Category Archives: Innovation Factory

Meridian and Innovation Factory partner to Champion Entrepreneurs



HAMILTON, MARCH 4, 2015 – Ontario’s largest credit union, Meridian, today announced a three-year partnership with Innovation Factory, Hamilton’s Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) and a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs. Combining their expertise and resources, the partners will work with local entrepreneurs — both aspiring and established — to help launch their businesses and ensure sustainable success.

“Meridian is committed to championing financial literacy among the entrepreneur community in Ontario. A study commissioned by Meridian shows that while many small business owners have the passion, drive and enthusiasm to start their own business, they often lack the financial acumen to see their business come to fruition,” says Jeff Brown, Vice President, Small Business at Meridian. “By working with Innovation Factory, we can help budding entrepreneurs realize their dreams faster and inspire them to focus on the long-term success and sustainability of their businesses.”

Dedicated to integrating innovation into the way people do business, Innovation Factory has been a vital driver of small business growth in the Greater Hamilton Region for over 4 years. Through the partnership, Meridian will be involved in two of Innovation Factory’s pillar programs — LiON’S LAIR and LiFT. LiON’S LAIR is an annual competition that gives ten local companies the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of Hamilton’s top business experts for a chance to win more than $100,000 in cash and in-kind resources. LiFT assists entrepreneurs by assessing and overcoming the challenges they face within the current stages of their businesses. Within both programs and on an ongoing basis, Meridian experts will provide financial advice and counseling to these impassioned entrepreneurs supported by Innovation Factory.

“We are always looking to develop partnerships with the best and brightest in Hamilton,” says David Carter, Executive Director, Innovation Factory. “Partnerships require a common vision for the future, and Meridian supports our belief that entrepreneurs will have a significant impact in the future growth in the City and its surrounding region.“

About Meridian
With over 70 years of banking history, Meridian is Ontario’s largest credit union, helping to grow the lives of its more than a quarter of a million Members, including over 21,000 business Members. Meridian has $11 billion in assets under management and delivers a full range of financial services online, by phone, by mobile and through a network of 67 branches and 7 business centres. Meridian Members also have access to THE EXCHANGE® Network, with more than 2,500 no-fee ABMs across Canada and 360,000 ABMs in the United States. For more information, please visit:

About Innovation Factory
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 principals of innovation.

A member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), we are focused on strengthening Hamilton’s next generation of job generators.

Funded by the Government of Ontario, the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) is Ontario’s innovation system. The ONE is made up of regional and sector focused organizations designed to help Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their companies, and create jobs. For more information visit

Financial tool workshop at Innovation Factory

IFlogoWhen: Wednesday February 18th 2015 from 3:00pm to 5:00pm

Where: Innovation Factory @ 175 Longwood Road South



Dear entrepreneur:

We all know that sound financial planning is key for new business success.

Innovation Factory, other entrepreneurship organizations of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), and Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, are committed to working together to help new and future business owners like you to navigate early financial planning.

We’re building an online tool to be shared by new business owners & entrepreneurship organizations across our network, to be used and improved by all of us.

We want to hear from YOU about what YOU need.

Come to our Tool Co-Creation Workshop!

Join staff from our centre, the entrepreneurship network and Meridian in a small group session with other new business owners to give your opinion on the help that you need when it comes to your financial understanding and planning: What topics do you want to learn about? What resources would be helpful? What shape could these tools take?

You will be directly contributing to the development of a new resource to help yourself in running the finances of your business and thousands of new business owners just like you.

You’ll also have the chance to meet and network with other business owners to discuss issues facing your businesses.

We will also be providing free food and refreshments for all attendees.

Registration is limited to just 20 people, so register quickly to have your voice heard!

For more information, please email:

More background:

Innovation Factory, member organizations of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) and Meridian, Ontario’s largest credit union, are working together to develop an exciting new tool for new business owners to use to navigate many of the financial planning issues we all face in the first few years of running a new business.

Last year, we conducted a study on emerging and experienced business owner financial literacy in partnership with regional innovation centres across our network and Futurpreneur, and learned that a business owner’s understanding of financial topics is a key indicator of the business’ long-term success. We also learned that new business owners are lacking in several crucial areas of financial understanding.

To help address this issue, Innovation Factory, the network and Meridian are currently developing an online tool to help new business owners in these areas, and will be making it available for all of Ontario’s entrepreneurship organizations to use and share with new and future business owners.

