A Saint John-based startup is heading to FounderFuel, one of Canada’s leading startup accelerators, after winning a big award at Montreal StarupFest this past weekend.
James Stewart, the founder of EhEye, a startup that uses artificial intelligence to improve public safety and security, was one of two winners of the Grandmother’s Choice Award. The company was tied with Quebec-based Waste Robotics, a robotic waste sorting solutions company. The winners will receive legal services from Fasken, an international business law firm, along with a spot in FounderFuel’s three-month program.
The Grandmother’s Choice Award involves companies pitching to a panel of badass, smart, older women, who unlike your actual grandmother, have no issue crushing your business dreams.
“I had heard stories about how vicious they could be. They will cut you to shreds,” says Stewart. “It was very intense. They knew exactly what questions they wanted to be answered.”
Though some founders had a rough experience with the grandmothers, Stewart believes his pitch struck a cord.
“I guess my experience with the grandmothers was different than a lot of the [other] folks because it really resonated with them. The public safety aspect and the security and protecting Canadians, I think as grandmothers they really got that.”
Though the Grandmother’s Choice Award didn’t include cold hard cash, Stewart says winning a spot in FounderFuel’s next three-month program is just as valuable.
“To be validated by that group and accepted into an accelerator like that really gives us the exposure,” he said.