Pocketed: Vancouver tech founders help entrepreneurs get the grants they need

May 19 2022, 11:48 pm

A Vancouver-based grant platform is helping entrepreneurs across Canada gain access to funding programs that will help their companies grow.

Pocketed, co-founded in 2020 by CEO Brianna Blaney and CTO Aria Hahn, assists business owners to obtain grant funding and tax credits through its free intelligent matching platform and marketplace for non-dilutive funding. 

According to Blaney and Hahn, there are billions of dollars in “free government money” available every year in Canada, but not many people know how to access it.

“There’s over $5.9 billion in grants and tax credits available to Canadian businesses every
year, but a lot of that goes unused. It’s hard to find the right programs and then painful to apply,” said Blaney and Hahn. “Money is one of the biggest barriers to innovation and entrepreneurship, especially for women and equity-seeking groups. As experienced founders, we’ve lived this pain, trying to find money to start and grow our companies.

“We decided it was time to build a better, simpler way for businesses to get the money they need to grow.”


Pocketed co-founders CTO Aria Hahn (left) and CEO Brianna Blaney/Submitted

Pocketed’s intelligent platform takes less than five minutes to get started and matches users with eligible funding programs based on their profiles. The FinTech software startup then helps them submit winning applications with its marketplace and its funding as a service solution.

“We aim to be founder-friendly, making it as easy as possible to make an account and explore available programs all free of charge,” explained Blaney and Hahn. “Grant funding has been around in Canada for almost a century; it’s an old industry. Pocketed is modernizing and automating a traditionally service-based business.”

To date, Pocketed has helped more than 6,500 companies, ranging from start-ups to small businesses and side hustles, apply for over $80 million.

The company has been gaining acclaim across the FinTech industry, recently winning The Odlum Brown Forum Pitch Finale and a $25,000 prize. Blaney and Hahn also won the People’s Choice Award at entrepreneurship@UBC and ICICS’ 2022 Investor Showcase.

Pocketed also secured $1 million in an oversubscribed seed round last fall to help them expand across the United States, hire additional talent, and attract more small and medium-sized enterprises to its platform and marketplace.

“Mentorship has played an important role in our success,” explained Blaney and Hahn. “We strive to be the dumbest people in the room by design – we intentionally hire, work with, and speak to people who know more than us and provide their expertise all day, every day.

“We are fortunate to have access to mentors and advisors through entrepreneurship@UBC, Creative Destruction Labs, The Forum, and our investors.”

The founders are excited to continue growing Pocketed while helping business owners across Canada do the same with their own companies. And they have some advice for those on their entrepreneurial journey.

“Entrepreneurship is a daily lesson in humility. You’ll get it wrong often but staying curious helps you stay agile and responsive. Experiment and move quickly,” said Blaney and Hahn. “And be a little (or maybe even a lot) obsessive. I don’t think there is another way to stick to entrepreneurship if you are not thinking about it almost all the time.

“Find a problem that you’re genuinely passionate about solving. It will help to keep you going through the long days, late nights, stress, and uncertainty.”

For more information about Pocketed, visit hellopocketed.io.

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Daniel ChaiDaniel Chai

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