A local company has won a national pitch competition for start ups.
The cash prize is probably only enough to go towards Christmas bonuses, but Halifax company Earthli Plant-Powered Superfoods took home plenty from a virtual pitch competition for start ups.
Earthli, which is headquartered in Halifax and has a factory in Windsor’s industrial park, makes various protein powders from hemp grown in New Brunswick.
The company was the only finalist from Atlantic Canada chosen to virtually present its story in a 90-second pitch to four mentor judges from across Canada.
“Obviously, it was a brief pitch,” Earthli co-founder Warren Dietrich said Monday. “We really outlined the fact that our containers are one hundred per cent recyclable and reusable, made from one hundred per cent recycled metal. As well, we talked about the sustainability benefits of farming hemp, how it’s a net negative carbon crop, and how it replenishes the soil and is great for the environment.”
Dietrich made his pitch from home on Zoom, managing to squeeze four slides into his minute and a half.
“We received really positive feedback, there was excitement about our company and the direction we’re taking,” he said. “It was great to see that the panel of judges was really happy with our product line and brand.”
The event was held by Startup Canada, and included 90 voting participants, 16 finalists, and a national online audience. The competition aims to encourage Canadian entrepreneurs whose start ups embrace sustainability in one of four categories: poverty reduction, gender equality, decent work and economic growth, and climate action.
Earthli was deemed best in the climate action category. In addition to $500 cash, the prize also includes mentorship opportunities, in-kind support, and nationwide visibility in Startup Canada’s newsletter and on its podcast.
Earthli’s plant-based protein products are sold at independent health food and specialty retailers in Halifax and elsewhere, and online at www.earthlii.ca.
“We’ve expanded, we’re now available in a few locations out west, in Alberta at Nutters Everyday Naturals, so we’re really excited to be in Nutters,” Dietrich said. “As well, we’ve continued to get in more retail stores throughout the Maritimes, we’re in two now in P.E.I., which we’re excited about, and a few Simply for Life stores, which is a great franchise throughout Canada.”