Innovation Factory

Lunch ‘n Learn: The Startup Journey




This unique learning and networking opportunity will include a complimentary lunch

Adam is the current VP of Sales Engineering & Product at Slyce, and has years of experience in the startup world.

In this interactive session, Adam will speak to the startup life-cycle. He’ll be sharing his experiences in the hopes that what he’s learned about building a product, creating a team, navigating the often impossible task of fundraising, going through an acquisition, and dedicating significant time to help others understand how to approach the startup experience with their eyes wide open.

Everyday is a gamble, and Adam’s hope is that his story can help others navigate common entrepreneurial challenges. Areas he’ll touch on include accelerator/incubator programs, assembling your founding team, the role of fundraising, simplifying things as much as you can, acquisition and the post-purchase challenges.

Our Lunch ‘n Learn events are a great way to get out and network while enjoying a free lunch, and learning something new! Please forward this to all of the innovators you know.




11:30am-noon – Lunch & Networking
Noon-1pm –  Factory 5 and Keynote Presentation
1pm – 2pm – Dessert & Networking (at iF’s Innovation Destination)

Parking Information

Parking is available for a cost of $1/ hour at McMaster Innovation Park Special Events and Conference Parking.

Lion’s Lair 2016 open for applications



Innovation Factory (@itbeginswithIF) is back with Lion’s Lair in 2016 – check out their application opening announcement below!

We’re excited to announce that applications for the sixth annual LiON’S LAIR competition will officially be open from March 21 – April 29, 2016!

For those less familiar with the competition, LiONʼS LAIR brings together the entrepreneurial community in Hamilton, giving 10 companies the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of our city’s top business experts – the “Lions” – for a chance to win over $100,000 in cash and in-kind resources. The first LiON’S LAIR took place in 2011 and has grown significantly – in application volume, gala attendees, prizing and buzz – year after year.

Last years’ winners – Sniper Skin, ExVivo Labs and Blue Orchid – each took home a portion of the over $160,000 in prizes, awarded by the “Lions”: Cheri Chevalier (Microsoft), Tonia Jahshan (Steeped Tea), Michael Macaluso (CARSTAR), George McCarter (Pearson Dunn Insurance) and Mario Paron (KPMG).

April Wright of the 2015 grand prize winning team, Sniper Skin, says LiON’S LAIR was a transformative experience for her venture: “LiON’S LAIR was a fantastic experience for a startup company like ours. The networking and extensive training was invaluable, and we’re now working with amazing local companies that are helping us take Sniper Skin to the next level.”

Entrepreneurs and innovators interested in submitting an application for consideration this year are invited to register for a workshop on March 29 from 6-9 p.m. We’ll cover the entire LiON’S LAIR process, from submission through selection, to finalist training, filming, and the gala at Carmen’s. We’ll outline how to present an application that meets the criteria of the competition, making your submission as strong as possible, and you’ll hear from some past participants about their experience with the competition.

Capacity is limited, so be sure to register for the workshop early. We look forward to all of the 2016 LiON’S LAIR applications!



ELEV8 pitch night



Register to attend Innovation Factory’s first ever ELEV8 pitch night on March 9, 2016 at McMaster Innovation Park!

ELEV8 is a new event by iF that will see companies who have a product in-market (or close to launch) present their company in an investment-style pitch presentation. It’s designed to help connect our partners, volunteer mentors and the broader Hamilton community with some of our up-and-coming startups.

ELEV8 Pitch Night is open to the public and attendees will have the opportunity to observe six 5-minute presentations from local innovators, and network while enjoying delicious appetizers!

You may remember our Innovation Nights – well, we’re taking that concept and elevating (elev8ing?) it by having thriving startup clients pitch investment-style for the chance to take home a $250 or $750 prize!

The ELEV8 Pitch Night will be held in the Atrium@MIP from 6-9pm.

