Innovation Night Success: Oxygen & Deals!
Innovation Night is Hamilton’s key event 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…and we were there on Wednesday night for the latest rendition of same….and what night it was!
First the “pitchers” who numbered more than a dozen and we loved the variety of the startup ideas that we heard! Well, to be totally honest, as we help mentor the Innovation Night workshops that occur a week earlier and last week we were there to listen and offer advice and counsel…and that alone is a real challenge.
Let me explain why. Entrepreneurs are fairly unique in the real world – oh, they are in the vast majority in the business world but that’s not what we get for our Innovation Night candidates. What we get are passionate young men or women who have an idea, and they bring that idea to the workshop, where we mentors help craft their pitch to the best that it can be.
That’s not to say that candidates listen. That’s not to say that they are even “coachable” but we do try. At last week’s workshop, ably led by Ron Neumann the Innovation Factory Executive Director, and assisted by Tammy Hwang the Innovation Factory Experience Manager and myself…we tried to help, aid and abet….and judging by what we saw last night, it worked!
Judges too are important to the Innovation Night contest and we were ably backed in that area by Pamela Hensley of IDEAWorks up at Mohawk College, David Adames the CEO of our Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Meg Coppolino, a creative lead over at kiteString! Smart – yes! Business oriented – yes! And did they ask probing great queries of each of the presenters – again yes….they determined the ultimate two winners and I couldn’t have agreed more…
Our M/C last night too, was Kevin Browne of our community SoftwareHamilton initiative who also started up and developed our StartUpDrinks evenings, our DemoCampHamilton events and who also happens to be taking on a major role next weekend in our second StartUpWeekendHamilton:2 !
Thanks Kevin so so much for your leadership on this too!
And our winners last evening? Well all the pitches were great – but there were two that did stand out for me too….Nervu.ca and it’s founder Mohamed El Mahallawy won as did Craig Denby of Refreshing Oxygen Bars too….well worth the clicks to see what they’re all about.
One more thing…I often forget to mention Sponsors…but this is too much a part of our #HamOnt community to forget this time! Our Innovation Nights are sponsored by SB Partners, our MIPs Centre and our Innovation Factory too.
Big #kudos to you all….your efforts and help in bringing our latest batch of entrepreneurs to the forefront of our community…much thanks to you all!