To make this tool as relevant as possible to new and future business owners in our community, we are hosting several co-creation workshops to get their direct input into the content and design of the tool. We appreciate your support in this aspect and look forward to developing a tool that is based on the feedback that your clients provide.

Innovation Night in March

innightWhen: Wednesday March 11th from 6:00pm – 8:30pm

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood Road South


Organizer: Innovation Factory (@itbeginswithIF)

Join Innovation Factory for Innovation Night on March 11!

Innovation Night is Hamilton’s key event for innovators and entrepreneurs to practice and perfect their pitch, and present their ideas to their peers and Hamilton’s innovation community.

Innovation Night is open to the public, and attendees will have the opportunity to observe up to 15 2-minute presentations, meet the innovators, network, and enjoy light refreshments.

Innovation Night will be held on March 11, 2014 from 6:00pm-8:30pm in the Atrium at McMaster Innovation Park. Networking will start at 6:00pm.

Interested in pitching at Innovation Night?

Prospective Innovation Night Presenters are required to attend a workshop to refine the presentation of their idea – up to 15 ideas will be chosen to be presented to a panel of judges at Innovation Night.

The Innovation Night Workshop will be held on March 5 from 6:00pm-9:00pm at McMaster Innovation Park.
Be sure not to miss out on this great opportunity! Register today!

Innovation Factory hosts KPMG SRED workshop

IFlogoWhen: Tuesday February 3rd 2015 from 10:00am to 11:30am

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood Road South


Organizer: Innovation Factory (@itbeginswithIF)

Innovation Factory is hosting KPMG to present on SRED Credits and how your start up can benefit from them. SRED Credits are a federal tax incentive program, administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), that encourages Canadian businesses of all sizes, and in all sectors to conduct research and development (R&D) in Canada.

Please join us if you are interested in taking advantage of SRED Credits.

Tickets are limited so register today!

Talk by Karen Grant at next IF Lunch ‘n Learn

karengrantPlease join iF on Tuesday, January 20, 2015 for a unique learning and networking opportunity presented by KPMG. Enjoy a complimentary lunch while Karen Grant, Executive Director of the Angel One Investor Network, presents “What are Angel Investors Looking For?”

It is hard to raise money from strangers as every entrepreneur knows. While there is no magic formula that guarantees success, there are some fundamentals that help. Having helped her angel group members make 53 investments of almost $16 million in under 3 years, Karen will draw on her years of experience and identify the many of important factors involved in obtaining Angel funding.

This session is great for startups or anyone looking to learn a little more about Angel investment.


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 $0.50/ hour at McMaster Innovation Park Special Events and Conference Parking

About Karen Grant

Karen has launched three angel groups: Angel One Investor Network (2011), Northern Ontario Angels (2005) and Toronto Angel Group (2001).

Karen is an entrepreneur, company director, consultant, and mentor. She has founded companies and has worked in the commercialization field for over 20 years. Earlier in her career ran the Toronto Venture Group, working with hundreds of companies that were seeking capital. Karen’s corporate experience includes 12 years with IBM Canada where she had roles in sales, marketing and communications.

Boards and Affiliations:

• The RIC Centre Director 2012 – Present
• Vida Holdings Inc. Director 2012 – Present
• Northern Ontario Angels Board Director 2005 and Chair 2008 – Present

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.

About KPMG

KPMG International’s ( member firms have 140,000 accounting professionals, including more than 7,900 partners, in 146 countries. Their clients include business corporations, governments, and public sector agencies and not-for-profit organizations.


Woodside is your good guide to UX

simonWhere: Innovation Factory @ 175 Longwood Road South (McMaster Innovation Park)

When: Wednesday October 29th from 10:00am – 12:00pm

Join iF on October 29th as Simon Woodside, founder of Monolith, shares lessons-learned from a decade of making smartphone apps.

Simon’s passion is to combine user experience with deep technical excellence, and he will go through his philosophy on strategy, design, coding issues, web vs native, and user testing.

To register please email


Ranggo captures grand prize at Lion’s Lair 2014



Hamilton, Ontario October 6th, 2014: On Thursday October 2nd, Ranggo was named the grand prize winner in Lion’s Lair 2014. In its fourth year, Lion’s Lair is an annual business competition presented by The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Innovation Factory. After filtering down all business plans submitted by more than 70 companies, ten companies were selected as finalists. The 10 finalists were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of Hamilton’s top business experts, the “Lions”, for a chance to win over $160,000 in cash and in-kind resources. The sold-out final gala event held on Thursday night at Carmen’s brought together the entrepreneurship and innovation community in Hamilton, Ontario.

