IT’S A START Pitch Competition

Digifest 2016 is proud to present the fourth IT’S A START Pitch Competition.

We’d like to thank all the participants who submitted to the IT’S A START Pitch Competition.

Congratulations to this year’s winners:  Arylla (First place), SPLT (Second place), Tranqool (Third place)

All the second round startups had the opportunity to participate at Creative Camp on March 5, 2016. 

Creative Camp was held on March 5 for all the second round contestants. Participants had the chance to meet with other entrepreneurs and to practice their pitches for the final IT’S A START Pitch Competition taking place on April 29.  Guest speakers at Creative Camp included Daryl D’Souza (NextStep Social Media | Lou Dawg’s BBQ), Shane Lee (Business Development Bank of Canada), Chris Giantsopoulos (MaRS).  Advisors included Scot Bryson (Stone Canoe), Amy Matchen (StartGBC), Elena Iosef (Dipchand LLP), Elizabeth Dipchand (Dipchand LLP), Kundan Joshi (TheAppLabb), Dianne Davey-McLellan (Di-verse), Vandana Taxali (Ent Counsel) and Jenny Hui (Clausehound).

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BioFlex Implant

EKO Interactive

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Shape Trace

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Synthetic Universe

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Virtual Play Fighters
(Mode Rebel)



IT’S A START is an exciting and interactive pitch competition taking place at Digifest 2016. Pitch your business, convince the judges of its value, and wow the crowd in 5 minutes, and you will have the chance to win thousands in cash, incubation space, and mentorship.

IT’ S A START will provide aspiring entrepreneurs with the opportunity to:

  • Compete against innovative entrepreneurs from across Canada
  • Refine your business plan and receive coaching during Creative Camp weekend
  • Pitch your business proposal to a panel of esteemed judges
  • Earn prizes including cash, office space at George Brown College’s Digital Media and Gaming Incubator, mentorship and more!

We are looking for the most innovative ideas from creative professionals, budding entrepreneurs, new startups, students or recent graduates who have special projects that they want to take to the next level. There is no fee to apply for this competition.




1. Complete the on-line application. Deadline for Applications is Friday, January 29, 2016 at 5 p.m.

All entries will be reviewed by the IT’S A START Committee and the semi-finalists will be notified in February 2016.


2. Qualified semi-finalists will be notified in February 2016.

All semi-finalists will be invited to attend Creative Camp Weekend taking place on March 5, 2016 at George Brown College.  This is a networking event with other entrepreneurs and mentors as well as a chance to finesse your pitch presentations. Qualified semi-finalists will then be asked to submit their business model canvas along with a 60 second video presentation of their business idea by March 5, 2016   (Your entrepreneurial story, product/service description, target market and value proposition).


3. Digifest 2016 Final Pitch Presentations

All finalists will have five minutes to pitch their business before a panel of judges and a live audience at Digifest which will be held April 28-30, 2016 at Corus Quay.

Meet our GRAND PRIZE winners from past IT’S A START pitch competitions.


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Peekapak took the grand prize at Digifest 2014. Peekapak is a monthly subscription pack for kids ages 3 to 7, delivered to a family’s home each month. Each pack contains an illustrated storybook that features the Peekapak Pals, a cast of recurring characters who guide children through interactive adventures, engaging crafts with all the required materials and educational tidbits.

Crowdfunding solution for business needs of registered charities.

Apartmint streamlines the rental process by offering one integrated platform for finding/listing a rental, screening a tenant and transacting rent.


Connects filmmakers looking to find and book the perfect set with owners looking to rent out their space for production.


Think Dirty took the grand prize in 2012. Think Dirty is a mobile app that helps educate consumers about toxic ratings in personal care products and empowers them to make safe choices and vote with their money.
The Hammer and Locksmith is a new storytelling experience in the form of a stereoscopic 3d, interactive, web series develop by Matthew Scott who is an alumni of the College’s Game Design program.

Watch Trailer



Only one individual from the team can deliver the pitch at Digifest on Friday, April 29, 2016. They will have five minutes to present their business proposal.

Each contestant will have two minutes to respond to judges’ Q & A, directly following their pitch.

PowerPoint/PDF presentations are recommended for this presentation

What are the prizes?
Competition criteria
Eligibility requirements
What projects are NOT eligible?
Who can enter?

Who is on the IT’S A START panel of judges?
What are the selection criteria?

Applications are now closed. Thanks for your applications!