Innovation Night: Another Big Success for Hamilton & Snappay!
After being a part – however small – of the ongoing Innovation Night series of events for our Hamilton based Innovation Factory, it was no surprise that again this past Wednesday, myself and over two hundred other startup aficiandos attended the first 2012 gala event at the MIPs centre! And what an event it was!
Disclaimer: I am actively involved in the ‘behind-the-scenes’ marketing for Snappay, one of the evening’s contestants and I wanted to state that right up front. That said, what a wonderful boost to said marketing program, as Lorne Lantz, the founder of Snappay won the event with the judged Best Business Proposition Award and took home one of those brand new color Kobo readers! #kudos to Snappay….and signup here for more information!
But that’s not all the news, the evening itself was chock full of great startup pitches and I was enthused as usual, as I was one of the mentors who worked with all of the presenting founders to first craft and then hone their one minute elevator pitches that captured the real ‘essence’ of their concept that was presented to the judging panel. This panel was well versed in startups and included the following folks
- Carolynn Reid of Hamilton’s EcDev division
- Doug Osborne of Doug’s Unlimited
- Jennifer Bell of Intuit
- Peter Milne of Gowlings
And one of the nicest things was that the Master of Ceremonies, was Mike Saniga of Quant, Inc. – one of the Innovation Factory’s first ever clients, who are truly a success story locally as they’ve achieved some amazing traction, have gotten funded and yes, they too were Innovation Night contestants just a few short months ago too! So #kudos to Quant and Mike who did a spot-on job of MC-ing the whole evening!
As you most likely know, the Innovation Night is a series of events, key events really – that is for innovators and entrepreneurs to share and develop their ideas, practice and perfect their pitch and present to their peers and the local innovation community at large. And what a list and variety of ideas there were….too long to list here, but I did want to mention some of the ones that struck me as very interesting…
Alicai Di Lulio of Golden Girls is an artist – but instead of sculpting in stone or bronze, she uses sugar. Sugar? Yes sugar and her collection includes some of the most amazing high-heel stilletto womens shoes and placques and animals…..that it’s not enough to think about putting same on the mantel at home – but she is a baker and they are usually put on cakes or food displays…did I mention that they’re made out of sugar…and are yes – edible!!! #yum!
Mohamed El Mahallawy of NerVu, offered up a simple idea….that if a visitor to their website indicates what kind of brands (Levis or Swatch say) that they’re interested in, then NerVu will scour the web for the best deals and sales and SMS that simple note to your smartphone! You’d always find out when those sales/deals are before the general public and therefore never miss a deal again! I like that one!
And lastly today, Snappay and Lorne Lantz…whose idea is really IMHO a potential disruptor in both the retail/POS world. What Lorne has done is to create an app, a free app mind you, that a smartphone user (iPhone and Android users now, BB is under development) has to simply download and that will allow them in minutes to use their phone as a mobile POS system. Working a trade show say, selling jewellry and can’t afford the hundreds of dollars that the event company charges to hook up your booth with a dedicated phone line for your hardware intensive POS system? Use your phone, which simply scans the buyers’ credit card, sends the data encrypted to Paypal and the sale is completed. No fuss. No muss…and no risk for either the buyer or seller! Snappay does take a simple processing fee of course, but did I mention that the app is free? Frictionless signup process – PayPal protected & secure – easy to access and use – and the payments are yours instantly! NO WAITING for your cash…how’s that for an idea, eh?
And as the fellow who “ran” the demo by simply standing in front of the judges at the event, and showing how in less than 30 seconds, I made a purchase, scanned my credit card, waited for PayPal to process same and then got the “Transaction Successful” screen back…the judges loved it! No wonder IMHO, then that the winner of the Best Business Opportunity Award went to Lorne and Snappay….watch out world….POS systems are coming to the mobile world…and Snappay is at the forefront of same, eh!