC02
  • Shift Delivery Coop
  • Taliflo Inc. 
  • Vecova 

More detailed profiles of the ten quarterfinalists are provided below.

SEWF 2013 is also pleased to announce the judges for its pitch mini-bootcamp and the October 4 “Learn and Lead Luncheon."   

“Learn and Lead Luncheon

  • Andreas Souvaliotis, Co-Founder, Social Change Rewards
  • Sheetal (Mehta) Walsh, Founder, Shanti Life,
  • Steven Persson, Chief Executive Officer, The Big Issue Australia
  • Tim West, Founding director of Matter&Co  
  • And all SEWF attendees (just not on the main stage)

Click here to see the bios of our judges.  

City Farms Co-op

City FarmsOver 80% of Canada’s population lives in cities, and over 50% of Canadian farmers are over the age of 55.  Without encouraging the development and success of new farmers we are at risk of losing invaluable knowledge about producing food.  City Farms Co-op is a co-operative of new, small-scale farmers who are committed to growing food for their community while cultivating a system in which their farms can be economically, environmentally and socially sustainable.  We believe that food can be produced effectively on small farms and that farmers, can and deserve to earn a living wage.  City Farms Co-op recognizes that by working cooperatively and collaboratively, small-scale farms are more effective in raising consumer awareness, generating sales and reaching a broader distribution network.  Farmers are essential in the development of sustainable and food secure communities and City Farms Co-op is dedicated to cultivating and stewarding their success.  

Cowichan Energy Cooperative

Cowichan crThe Community Carbon Marketplace (CCM) is a community-based carbon exchange initiative to enable local governments, businesses and individuals to meet carbon-neutral objectives by purchasing carbon offsets from community-based projects that reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and build community resilience.  The CCM vision is to support the development of a sustainable local low carbon economy by directing offsetting dollars to quantifiable, community-based GHG reduction initiatives. By directing offsetting dollars back to the communities where they originate and monetizing locally-generated carbon credits, the CCM will create additional value for greenhouse gas reducing initiatives and create a multiplier effect that supports ongoing growth of the local low-carbon economy into the future. 

Prior to the CCM initiative, the knowledge and cost barriers to community-scale projects prevented local organizations and businesses from being able to account for, and realize the value of carbon credits that their projects would be eligible for. This initiative creates a community-based alternative.


Details crDETAILS, a social enterprise of Humanim, is a precision deconstruction and innovative reuse company located in East Baltimore, Maryland where the poverty rate is an alarming 46%.  Our challenge is to break the cycle of sustainable poverty. DETAILS combines deconstruction services with a retail outlet for selling and repurposing materials harvested from buildings slated for demolition. This labor intensive industry creates jobs while diverting thousands of tons of debris from our landfills.  DETAILS embodies the practice of collaborative entrepreneurship with the laser focus on job creation for those living in poverty. In addition to the core deconstruction business, we are a connector/convener/collaborator to harness the power of multiple markets in order to scale job creation and business development opportunities.  We combine social, business, production and distribution into the DETAILS business model to help us insulate the core from market fluctuations and catalyze revenue. 


Localize crLocalize shines the spotlight on local and regional food in grocery stores. Through a cohesive shelf labelling program, Localize shows customers where their food has come from and gives a 'Localize Score' which measures how local that product is. Each label has a unique QR code, allowing customers to scan the code with their smart phones and pursue more information about the full story of the product. Working in 50 grocery stores in Alberta, B.C., and Saskatchewan with over 300 food producers, Localize has created a unique partnership between consumers, grocers, and food producers, and is paving the way for making local food businesses a sustainable part of our communities.


Pillar Non-Profit

Pillar crPillar Nonprofit Network, in partnership with Emerging Leaders, London Arts Council, London Heritage Council and other community groups, is set to create a shared space and incubator that offers co-location, co-working and collaboration of our community’s change makers. London is facing unprecedented economic, environmental, social and cultural challenges. New innovations and cross-sector collaboration among nonprofits, social enterprises, and social purpose businesses and entrepreneurs are key to turning these challenges into opportunities. 