The schedule of events is as follows:
6pm – Food & networking
7pm – ELEV8 pitches!
8pm – Post pitch networking

Interested in pitching at ELEV8 Pitch Night? All startups pitching March 9 are clients who are working with Innovation Factory and being coached by our mentors. To become a client, you can fill out an intake form, come in for an intake meeting and get the ball rolling! As a client of iF, you’ll have the opportunity to take part in programs and events like ELEV8 – who knows, maybe you’ll be pitching at our next one!


Content Marketing Demystified: Understanding the Value for your Business – iF’s February Lunch ‘n Learn

When: Tuesday February 23rd 2016 from 11:30am to 1:00pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood Road South


Organizer: Innovation Factory


Please join iF on Tuesday, February 23, 2016 for a Lunch ‘n Learn on “Content Marketing Demystified: Understanding the Value for your Business” presented by Marie Wiese of marketing CoPilot!

This unique learning and networking opportunity will include a complimentary lunch!

The idea of using content to find customers and keep customers is nothing new. Content Marketing in its purest form has been around since the invention of the newspaper and trade publications. What has changed is buyer behavior and its application in the sales process.

Join us for a robust discussion with Marie Wiese, founder of Marketing CoPilot, a content marketing agency that creates and manages digital content for organizations that want to find and keep customers. Marie is also an Executive-in-Residence at the Innovation Factory. During this interactive Lunch ‘n Learn, Marie will discuss:

1. The reasons every business regardless of what they sell, should be using content to support the buyer journey.

2. The difference between copy writing and true brand journalism.

3. The three things you should look for in a results-producing content marketing program.

Be sure to register now, as you’ll be walking away from this session with a newfound understanding of the value for your business thanks to the revolution that is Content Marketing.


11:30am-noon – Lunch & Networking

Noon-1pm –  Factory 5 and Keynote Presentation (Marie Wiese)

1pm – 2pm – Dessert & Networking (at iF’s Innovation Destination)

Parking Information

Parking is available for a cost of $0.75/ hour at McMaster Innovation Park Special Events and Conference Parking.


Our Lunch ‘n Learn events are a great way to get out and network while enjoying a free lunch, and learning something new! Please forward this to all of the innovators you know.


About Marie Wiese

Marie Wiese is founder of Marketing CoPilot, a leading content marketing agency that creates and manages digital content for organizations that want to find and keep customers. Marie is Past Chair of technology association, TechConnex and currently, an Executive-in-Residence at the Innovation Factory in Hamilton, Ontario where she coaches early stage companies on how to apply digital marketing and content to their business. Marie is author of The Essential Guide to Better Content Marketing, and other marketing workbooks. She is an entrepreneur, keynote speaker, mom and writer. Marie has spoken at industry events for the Canadian Marketing Association and Marketing Sherpa in the United States. She can be found online at

About Innovation Factory

Innovation Factory ( is a not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre, located in Hamilton, ON committed to connecting and enabling active collaboration between the city’s communities of science, business, government, academia and finance to accelerate the innovation process and amplify economic and social impact of key new ideas and discoveries. Funded by the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), we are focused on strengthening the next generation of wealth and jobs generators.

Your entry to this event constitutes implied consent to be photographed and to have those photos published.

#InnovateWithiF campaign launches


Hamilton, ON (January 18, 2016) – Have you ever wondered where some of the best-known inventions got their start? Or perhaps you’ve looked at a product and thought, “if they just added this one feature, it could be even more awesome?” Innovation Factory is challenging the community to do just that – to think innovatively with their new #InnovateWithiF campaign. Built on the notion that great ideas can start anywhere – “even on the back of a napkin” – the campaign will see napkins featuring fun brain teasers distributed across the city at local restaurants and cafes.

Hamiltonians are challenged to solve the brain teasers or sketch their own innovative ideas right on the napkins, snap a photo and share them via Facebook or Twitter using the #InnovateWithiF hashtag. Each entry will offer the chance to win one of two gift cards weekly, valued at $50 each. iF will also be sharing early sketches to show how some of their clients’ ideas got their start, along with video stories showcasing how some of Hamilton’s thriving businesses took off.

