I am so proud of this young man – and yes, a reminder that I’m also involved with Snappay as their CMO and have been working hard for Lorne to help market Snappay, our mobile POS application that allows a user to charge a customer’s credit cards with no hardware!
Hamilton, ON (April 30, 2012) – Last weekend, 95 developers, designers, marketers, business professionals, animators, and engineers came together in the Collaboratory at Mohawk College to spend 54 hours trying to launch new startups in Hamilton.
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.
Yes, it’s exactly the right time to think about our wonderful community and think investment! Money, sure, I mean money by all means, but that’s not what I’m really thinking about today…what I’m thinking about is the commitment of time – your time and in truth is there anything more valuable than time? No there is not. And here’s why, eh!
Time is the measure that we all use, to try to live, work and exist in life, and we use it haphazardly when we’re not focused I think. As one grows a bit older, and the term “been there done that” comes to the top-0f-mind position more than not – that was the time for me when time suddenly appeared to be of more import to my life than anything else.
It’s not too often that I’m surprised anymore, as at my age I’ve about seen and done most everything when it comes to business – both as a success and as a failure too, here in our wonderful Hamilton community.
But last evening at our Innovation Factory annual event – the Big DiF it’s called, I was totally floored, surprised and yes almost speechless!
For last night, I was awarded the first ever “Mark Chamberlain DiFIZEN of the Year Award!”
Going to a Lunch ‘n Learn put on by the Innovation Factory is one of the best ways I know to gain valuable insight into areas that many entrepreneurs just do not know enough about. And yesterday’s session on Employment Law was a great success!
Wait, you say….a Lunch ‘n Learn on legal stuff and it wasn’t boring? No, actually while that may be what many attendees might have expected, it wasn’t the experience that I got…in fact, the content was great!
Everyone won and the big news is that everyone will continue to win!
First, the sponsors deserve credit for their participation and belief that holding our first ever StartUp Weekend here in Hamilton would be an event that they could take a-hold of and use to promote our city and our new culture of startups! So a big thanks to Innovation Factory, to Intelex, to McMaster Innovation Park, to Inceptive Solutions, Mohawk College, SoftMills and SoftwareHamilton too….their ability, skills and yes cash helped get this event up and running!
And here’s the skinny on what I and hundreds of others are going to be doing this whole weekend at the McMaster Innovation Park headquarters –
Once again, it was my pleasure to be asked by the Innovation Factory folks, to help coach and mentor the next batch of our Hamilton startups for their presentations to Innovation Night:3 held just last Wednesday nite at the MIPs Centre here in Hamilton! And what a batch it was!
We had founders that were inventors, community builders, marketing mavens, new app builders and print publishers…and one and all were so damn passionate that it was a pretty easy task to coach them into developing their one or three minute presentations – and myself and the other coaches/mentors there all had a great time doing just that and I wanted to invest in a couple myownself, eh!
Yup, our first annual Lion’s Lair event is now over and I watched as did hundreds and hundreds of other Hamiltonians, as $100,000 was handed out to three lucky winners this past Wednesday evening at a huge gala at Carmen’s! And what a wonderful event it was! But who won, you ask?
The contest winners were intoduced by Dr. Nick Bontis of McMaster who used just about every bit of his boundless energy to talk up all the 10 finalists…and when he announced the winners the 500+ of the gala attendants were waiting with bated breath – and here’s the winners!
You heard right! There is $100,000 dollars at stake in Hamilton’s first ever celebration of entrepeneurism – our very own “Lion’s Lair!” Sponsored by both the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the Innovation Factory the event was just announced here –
“LiON’S LAIR is providing 10 Hamilton companies with the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of top Hamilton business experts in an attempt to solicit up to $100,000 in cash and resources. Besides cash provided by BMO, Carego,City of Hamilton and Cogeco, the available resources include accounting services from KPMG, legal services from Gowlings, marketing services from kitestring creative branding studio, and business services from Trivaris…”
It was my great pleasure to be invited last week to help out with the Innovation Factory’s Workshop for candidates for their Innovation Night Startup presentation judging….and was I impressed along with the other mentors there too!