With the help of design jams, a bus tour and consultation with similar centres we have compiled a thorough feasibility study, business plan and financial projections. Event spaces will provide opportunities for collaboration, networking and learning. Staff will bring people together, animate and encourage connections between tenants. The $20,000 prize will help us launch our new space through a pitch contest inviting promising social entrepreneurs to compete for a free desk lease in our shared space.


Prasino Group

Prasino crThe Prasino Group is a consulting and project development firm, formed under the shared vision of Making Sustainability Real.  Prasino’s team of experts executes this vision by engaging with public and private clients in the agriculture, energy and food sectors to meeting their environmental, social and economic sustainability objectives.

Prasino is committed to Paying it Forward by systematically mentoring and developing talent to repay the good deeds that have come to its team. In doing so, Prasino dedicates a portion of its time and energy to projects that benefit local sectors and communities.

High River Biochar is one of Prasino’s most recent renewable social project ventures. The objective of this project is to scale innovative Biochar technology that will convert organic waste into a cost effective soil enhancement product, capable increasing the quality and yields of crops while sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and reducing the impact of climate change. 


RCO2 new crRC02 Canada is introducing an innovative regenerative packaging solution to the beverage industry and beyond. Our RENEW bottle is a patented, zero waste, solution having the design and market characteristics to become one of the world’s first commercially viable up cycled products.

Our containers regenerate themselves into high quality shelter and/or greenhouses and will have a measurable impact on housing needs, greenhouse gas emissions, and community wellness. These are critical social and environmental issues that urgently need to be addressed, the very issues that provide RENEW its global potential and timely relevance.

RC02 Canada and RENEW are collaborating with a broad spectrum of stakeholders; industries and interests as diverse as petroleum production to third world community development. RENEW is about whole new way of thinking and represents an effective tool dedicated to catalyse the positive cumulative effects of People, Planet, and Prosperity.

RENEW, a solution is now in your hands.

Shift Coop

Shift crShift is a Vancouver- based co-op that aims to transform the delivery industry in urban areas and strengthen the local economy. We haul a wide variety of goods in our heavy-duty cargo tricycles, replacing delivery trucks for regular short trips in the downtown core.

The nimble design of our trikes offer a unique ability to use bike lanes and gain front-door loading access, providing efficiency and reliability advantages to our clients. We are focused on exceptional service and handle each package with personal care because our workers share ownership of the co-operative enterprise. And we help build resilient, livable communities by getting noisy, polluting trucks off the road and offering a clean, friendly service with zero tailpipe emissions.


Taliflo Inc.

Taflio cr

"Taliflo Inc. empowers businesses that desire improved customer and vendor relationships and more autonomy from financial institutions. Its B2B software platform enables businesses to record that which is or will be owed between them and their customers or vendors on a jointly administered virtual ledger. This reduces credit administration costs and miscommunications, while increasing credit worthiness and financial flexibility.

Taliflo's donation tracker flips fundraising on its head where businesses and their customers partner together to support local causes instead of the cause having to solicit for donations. Causes focus on demonstrating value to their supporters and their mission, and receive cash donations from participating businesses when their supporters purchase the business' products and services."


Vecova crEnvironmental, social and financial sustainability in action! Vecova’s new Beverage Container Pick-Up service promotes recycling, creates employment for persons with disabilities and contributes to the sustainability of a local charity.

In 2011, 16.5% of Calgary’s recyclable beverage containers were not refunded – many went into the landfill. Our new service makes recycling empty beverage containers easy for homeowners, condos and businesses. Vecova supplies collection containers, provides free regular scheduled pick-up and issues a tax receipt for the value of the empties collected. Customers have a hassle-free way to recycle and a charitable alternative to depots and blue bins.

Clients of Vecova are employed to pick-up the containers. The more customers we have, the greater the number of people we can employ. Proceeds above the cost of operations support Vecova’s education, employment and housing programs for persons with disabilities. It’s a triple bottom line that integrates environmental, social and financial sustainability. 

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