The cost of innovation is that failure is a part of the process.
Nicole Verkindt, Founder of Offset Market Exchange (OMX) and the newest “Dragon” on CBC’s Next Gen Den —shared her own startup experience as the keynote & judge on pitch night.
Startup Peel aimed to decrease the chances of failure (in a safe space) for these entrepreneurs, who attended the Nov 2nd- 4th, 2018 Global Startup weekend, by securing the resources, mentors and capital needed.
Alongside Nicole, three other judges for the night were: Financial Services Executive and Advisor for Startups —Preeti Malik, Founder and Catalyst —Bryan Li, and Founder of Purposeful Selling —Jean Nickerson. They were all tasked to evaluate the business concepts generated over the weekend then award a sum total of $10,000 cash prize to the winners.
“It was not an easy decision judging the pitches.” Tweeted, Preeti Malik.
— Preeti Malik (@PreetiM2017) November 5, 2018
It also wasn’t easy for the 9 teams to pitch their wild idea to an audience staring back at them in anticipation at City Hall Brampton. Where even a few city delegates were in the room —such as MP Sonia Sidhu, Councillor Jeff Bowman and Gurpreet Dhillon. MP Ruby Sahota supported on Saturday.
Good luck to all the team’s making pitches tonight at the @Startup_Peel TechStars Global StartUp Weekend.
— Ruby Sahota (@MPRubySahota) November 4, 2018
It was exciting to meet yonge entrepreneurs teaming up for a weekend of learning and acquiring skills to succeed in business. Best of luck to all competing teams! Great effort by @Startup_Peel to arrange Techstars Startup Weekend. pic.twitter.com/yyYnIfqY1O
— Sonia Sidhu MP (@SoniaLiberal) November 3, 2018
Each team managed to face their fear and represent their product idea to the judges. Not only for a grab at the cash prize but also, for guaranteed admission into the Founder Institute Pre-Seed Accelerator placement. Generously provided by Sunil Sharma, Managing Director for (the global company) Techstars Toronto and Director of Founder Institute Toronto and Waterloo.
Over 100 designers, developers, marketers, and entrepreneurs from across the GTA. From home-to-Brampton and as far as Brazil to share ideas, form teams and launch their startup all in a weekend.
On day one, 50 individuals pitched their business idea. Thereafter, nine teams were formed then these entrepreneurs, their coaches and mentors got to work; drafting their business model to transform what was once a mustard seed into a tangible minimum viable product (MVP).
Brampton Digital Innovation and Information Technology was on deck with their recently launched data mining software, GeoHub, an OpenData initiative to help the entrepreneurs use the portal to collect data for their business model. One of the winners who placed second, Ü-Track, made full use of this tool on hand throughout the weekend to back the development of their software concept.
— Matt Pietryszyn (@mattpietryszyn) November 2, 2018
On the last night, Sunday, three winning pitches were selected by the panel of judges:
In Third Place: StoAR
Building on the popularity of virtual and augmented reality, StoAR puts browsing the retail store shelves or restaurant menus at the frontline of technology. Businesses can promote their daily offerings like a personal shopper through an augmented reality to provide consumers with product information.
The Team Included: Martina Simmonds, Param Thakkar, Chris Ujimoto, Kaarthick Rameskumar, Shangheethan Prabaharan and Emad Ali.
In Second Place: Ü-track
Everyone wants things in real-time and on demand and Ü-track does exactly that. It’s an application that provides transit users the power to track and be notified in real-time the whereabouts, and seating capacity of specific buses. Their mission is to “Empower the transit user to make informed decisions when it comes their commute.”
The Team Included: Abhay Randhawa, Aaraya Aad, Edmond Lam, Jacob Meksavanh and Nathan Coulas
The Grand Prize Winner: Beep
The first place team built a fully operating smart alarm clock prototype that uses IoT (Internet of things) technology within 54 hours. This smart alarm clock (Beep) forces you to physically get out of bed (and out your bedroom) so that you always wake up on time, the first time, and every time.
The Team Included: Parmveer Bola, Priyadarshini Saha, Jacqueline Truong Muqeeth Khan and Rome Ramos. (Interestingly enough, two of the five-member team were under the age of 14 years old. Watch them pitch!)
“Techstars Startup Weekend Peel Region IoT is an innovative part of Brampton’s business ecosystem. Partnering again this year with the Brampton Entrepreneur Centre for our second annual Global Startup Weekend is integral to developing and maintaining a competitive and resilient economy through entrepreneurship and small business.” — Melloney Campbell, Startup Peel Region Community Leader
Startup Peel took on a huge endeavour to bring back Techstars Global Startup Weekend to the City of Brampton. However, it was not without the support of sponsors and partnerships made that this day could be possible for over 100 entrepreneurs. Including our close partnership with Brampton Entrepreneur Centre.
Thank you to our sponsors!!! This #StartupWeekend would not be possible without YOU. @techstars @SWPeel_Region @CityBrampton @BramptonEcoDev @OwnrCo @RyersonU @GFSCanada @Clicktagmedia @TroupeAI @LatAmStartupsCo @RegusCanada @lighthouse_labs @esricanada @canadabusiness pic.twitter.com/iVYwrVSr43
— Startup Peel (@Startup_Peel) November 5, 2018
Not only did this weekend provide seed money but the grand prize local winners will go on to compete in the Regional Showcase, and if they beat out the competition, they’ll enter in the Techstar’s Global Showcase.
Now, aside from the new found fame and exposure, they’ve been bestowed —on-going business coaching, print services, exclusive memberships and gift cards to support the business they launched and to harness continued acceleration.
A BIG Massive Thank You to the Startup Peel Community Team: Mark Campbell, Shirley Shields, Anmol Dhalla, Tennile Cooper, Chirag Barot led by Melloney Campbell. And The Brampton Entrepreneur Centre Team- Jennifer Vivian, Daniel Bishun, CoB Digital Innovation & IT – Katherine Kulson, Eric Pulnicki, Matt Pietryszyn. WOO-HOO! WE DID IT!!
Your idea can be the start of something awesome. Don’t be content to just think about it, use the resources available to you and launch it!