It was my pleasure to accept one of the 3 Judges seats for same and our chore as in other years, was to listen to the 12 pitches from the contestants, then help with our own queries to name the final 2 finalists who’d go “head-to-head” in a 2 minute Pitch-off and the crowd would decide on the overall winner.
Judges for last nites great event were myself, Kevin Browne one of the city’s true leaders in that he’s the guy who created, developed and runs our SoftwareHamilton events like DemoCamp, StartUpWeekends and StartupDrinks too. Tim Richard was our third Judge and Tim is also no stranger to the city as he’s one of the founders over at WeeverApps and has been a past Lion too for our big Lion’s Lair Gala as well.
Between the three of us Judges lies about 75 years of business startup experience and we’ve all “been there – done that” when it comes to pitching so we sat and listened with a real degree of knowledge…and let me tell you, the pitches were for the most part, great!
And the Atrium at MIPs was packed too…with many ‘new’ faces that I’d not seen ever before…seems like the word has spread that if you’re thinking about any kind of innovation in #HamOnt, then MIPs is the place to be!
All kinds of ideas, all degrees of passion, all types of runways lead off for the 12 of the contestants. Some actually have their ideas further along than others, and for some it’s still just an idea. But one thing really stood out…the passion that each brought to their pitch.
We listened….we digested….we talked and worked out our own Judges Finalists and they were the two for us that seemed to be the superior ideas.
One was Helping Hands from Janelle Hinds, a pitch for an online tool for any school to use to monitor their students Community Hours securely, which would prevent any “missing” hours before graduation. Good idea. Nicely pitched. And yes….well worth the finalist short list.
The other was The DogHouse from Jonathan Leszko, a fellow who acknowledged he was using the term as it’s most used by husbands in that when they mess up in their marital relationship we end up “in the doghouse” and his idea was a cellphone app that would help any husband (or wife too for that matter) monitor all of the details of their relationship so they’d never ever forget things like birthdays, anniversaries etc. etc.
And after the second round of pitches and the crowd voting, The Doghouse was the winner and won a brand new digital camera and case! Well done!
Kudos on the whole night to our Innovation Factory, to Dave Carter who MC’d the event, to Emily Kinread their Marketing Mgr who ran the show beautifully and most of all to the 12 contestants who came, presented and obviously enjoyed their whole experience! What a great win for them…and of course for our own #HamOnt too!