Incorporated in Ontario in March 2014, this is not the first business recognition for Ranggo. Earlier in April 2014, Ranggo was again a Top 5 finalist in Halton’s region own business competition, The Python’s Pit. Ranggo was one of 3 companies to receive follow up meetings from the investors, “The Python’s”. During the very short period since its inception,Ranggo has partnered and piloted in multiple local restaurants and food festivals and events in the Hamilton and Burlington area.

Ranggo is an all-in-one feedback, customer retention and acquisition service for restaurants. “We all love to eat and we use our smartphones all the time, especially while sitting on our tables at the restaurant”, said Peter Basl, CEO. “Ranggo allows restaurants to leverage this opportunity by collecting valuable real-time feedback from their patrons and use this feedback to attract more customers through online and social network venues.” Ranggo is collecting feedback down to the menu item level and its innovative business model relies on rewarding its users with instant restaurant coupons and savings. “The overall process brings the customers to the restaurant more often and through the app’s food search engine, new customers can easily find those restaurants serving the best dishes they are craving,” said Noha Abdelaziz, COO. “Ranggo simply creates a win-win situation for both the restaurants and the customers.” Ranggo is a subscription based service for restaurants and its app is free to download for users. “Since July 2014, we have been piloting the service in 10 restaurants in Hamilton and Burlington. The results are amazing. In such a short period of time, Ranggo was able to engage with diners and collect more feedback than any existing service in the market today,” said Mo. Shahin, CTO.

In the Lion’s Lair competition, Ranggo was awarded a total of $25,000 in cash and in-kind services from KPMG, VA Partners and Albanese Branding valued at $27,500. The prize will be used to speed up customer acquisition process as well as further application development. During the Lion’s Lair Gala, the Lions announced the win stating the main reasons behind their choice to be: Ranggo’s strong team, solid business model as well as its potential of global scalability.

Ranggo’s cofounders are Peter Basl, Noha Abdelaziz and Mo Shahin. They are all McMaster University alumni with postgraduate degrees. Peter holds a PhD in Electrical Engineering from McMaster University and currently finishing his Masters in Engineering Entrepreneurship & Innovation at McMaster too. Noha holds a Masters in Civil Engineering from McMaster, while Mo is a serial entrepreneur who has graduated from McMaster’s Masters of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation in 2008. The team collectively has more than 20 years of experience both on the technical and business levels having worked in leading industry positions as well as co-founded multiple businesses in the past.


For more information on Ranggo, visit

For more information on the Lion’s Lair visit

Ranggo pitch in 1 min:

Contact Details:

Learn about Bitcoin with entrepreneur Lorne Lantz

September 10th @ 12:00 pm – 2:00 pm | Free
Innovation Factory

bitcoinLorne Lantz, who buys his lunch everyday with Bitcoin, is a Bitcoin Entrepreneur who has built multiple financial technology startups that were recognized by PayPal and Swift, will share with you the revolutionary technology behind Bitcoin and how it is forcing the world to rethink the way we exchange value.

Lorne’s current startup, CherryPie, is an all in one solution to help merchants accept Bitcoin with limited impact on operational process or staff training.

Lorne is a McMaster DeGroote MBA and a former Lion’s Lair top ten finalist. He’s since been working for companies down in Silicon Valley.

We are very excited to host him on September 10th! Please come out and join us for this noon-time lunch about Bitcoins!

Email to attend!

More on Lorne:

“Lorne gave a nice talk to us here at CA that covered the basics for the uninitiated, and he described his product — a terminal that takes Bitcoin in addition to regular cards, which you can actually use to buy lunch at the Plug and Play center in Sunnyvale… Folks enjoyed it and were considerably enlightened.” (Testimonial from Geoffrey Hird)

Lorne was also featured in a CBC news article.


Lion’s Lair 2014 on October 2nd


When: Thursday October 2nd 2014 from 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM

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


Innovation Factory and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce are proud to present the fourth annual LiON’S LAIR competition, a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Hamilton!

Join us at the LiON’S LAIR Gala on October 2, 2014 for an exciting event as 10 entrepreneurs pitch their ideas to a panel of top Hamilton business experts—the Lions—in an attempt to solicit over $100,000 in cash and in-kind resources.

For more information on LiON’S LAIR, visit for up-to-date information on the finalists and their progression, an in-depth look at this year’s Lions, media information, and other interactive elements.

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