Yukon-based Proof one of two winners of the Canada-wide Pitch@Palace competition
WHITEHORSE—Proof, a Yukon-based start-up that has developed a paperless approval system for government documents, has earned a place in the Pitch@Palace Global Competition in London, UK. Proof and O2 Canada, an Ontario-based company, tied for the top national spot.
Proof was co-founded by Yukon tech entrepreneurs Ben Sanders and Luke DeCoste in fall 2016. Wes George joined them in 2017.
“We had experience working in government and recognized a need to introduce technology that would allow governments to make better decisions,” said Sanders, Proof’s Chief Executive Officer. “Every dollar that we save cutting red tape is a dollar that can be invested in the things that matter, and that’s what really motivates us.”
In early May, Proof competed to secure a spot in the Pitch@Palace boot camp and final in Toronto, ON. There, they vied against 23 businesses from across the country to become one of two Canadian winners. Three other businesses from Yukon also competed in the national event: Proskida, Aurum Skin Care, and Apprendo. In December 2019, Proof will travel to London, UK for the Pitch@Palace Global Competition at St. James Palace.
Throughout its development, Proof has been supported by Cold Climate Innovation (CCI) at Yukon College, Government of Yukon, and Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor).
“It’s exciting to see Yukon-made innovators competing on the national and international stage,” said Alessia Guthrie, Project Innovation Officer, CCI at Yukon College. “Proof was conceived and developed in Whitehorse, and can now go on to make a difference in governments across the country.”
Early support and grants from CCI allowed the company to generate pilot projects with government partners. They tested the technology with the Village of Haines Junction, three self-governing First Nations, and with parts of the Government of Yukon.
“These dynamic start-ups represent just four of many Yukon companies that are advancing our growing knowledge economy and contributing to Whitehorse’s reputation as a city where entrepreneurs thrive,” said Minister of Economic Development Ranj Pillai. “Proof’s success continues to be an example for up-and-coming start-ups, and we wish the team all the best for the final stage of the competition.”
Currently, Proof is expanding to work with the Government of Canada, and with provincial and municipal governments across the country. Despite the expansion, Sanders says Yukon is still home. In fact, the company has its main office in Cospace at NorthLight Innovation in Whitehorse.
“Yukon is full of friends and family and people who have supported us every step of the way,” said Sanders. “It’s been a great place for us to build these early stages of business.”
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