Hamilton Chamber of Commerce

Lions Lair 2017 top ten finalists announced

 

Original article is on lionslair.ca

 

As part of the seventh annual LiON’S LAIR competition, 15 startup businesses spent their summer with Innovation Factory to develop their pitch and media relations skills.

After a head-to-head mini pitch competition, Innovation Factory and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce are pleased to announce the top 10 companies who will move on to face the Lions with a 15-minute pitch filmed on Cable 14.

Aiva Labs, BridesMade, Dash MD, Dolled Up Desserts, Gene Blueprint, healthypets.io, HiNT Neuro, Lumago, Nanophyll, and Oneiric Hockey will all get that opportunity.

“Our top 10 is truly representative of the economic diversity and growth that Hamilton and the surrounding area has experienced since the competition’s inception,” said David Carter, Executive Director at Innovation Factory. “We can see a wide range of industries and products represented, and for the first time, the majority of our finalist companies are led by female founders and co-founders. It’s exciting to see the competition reflect larger, positive trends in entrepreneurship.”

The 10 finalists will now compete for over $160,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. The winners will be announced live at the LiON’S LAIR gala September 27 at Carmen’s Banquet Centre.

Innovation Factory and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce are pleased to collaborate with local organizations and businesses in providing prizing and event support. The competition would not be possible without the support of these generous partners.

Tickets to the gala will go on sale mid-August and will be available at lionslair.ca. This event sells out every year, so stay tuned for upcoming announcements.

 

Check out the pitch from Aiva Labs below and the rest on YouTube.

 

 

Lion’s Lair 2016 open for applications

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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!


 

 

OBAA finalists include Orbital, Moonray and NetAccess

The finalists for the 2015 Outstanding Business Achievement Awards have been announced, and the line-up features a few local tech/web/gaming firms: Orbital Studios, Moonray Studios, and NetAccess.

“Each year, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to celebrate the best in business in this community, and these nominees are certainly well-deserving of that distinction,” said Hamilton Chamber president and CEO, Keanin Loomis. “It’s important to recognize their significant contributions to the vibrancy and prosperity of Hamilton and, in the process, inspire others to excellence.”

The awards ceremony will take place at Carmen’s Banquet Centre on March 8th!

 

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Lion’s Lair narrows to ten finalists

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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

Register: eventbrite.ca/e/lions-lair-gala-sept-30-2015-tickets-17458822809

 

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

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

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

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.

 

15 ventures selected to compete in 2015 LiON’S LAIR

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Hamilton, ON (June 11, 2015) – Fifteen companies have been selected as finalists for LiON’S LAIR, a competition that offers finalists the chance to pitch their idea to a panel of industry judges—the “Lions”—and solicit over $100,000 in cash and in-kind resources.

Hopeful participants submitted their business plans in April and each plan was evaluated based on the company’s product and commercial viability, ability to execute, and other factors by a panel of independent judges. The judge’s scores were tallied and this year’s fifteen finalists are: 12 Squared Diagnostics, Blue Orchid Care, BuckItLife, Chipsetter, ExVivo Labs, NanoSpin, OneBase, Peytec, Qidni Labs, QReserve, Sniper Skin, Tribute Tree, Virtual Possibilities, WeMesh and xocial.

“This year marks the fifth annual LiON’S LAIR competition and we’re delighted to see the diverse, high-potential businesses that have been selected as finalists,” stated Keanin Loomis, President and CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

This year, a new component has been added to the competition. Fifteen ventures have been selected and all fifteen will go through training over the summer months, but in July, five companies will be eliminated during a round of preliminary pitching. The remaining ten will move on to face the Lions with the goal of winning a portion of the over $100,000 in prizing.

“This elimination stages adds another exciting element to the competition,” said David Carter, Executive Director, Innovation Factory. ”It also allows us to offer more entrepreneurs the invaluable workshop sessions to help them refine their business plan, their pitch, and ultimately accelerate their business.”

This years’ “Lions” are: Mario Paron (KPMG), Tonia Jahshan (Steeped Tea), George McCarter (Pearson Dunn), Cheri Chevalier (Microsoft Canada), and Michael Macaluso (CARSTAR Automotive Canada Inc).

