Discovery recognized the winning pitches in four competitions this year, covering achievements in accessibility, social innovation, neurotechnology and high school entrepreneurship. A regular feature of the annual award-winning conference and trade show, the pitch competitions support Ontario’s brightest innovators and entrepreneurs as they develop game-changing technologies across various sectors.
In the third Accessibility Tech Pitch Competition, held by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) in partnership with the Accessibility Directorate of Ontario (ADO) and the Ministry of Research, Innovation and Science (MRIS), five finalist companies pitched their accessibility-focused innovations for a $20,000 award. MyndTec was named the winner for the team’s revolutionary product MyndMove, a non-invasive rehabilitation therapy that combines patient participation, therapist expertise, and a proprietary eight-channel functional electrical stimulation (FES) device to treat patients suffering from upper-limb paralysis following stroke or spinal cord injury.
In partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG), OCE also hosted the annual Social Enterprise Pitch Competition at Discovery. Eight finalists pitched for $25,000 in awards to assist with the further development of their social enterprise, including $10,000 from MEDG, a $5,000 award from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and a $10,000 legal-services package from Norton Rose Fulbright. This year’s winner was Ulula, a software and analytics provider for businesses seeking to measure and monitor human rights violations in global supply chains. Ulula leverages simple mobile technologies to turn worker voices into business intelligence to advance the creation of more transparent and ethical supply chains.
Also at Discovery, the Ontario Brain Institute (OBI) hosted its second annual ONtrepreneurs Pitch Challenge featuring five entrepreneurs who were enrolled in the 2016 OBI Entrepreneurs Program. Steadiwear won the $20,000 award to support the development of its Steadiglove, which reduces hand tremors for those who live with Essential Tremor and Parkinson's Disease.
Finally, OCE and MEDG were proud to continue supporting aspiring high-school entrepreneurs across Ontario through the fifth annual Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition at Discovery. Out of over 200 applicants, 20 finalists pitched their business idea to a judging panel and live audience on May 15.
This year’s six winners were:
- Alice Chen and team of Oakville for the company Advena (White Oaks Secondary School)
- Jeremy Chevalley of Ottawa for the company Moo Call and Clip (Académie de la Seigneurie)
- Ben Jacobs and team of Mississauga for the company Travale (St. Marcellinus Secondary School)
- Alessandra Kempson and team of Sudbury for the company Stitch It MMA (Marymount Academy)
- Anjana Somasundaram and team of Scarborough for the company Müla (Don Mills Collegiate Institute)
- Raymond Tran of Windsor for the company LITLYTE (Hon. W.C. Kennedy Collegiate Institute)
Each of the winners receives up to $3,000 in start-up funds, reserved entry into the Ontario Summer Company program, entrepreneurial mentorship and other awards.