“We want to start conversations about innovation and encourage Hamiltonians to share their ideas,” says David Carter, Innovation Factory’s Executive Director. “As Hamilton’s Regional Innovation Centre, we have people come through our doors with great ideas every day. Through this campaign, we’re challenging the larger community to think innovatively as well.”

Many community partners will be distributing the napkins to their patrons, including: Relay Coffee Roasters, The Green Smooth Bar, Hambrgr, Cake & Loaf Bakery, TwelvEighty Bar & Grill at McMaster University, The Cellar at Mohawk College, Baltimore House, Phoenix Bar & Grill at McMaster University, CoMotion On King, West End Pub, Emerson 109 Bar and Eatery, Dundurn Market, Papa Leo’s Restaurant, and Serve Ping Pong.

The campaign and contest will run from January 18 – February 26, 2016. Hamiltonians who can’t make it to one of the local establishments to sketch on the actual napkins can participate online through iF’s social media accounts (@itbeginswithif or or on the campaign website:


Innovation Factory is the Regional Innovation Centre for Hamilton in the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs, leveraging funding and support from all three levels of government and the city’s top private sector and institutional partners. Our goal is to stimulate economic activity in this city by helping Hamilton businesses embrace the principles of innovation. Since its official launch in November 2010, Innovation Factory has engaged over 1,000 clients from a wide array of business sectors.


Media Contact

For more information, contact Kim Wojtczak, Marketing & Communications Coordinator,; 905.667.2611 x231



Synapse Life Science Competition Applications Open



Applications for the 3rd annual Synapse Life Science Competition are now open!

Synapse is a competition for innovators in the life sciences to take the first step towards commercializing their ideas. From January to April 2016, successful applicants will move through a series of milestones including preparing an Executive Summary, crafting a Commercialization Plan, and even getting the opportunity to pitch their ideas to investors and leaders in the life sciences at the final showcase on April 6, 2016. Last year’s prizes included over $35,000 in cash and in-kind prizes, and this year is shaping up to be even bigger!

We are currently looking for researchers, doctors, nurses, entrepreneurs and others with ideas in med-tech, medical devices, therapeutics, diagnostics, and more, who are interested in turning their ideas into a business, as well as 4th year or post-graduate students from McMaster University, who want to gain the real-world experience of working with emerging life sciences innovators to help their companies grow.

Please help us to promote the life sciences in Hamilton, and to support local entrepreneurs who are changing the future of healthcare by encouraging innovators and students to apply at Applications for both students and innovators are open from October 1 to November 9 at 5pm.

For more information, you can visit



Windows 10 Makers Workshop



When: Thursday September 24th 2015 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm

Where: Innovation Factory @ 175 Longwood Road South



Come and learn why Window’s 10 may finally be the operating system for everyone who’s wanted a better alternative than Windows.

We’ll start off with a discussion of the upgrade path to Windows 10 and some features that have been removed, then move onto improved features such as the revamped start menu, Cortana (search), and Edge (browser) just to name a few. But most of the time will be spent on new features of interest to programmers and hackers.

Remote Arduino allows an Arduino’s I/O ports to be controlled from any Windows run-time language. Virtual shields which expose a Windows Lumina phone’s sensors to an arduino. Windows 10 IoT core running a Raspberry Pi. Universal Windows Application Platform which allows one program to run on different devices regardless of screen size or input device. Potentially Microsoft azure mobile web services will also be covered as this ties all the hardware and software together into the Internet of Things IoT.



Lion’s Lair narrows to ten finalists



Lion’s Lair is an annual event put on by Innovation Factory and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, it involves 10 Hamilton-area startups battling each other for $150,000 in cash and professional services. It’s been happening since 2011, and local tech/software firms are always well represented, both amongst finalists and the winners. The actual Lion’s Lair evening at Carmen’s involves watching local business experts quiz the finalists on the viability and potential success of their business, over a nice dinner in a room filled with great people. Check out the top ten finalists below. Tickets are $60 for young professionals and $120 for regular early bird.


When: Wednesday September 30th from 5:00pm – 9:00pm

Where: Carmen’s Banquet Centre @ 1520 Stone Church Road Hamilton, Ontario



Blue Orchid Care Inc.