Each finalist will participate in a pitch session with the Lions which will include the entrepreneur’s pitch followed by a question period. The Lions ultimately decide which companies receive cash and in-kind service investments from participating sponsors.

The pitch sessions will be filmed at Cable 14 and will be shown at the LiON’S LAIR gala on September 30, 2015 at Carmen’s Banquet Centre. The Lions’ investment decisions will be revealed live on stage at the gala.

LiONĘĽS LAIR gala tickets will go on sale in early July at www.lionslair.ca.

 

More about this year’s finalists:

12 Squared Diagnostics has developed a diagnostic test for the new oral anticoagulants. It uses a drop of blood from a finger-prick at point-of-care, giving result in 30 minutes.

Blue Orchid Care has designed the ORCHIDlift, 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.

Chipsetter is developing a low­-cost pick-­and­-place machine for the printed circuit board (PCB) assembly process that is 10 times more cost­-effective, easier to use, and quicker to setup than existing entry­-level machines.

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

NanoSpin presents a patent-pending cooling technology for computer servers. The result of a decade of research, this technology can reduce energy consumption of a data center by up to 50%, and reduce its real-estate footprint to a fifth.

OneBase has created a web platform that allows teams to effectively and efficiently onboard their members. OneBase lets you track the effectiveness of your initiatives, engage your new team members, and offers a one-stop-shop that is accessible anywhere – desktop or mobile.

Peytec is an award winning company, offers real-time location tracking and sensing solutions. Peytec mainly helps agriculture, manufacturing, retail, and logistics industries to better manage their inventory and product quality through utilization of Peytec’s scalable sensors and location chips.

Qidni Labs is working on an implantable renal replacement therapy (artificial kidney) for nearly three million patients with End Stage Renal Disease.

QReserve is a matchmaking service for researchers, students and businesses. Their platform connects people who need research equipment, services or expertise, building collaborative research partnerships. The QReserve platform is a publicly searchable database of research resources, which spans labs across Canada in universities, colleges, hospitals and research institutions.

Sniper Skin has created a revolutionary hockey tape alternative. Conventional hockey tape has remained the same for decades – it must be replaced every few games and does not protect the stick. Sniper Skin’s one piece sleeve is heat activated, with a special surface texture that slides over the blade.

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.

Virtual Possibilities has developed a patented, prototype 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 favorite 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 our positive social impact with the xo score™. The xocial platform helps brands, non-profits, charitable foundations, employers and third-party apps connect with everyday heroes.

 

About Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
Representing over 1,000 businesses and institutions that employ more than 75,000 people in Hamilton, Ontario, the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is the city’s 169 year-old voice of business and thought leader in commerce. In addition to helping provide solutions to the day-to-day challenges of its member businesses, the Hamilton Chamber provides leadership on city building initiatives that are designed to stimulate commerce and increase prosperity in the community. www.hamiltonchamber.ca

About Innovation Factory
Innovation Factory is the Regional Innovation Centre for Hamilton in the Ontario Network of Excellence, 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. www.innovationfactory.ca

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For more information, contact:
Emily Kinread
Marketing & Communications Manager, Innovation Factory
905.667.2611 x233 | emily.kinread@innovationfactory.ca

Keanin Loomis
President & CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
905.522.1151 x229 | k.loomis@hamiltonchamber.ca

 

SHG, Mabels and IF win at OBAs

Last night at the Outstanding Business Achievement Awards held by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, some names familiar to the Hamilton tech startup community came away with top prizes!

SHG Studios – Small Business category winner

Mabel’s Labels – Large Business category winner

Innovation Factory – Non-profit category winner

It should also be noted that Matthew Sheridan of Nix Sensor was nominated for the Young Entrepreneur award, and VIZIYA was also nominated for the Large Business category. Congrats to all winners and nominees!

 

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Chamber InnTech meeting tomorrow

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When: 8:00am – 9:30am

Where: McMaster Innovation Park @ 175 Longwood Road South

The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce Innovation & Technology committee meetings are technically for Chamber members – however feel free to come to 2-3 committee meetings as a ‘try before you buy’ even if you’re not a Chamber member.

At this meeting we’ll be hearing from an organizer of the Surge program for student entrepreneurism at Mohawk College, the organizers of HackItMac, and Chris Marlatt about bringing an unconference to Hamilton.