New Business

PACTA off to San Francisco after pitch win

Halifax startup tech company beats six others for the prize

Charlotte Rydland receives the Fundica trophy from Mayor Michael Savage
Charlotte Rydland receives the Fundica trophy from Mayor Michael Savage   Cam Honey

A small Halifax tech company has won a three-month trip to California to find potential investors.

PACTA, which helps businesses keep track of signed contracts, beat out six other startups at this year’s Fundica Roadshow event in Halifax on Friday.

Charlotte and Isak Rydland, the entrepreneurs behind PACTA, won a prize that includes airfare to pitch to investors in the San Fernando Valley, plus three months of paid office space in San Francisco.

They hope to take full advantage of their time in California.

“We need to put ourselves on the map and the only way you can do that and start building the relationships there is to be there,” said Charlotte Ryland. “We have some good potential customers down there.”

The digital-tech industry in Nova Scotia is currently the province’s fastest growing sector with over $2.5 billion currently in the market, according to Digital Nova Scotia.

Going to California means PACTA will have an opportunity to grow. The valley is home to a number of tech super-powers in Apple, Cisco Systems, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intuit, Oracle and Yahoo. California’s economy is currently ranked eighth in the world with an annual GDP of $2.31 trillion.

The Rydlands launched PACTA last April, and by June it was listed as one of the top 25 information and communication technology companies to watch by the Branham Group.

Friday’s pitches were made to a panel of judges, a small in-house audience and people viewing online. Each company attempted to explain what their company does, why they were attractive to customers, what their current finances are, what their business model is moving forward and why they would be successful in California.

“We had some stiff competition,” said Rydland, who made the pitch for PACTA.

The other Halifax-based companies that made pitches on Friday were Lootbag, Ella, Simptek, BuymyLemonade, Orpheus Interactive and Fundmetric.

Lana Tayara, general manager of the Fundica Roadshow, says it was a decisive victory for PACTA, as they were the clear choice in the eyes of the judges.

“I think PACTA is going to benefit tremendously from the prize in San Francisco,” said Tayara.

Fundica, a company that brings entrepreneurs together with investors, created the Roadshow in 2013. This was the third time it was held in Halifax.

The first place trophy.
The first place trophy.   Cam Honey