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Trio of Island firms make Venture cut

$235,000 up for grabs in competition

Three Vancouver Island companies have made it through to the third round of the 12th annual B.C. Innovation Council New Ventures Competition.

Victoria firms Mediacore and BackyardBC, and Parksville-based Pixton Comics have all made it to the next round of the competition, which each year scours the province for the best new technology ideas.

The field has been narrowed to 25 contestants. In September, it will be cut down to a top-10, who will pitch their business ideas to a panel for a chance to win a share of $235,000.

The competition is old hat for Mediacore and Pixton. Both companies took home cash prizes during the BCIC's Regional New Ventures competition earlier this year. The regional competition excluded the Lower Mainland.

Pixton, which has created software and tools to allow anyone to create comics online, was first in the regional competition and took home the $30,000 grand prize.

Mediacore, which offers an online video platform that allows organizations to create video sites that can be customized to share video content with a target group without having to offer it to a wider audience, took home $10,000 and third place.

BackyardBC is an online tool that partners with hotels around the province to offer discounted hotel rates to B.C. residents - participating properties have a promo code on the BackyardBC.com website and users can enter that code when booking directly with hotels online.

The three Island firms are now facing off against companies from around B.C. and the Lower Mainland.

The provincial competition offers $100,000 for first place, $55,000 for second and $35,000 for third. There is also a $20,000 B.C. Bioenergy Network Prize, a $15,000 Vancity Social Venture Prize and a $10,000 Plug and Play Prize.

The competition, established in 2001, is designed to support the growth of the province's emerging technology industry.

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