IT’S A START

Pitch Competition

IT’S A START is one of Toronto’s leading pitch competitions presented by The Digital Media and Gaming Incubator at George Brown College.  Congratulations to all the 2018 winners:

FIRST PLACE :  InStage is a virtual reality training tool that improves verbal communication skills. They combine virtual reality and data science to simulate the sensation of speaking in front of a live audience and generate metrics related to each person’s performance.

SECOND PLACE :  CoolCat Innovations developed Sonacles, an innovative bone conduction hearing aid, in the form of regular glasses, which promises to bring affordability and discreteness to its customers.          

THIRD PLACE:  Phyxable is a self-help video solution that empowers you to fix your own pain and injuries.

PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD: CommuniHelp is a volunteer matching platform that uses an algorithm to match professionals seeking skills-based volunteer opportunities with social good organizations looking looking to maximize their social impact.

A big thank you to all the sponsors and startups who pitched their ideas at this year event! 

In addition to winning $5K in start-up funding and other prizes, the winning team will have the opportunity to represent Canada in Beijing and present their idea at the Overseas Talent and Entrepreneurship Conference (OTEC) Global Pitch Competition for a chance to win more start-up funding in August! 

This year’s IT’S A START Pitch Competition winner, InStage, will be joining the Digital Media and Gaming Incubator, on a start-up trip to China.  InStage will be representing Canada at the Overseas Talent and Entrepreneurship Conference (OTEC) and Global Pitch event in Beijing this August.  This is an exclusive opportunity for start-ups to win the $1M RMB grand prize, fast track their expansion into China and meet with an international network of investors. 

The Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference (OTEC) is a government-sponsored event in Beijing that aims to connect international entrepreneurs with investment and growth opportunities, and to help them launch their start-ups in China.  

 

Highlights from 2018 IT’S A START Pitch Competition

 


Meet the ten finalists from this year’s IT’S A START Pitch Competition:

CommuniHelp is a volunteer matching platform that uses an algorithm to match professionals seeking skills-based volunteer opportunities with social good organizations looking looking to maximize their social impact.

CoolCat Innovations developed Sonacles, an innovative bone conduction hearing aid, in the form of regular glasses, which promises to bring affordability and discreteness to its customers.

Ethical Tree Inc. helps socially-conscious consumers find local businesses that align with their values, and uses data to help businesses better target, acquire and retain more customers from the rapidly growing ethical consumer markets.

GoParkr: Connect To The Best Parking In Seconds – Or Rent Out Your Spots!

HiRide is a ridesharing app for long distance travel, with the mission to improve the interaction between riders and drivers.

Lisnen is a sound detection mobile app that gives vibrating and flashing alerts of nearby sound events like alarms, doorbells or sirens to the deaf and hard of hearing.

InStage is a virtual reality training tool that improves verbal communication skills. We combine virtual reality and data science to simulate the sensation of speaking in front of a live audience and generate metrics relating to your performance.

MITURF is a web/ mobile marketplace that allows people to easily look up availability and book sporting and recreation spaces while allowing space providers to streamline operations such as schedules, bookings, payments, and more.

MoneySmarts is a web-based platform that aims to revolutionize the personal financial experience for Gen Z and young millennials.

Phyxable is a self-help video solution that empowers you to fix your own pain and injuries.

 

Panel of Judges

Jo-Anne Wade, Royal Bank of Canada
Tanya Lahiri, Royal Bank of Canada
Nicola Lacetera, University of Toronto
Jess Joss, York Angel Investor Inc.
Daniel Kube, Angel One Investor Network

Highlights from 2018 Creative Camp

A day of networking, mentoring and practice pitches for all the semi-finalists was held on March 3, 2018.

 

PRIZES 

First Prize

$5K in cash

In-kind legal services ($3K value) provided by

12 months of office space usage

Assistance from industry advisors

 

Second Prize

$3K in cash

6 months of office space usage

Assistance from industry advisors

Starter Kit and Small Business Law Library Plus ($450 value) provided by

Third Prize

$2K in cash

6 months of office space usage

Assistance from industry advisors

Starter Kit and Small Business Law Library Plus ($450 value) provided by

People's Choice Prize

$1K in cash

Office space usage

Presented by   

2018 IT'S A START Schedule

January 26, 2018 at 5 PM | Application Deadline

Submit your application online using the form below. All applications will be reviewed by the IT’S A START committee and semi-finalists will be notified in February 2017.

February 20, 2018 (revised) | Announcement of Semi-Finalists

All applicants will be notified on this date regarding the status of their application.

March 3, 2018 | Creative Camp Program for Semi-Finalists

All IT’S A START semi-finalists will be invited to attend Creative Camp in March. The semi-finalists will meet with advisors, practice their pitches and mingle with other entrepreneurs. All semi-finalists will then be asked to prepare and submit their Business Model Canvas and a 60-second video.

March 23, 2018 | Business Model Canvas and 60 Second Video Deadline

All semi-finalists will be asked to submit their business model canvas and a sixty second video following the Creative Camp.  

April 6, 2018 | Announcement of Finalists

Ten finalists will then be selected and notified to compete at Digifest 2018.

April 27, 2018 | IT’S A START Final Pitch Competition

IT’S A START Pitch Competition will take place in front of a live audience and judges at Digifest 2018. Winners will be announced at the end of the competition.

Winning teams will receive cash and join the Digital Media and Gaming Incubator, a hub for innovative firms, in downtown Toronto. The grand prize is $5K (equity-free) and space at the Digital Media and Gaming Incubator.  The top 2 winners will qualify to attend the Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference (OTEC) and Global Pitch in Beijing next August. Check out highlights from IT’S A START 2017 here.

Gallery

 

Organized by