Innovation Night Winners in #HamOnt!
It seems like so so long ago, when our Innovation Factory held our first Hamilton based “in house” Innovation Night competitions….twas only about 18 months ago I think…but we’ve had so many winning nights that they all stand as successful ways to hear what’s “new” in startups here in the city.
And last Wednesday night was no different as we had about a dozen competitors who competed for the two big prizes of top-of-the-line tech gadgets, Lenovo IdeaTab tablets and what a competition it was, eh!
As you may know, I help out with the Innovation Night Workshops held always about a week ahead of the big night here at MIPs, and by doing so, try to get the founders focused on what they should be including in their 90 second pitch. Our Innovation Factory has a great set of workbooks that present the various questions and rationales behind these areas that should be included and all of the Workshop attendants are led thru that as usual by Ron Neumann, the ExecDir of Innovation Factory.
Many of course blanch at the idea that they’d need to stand up and pitch – passion for their startup aside, many many entrepreneurs face that realization and for most of them, public speaking is not something that they are either good at or in fact ever countenance. But Ron leads them all very well…his “radio voice” and sense of humour as he shows them what to think about, how to present the various facets of any well presented pitch all show that he surely knows what he teaches well!
During that past Workshop, we heard some pretty amazing ideas….from starting an airline to building a game development company…all pitched by passionate founders…and all taught just how to pitch too meant that the upcoming Innovation Night would be another real winner!
And was it ever! We had a lineup of almost a dozen company startups pitch to the crowd of over 150 of #HamOnt citizens, from startup founders and entrepreneurs themselves to Angels/VCs to business types across all verticals…it was a great crowd.
And this time for the first time ever, Innovation Factory decided to change up how the questions were going to be asked and the judging would take place. Instead of a small panel of experts, Ron threw the questions out to anyone in the audience who wanted to ask a question to any of the startups who’d just presented and we got both “geeky” type questions as well as the normal “so, how you going to monetize that” type too. All were well handled and all helped the audience to decide on whom they liked in two categories for the actual judging.
Category one was “Best Pitch” and category two was “Best Business Idea” and all dozen vied to try to win one of the categories…but in my mind it was close…ever so close at least in the Best Business Idea one.
A reallygreat idea…and the fact that he had a working demo and displayed same right on stage shows that the idea has some legs too, eh!
Well done Ethan…nice presi and on the whole, a great idea too!
And the winner of the Best Pitch presi, was Kathy Stonehouse, of Big Kat Productions Inc, a fun out-of-the-box firm that helps fundraise for non-profits to increase donations and experiences too! Kathy by the way is new to Hamilton, having been in the Detroit area for years and brings with her a sense of fun and pure passion that I’d highly recommend giving her a call (via Innovation Factory) to learn how she can help you too!
Both were excellent, but then they all were….there were some truly great ideas broached to the audience that night…and I wait to see what becomes of same….
So Kudos to our Innovation Factory for once again running a great #HamOnt startup program and kudos to both our two winners and all the contestants too….Google