Blue Orchid designs and develops assistive technologies and rehabilitation tools to empower patient care and the caregiving experience. Their mission is to create simple and innovative solutions for challenges millions of caregivers face every day, improving the quality of life for both patients and caregivers. Their first product, ORCHIDlift, is a compact and portable sit-to-stand lift which allows the caregiver to lift and transfer 3x their weight limit and eliminates the forward bending motion and twisting of the spine that can cause back injury.



BuckitLife is an online adventure tourism hub that connects consumers to service providers who can fulfill the activities on consumers’ bucket lists. They partner with service providers, promote their services, and drive sales on behalf of the merchants by inspiring people to pursue their dreams and live their bucket lists. We can’t choose how we age or when we pass, but we can choose how we live!


Chipsetter Inc.

Chipsetter Inc. is developing a low-cost pick-and­-place machine for the printed circuit board (PCB) assembly process that is 10 times more cost effective than existing entry-level machines, easier to use, and quicker to set up thanks to their low-cost feeder design. Chipsetter’s mission is to democratize access to advanced manufacturing technologies, and put a factory in every workshop.


ExVivo Labs Inc.

ExVivo Labs is developing skin patch technologies to make allergy testing less invasive and more accurate. Their technology provides an alternative allergy testing method to the commonly used skin prick test, and gives results that are safe, simple and certain.


QReserve Inc.

QReserve is a matchmaking service for researchers, students and businesses. They connect people who need research equipment, services or expertise and help Canadians accelerate their innovative research and development projects. Research partnerships are formed with the help of their publicly searchable database of research resources, which spans labs across Canada in universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutions.


Sniper Skin

Sniper Skin is a sports equipment manufacturing company that has created a revolutionary hockey tape alternative. They are parents, players and coaches that have found ways to improve the games they love. Their products aim to improve the game experience and reduce the effort required to prepare equipment for play, saving you money by extending the useful life of your sports gear.


Tribute Tree Inc.

TributeTreeFor funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoriums, Tribute Tree is the only Software as a Service (SaaS) website platform that meets all of the funeral planning, arrangement and digital communications needs of their customers (families) during their time of loss, while resulting in increased website traffic, more funeral pre-planning leads, increased revenue, and ultimately, more satisfied customers.


Virtual Possibilities

Virtual Possibilities has developed a patented, prototyped medical device for minimally invasive surgery. Comparable to the classic board game Operation, LaparoGuard tracks and records the delicate movements of laparoscopic tools during surgery, alerting medical teams when instruments approach the boundaries of an established safe zone. The overall effect is to reduce and prevent instrument and tissue collisions that cause injury during surgery.



WeMesh is the world’s first truly synchronous multimedia messenger app, letting users experience their favourite videos in perfect sync with all their friends while messaging through text and voice. WeMesh features simultaneous video playback, a versatile chat engine, high-quality Voice-over-IP, and full contacts and social network integration.



xocial™ (soh-shuhl) is a platform to motivate do-gooders, inspire healthy competition and help organizations engage audiences, all by measuring positive social impact with the xo score™ and making it easy to bring out the good in everyone, one thank you at a time. The xocial platform helps brands, non-profits, charitable foundations, employers and third-party apps connect with everyday heroes. Together, we can gamify goodness and make the world suck a little less.



Customer Acquisition Strategy for Mobile Apps with Jesse Rodgers

jesserodgersWhen: Thursday July 30th 2015 from 11:00am to 1:00pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood Rd. South


Organizer: Innovation Factory


You have built that mobile app and had it approved for the app store. Now everyone is going to find it, give it 5 star ratings, and you will get millions of users! Right? Not exactly. The distribution channels for discovering new applications are clogged with the latest unhappy birds and photo sharing app. How can you find the people that will get value out of your application and keep using it?

Join iF on Thursday, July 30 for a workshop on bulding a customer acquisition strategy for your application. In this workshop we will go through a number of strategies you can try that will help people find your product.
Lunch will be provided for this event.