St. John’s Startup Wins Gerry Pond Sales Award

April 27, 2023

ST. JOHN’S, NFLD — An Atlantic Canadian startup is being recognized for its promising sales process.

Oliver POS, a company that offerers a WooCommerce point of sale software, is the recipient of the Gerry Pond Sales award by Atlantic Canadian tech accelerator Propel.

Established by Propel last year, the Gerry Pond Sales Award is awarded each year to an Incite Phase 2 company that excels in creating a repeatable and scalable sales process. Propel’s virtual Incite accelerator program has an intense focus on customer acquisition and sales.

The award is named after Gerry Pond, who co-founded Propel in 2003. Since then, he’s played an integral role in the organization which helps launch tech startups in Atlantic Canada. Pond is an entrepreneur and angel investor and was also a strong proponent in the establishment of a sales stream in the UNB Saint John MBA program.

Oliver POS was chosen by a third-party selection committee based on criteria including monthly sales growth, growth in the number of customers, and demonstrated ability to push leads through the funnel in a structured way.

“It means that somebody is believing in what we’re doing besides the team we have internally,” said Mathias Nielson, Oliver POS’s founder and CEO. “We’re super happy and of that.”

Based in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Oliver POS has created a point of sale software thatʼs simple, smart, and easy to use. With one database and one platform, it offers an integrated point of sale solution for WooCommerce shops that leverages apps and customization for each client. Right now, Oliver’s POS software is being used in more than 70 countries by retailers big and small.

“We have everything from a small cafe down the street in Halifax and St. John’s, to big enterprises with up to 152 locations,” said Nielson.

The startup will also be awarded a $25,000 cash prize and the option of a combined investment from Innovacorp and NBIF totaling $30,000. Nielson says the funds will likely go towards growing their team. Oliver currently has seven staff in St. John’s and 16 in India.

“We’re going probably going to spend it on increasing the support team as we’ve had more merchants coming online. We’re probably going to expand the team a bit with that,” said Nielson.

The award was given at the conclusion of Propel’s Incite 2020 showcase, where nine Atlantic Canadian startups pitched a Zoom chat of potential investors and members of the region’s startup ecosystem.

The other startup that pitched included:

  • totaliQ: An expertise management platform that helps engineering companies grow revenue by intelligently leveraging experience from past projects and maintaining visibility into internal expertise.
  • InvisibleAgents: Helps nonprofits raise more money by erasing the gap between their data and effective fundraising action. Through the combination of machine learning and ease of use, the company delivers data-driven fundraising throughout the organization.
  • SepticSitter: An early-warning alert system for septic systems. It detects septic problems early, so they can be fixed before a messy, costly disaster occurs. The company is based in Stratford, PEI, and was founded by Kelly Galloway, an engineer who has specialized in septic systems for over 25 years. It uses patented, non-contact sensors easily install in septic tanks and drain fields, preventing hazardous system backups and overloads.
  • CareCrew: Born in 2017, CareCrew is a company focused on building software solutions for the different long-term care market segments. Its mission is to accelerate the long-term care transition to the information age, utilizing the latest web technologies, and offering intuitive, easy-to-use and team-oriented solutions.
  • Union.Dev: is a custom software organization with six employees and its sights currently set on the union market with an emphasis on pension reporting and administration. Union technology is decades behind, resulting in expensive outsourcing and inefficient systems. The company has a full suite of custom software paid for on a per-member basis to keep costs low and put money back into the pensions of their members.
  • FoodByte: FoodByte’s mission is accessible, reliable, and scalable food safety. The company works with food processors and food safety experts across Canada to create real solutions to complex problems such as traceability, recall management, and regulation compliance.
  • Milk Moovement: Milk Moovement wants to transform the traditional dairy supply chain by bringing all players onto its collaborative, cloud-based software. It provides actionable intelligence and deep analytical features, helping each client operate their portion of the supply chain more efficiently.
  • Simbi: Simbi’s wants to give students a reason to read. Students are motivated to read books aloud, improving their reading skills, while understanding that theyʼre supporting 45,000 other students who are learning to read globally. The company claims reading along with Simbi’s digital highlighter while listening to a proficient narrator is a proven technique to improve reading ability by two-fold in as little as three months of use.

Nielson says Propel’s Incite accelerator helped Oliver POS with its market positioning, something it was looking for help with specifically.

“They’ve been really good in helping us in our positioning, that is probably the key thing I would take out the Propel experience. We were very selective of what we really wanted out of it and they were good at helping to tailor the experience for us in that sense,” he said.

“We work with Woocommerce, which is our first platform, but it’s really just our first platform … We’re really quite a lot more than that. We use apps to help our merchants and earn more. That whole pivot has come from Propel and many other’s help.”

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