A Vancouver Island company took a top prize at a national competition.
Courtenay-based Nyoka Design Labs was awarded $5,000 after named the winner of the startup category at the Canadian Export Challenge.
Founded by Paige Whitehead and Yamila Franco, Nyoka Design Labs has developed bioluminescent, non-toxic, reusable glow stick called the Nyoka Light Wand.
The company beat out dozens of other startups from across British Columbia and Canada to win the financial prize.
“These businesses are change makers in their industries. Through thoughtful innovation, Yamila Franco and her team have reimagined the traditional glow stick and are working to inspire the next generation of eco-conscious entrepreneurs,” Kayla Isabelle, chief executive officer of Startup Canada, said in a press release. “The Startup Canada team is so thrilled to see Nyoka Design Labs take home the startup category grand prize of the third annual Canadian Export Challenge Final Showdown.”
“When Paige, my co-founder, and our team found out we had won the Startup Canada Canadian Export Challenge we were ecstatic. We are doing business differently and this comes with unique challenges – from creating new, sustainable alternatives to implementing a circular economy model. Our team is grateful and fired up,” said Franco.
The idea for a non-toxic reusable glow stick came after Whitehead attended the Shambhala music festival, where she noticed discarded glow sticks throughout the grounds of the popular music event, according to the company’s website.
Nyoka Light Wand’s are available for pre-order on the company’s website and are expected to become available next month.