Announcing The 2020 Nexstream Tech Challenge Winners

September 9, 2020

Wild Isle Ferments Of Quadra Island Wins $50,000

CAMPBELL RIVER – The City of Campbell River’s Economic Development Department and the Campbell River Area Angel Group (CRAAG) have announced the finalists and prize recipients of the inaugural NexStream Tech Competition.

Thirty-seven teams entered the competition, contending for prizes of up to $75,000 and receiving valuable mentorship and support to help them move their ideas and businesses forward to address challenges related to energy, wildlife monitoring and food security. There was also a wildcard category.

Congratulations to all the finalists:

Wild Isle Ferments, Brandon Pirie, Quadra Island — Pirie cooked up a recipe for fermented sauces that use the by-products of processing quality seafood.

Portable Electric, Mark Rabin, Vancouver— Rabin developed a portable energy pod that uses renewable energy sources.

RecognAIse Technologies, David Hauser and Janos Toth, Vancouver— Hauser and Toth applied technology such as artificial intelligence to develop an automated inspection process for infrastructure.

La Press, Andrew Brule, Vancouver — Brule developed a tool for making homemade soap bars.

Calmura Natural Walls, Monty Chong-Walden, Vancouver — Chong-Walden developed a wall system that uses sustainable, natural materials.

The winners are:

Wild Isle Ferments, Brandon Pirie, Quadra Island —Pirie received $50,000.

Portable Electric, Mark Rabin, Vancouver —Rabin received $75,000.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, plans for the finale were changed from an in-person demonstration and awards ceremony to an online announcement on Sept. 9, 2020. Finalists and winners are featured on the NexStream Tech Competition’s website,

“CRAAG congratulates the first-ever NexStream contest winners, Brandon Pirie and Mark Rabin, who stood out for their innovation and business potential in a very competitive field,” says David Baar, angel investor and co-founder of CRAAG. “We were thrilled, as well as impressed, to see the progress of many of the contestants as they progressed from early idea development through to formal business planning and prototype development. Many of the contestants especially benefitted from excellent programs and training provided by Spring.”

Rose Klukas

“NexStream has garnered international attention, and we are thrilled with the tremendous skills and enthusiasm exhibited by all of our entrants,” adds Rose Klukas, the City’s economic development officer.

The NexStream Tech Competition is open to innovators from around the world. Each year, the competition will feature a new set of challenges that are inspired by Campbell River and BC’s coastal regions, but address the needs of communities and industries worldwide.

Applications for the second NexStream Tech Competition will be accepted next month from Oct. 1 to 31. Challenge categories are: Healthcare and Emergency Preparedness, Food Security, Sustainable Resource Management and Wildcard. Individuals, academic institutions and businesses with fewer than 100 employees are encouraged to submit their expressions of interest.

Visit for more information about the NexStream Tech Competition. Learn more about Campbell River’s technology initiatives at The City of Campbell River’s Economic Development Department and CRAAG thank NexStream’s partners for their ongoing support: Foresight, Spring, Futurpreneur Canada, Campbell River & District Chamber of Commerce and Innovate BC.

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