This past September, Entrepreneurship 101, MaRS’ flagship free weekly lecture series, launched its eighth year with more than 800 aspiring entrepreneurs attending live sessions. The 30-week course covers key topics related to starting a successful business, including funding, marketing, recruiting, intellectual property and more. The course culminates in the Up-Start! Competition a business plan competition in which selected participants compete to win a cash prize.
On May 15, 2013, nine finalists will compete in the eighth annual Up-Start! Competition for a chance win $10,000 along with a pitch video production package from MaRS Media with a retail value of $4,000.
Under the mentorship of MaRS volunteer advisors, the finalists have spent the last few months working hard to prepare their pitch presentations. Individuals or teams will give a 10-minute presentation on a business idea in the following categories: IT, communications and entertainment (ICE), cleantech, social venture and life sciences. Competitors are expected to apply concepts from the course to make a compelling case.
Watch this quick video to learn more about the competition and hear from last year’s winner, LIFEbike:
Meet this year’s finalists
Luevo, a tech startup based in Toronto, is launching the first crowdfunding platform targeted at aspiring and emerging fashion designers. A blend of crowdfunding and traditional e-commerce, Luevo’s platform will help fashion designers receive pre-orders from customers and help raise the funds needed for production.
Heal.X Innovation (@healxinnovation)
Heal.X Innovation is a revolutionary immobilization system for bone fractures and sports injuries. It provides better support than a traditional cast while reducing the side effects and the costs for the patient and the healthcare system.
Telewella helps consumers to socialize by voice. The company enables businesses to capitalize on the popularity of their brand and to deliver their ads directly to related interest groups. Use the power of social networks to drive your revenue!
Matalo Productions Inc. (@myhandylittle)
Matalo Productions Inc. is developing personal health recording systems to help women who are health-conscious but lack the tools to properly manage their health and wellness. Matalo plans to launch an introductory app to accompany the release of their book, My Handy Little Health Journal, in the fall of 2013. Women will have better health at their fingertips.
Find My Itin (@findmyitin)
Designed to empower the do-it-yourself traveller, Find My Itin inspires, creates and shares trip itineraries. This web platform helps you save time planning your trip and leverages others’ experiences.
TrendyMED Inc. (@RonnyBarrelli)
TrendyMED has invented the MobileIV™ infusion device. This small and lightweight product delivers intravenous (IV) infusion liquids to patients from any size bag and does not need gravity or poles. No power source is required (not even batteries), and the MobileIV™ can be mobilized safely and easily anywhere, any time and in any position. MobileIV™ costs a fraction of traditional devices, yet offers much greater value to both patients and healthcare providers.
The Social Art Movement (@artismovement)
Helping starving artists connect with art lovers worldwide, The Social Art Movement is developing online and mobile tools to help independent artists take their minds off of the business of being an artist, and to focus on what really matters―being creative. The platform will brand and market artists by leveraging the art community’s ever-growing online presence.
Coverpitch is an app that helps unemployed and underemployed graduates amplify their cover letter. It creates a digital mosaic of micro-videos to get them noticed and land interviews. The solution gives job seekers a platform to SHOW and TELL prospective employers who they are and why they are the best person for the job―in ways a traditional cover letter and resume cannot.
Sployment Inc. (@sployment)
Sployment is an employment suite that connects students with local employers. It enables them to find co-op, internship or part-time positions based on their availability and interests. It offers services through mobile and online applications, including S-Journal, S-Mentor and S-Connect.
Meet this year’s judges
To see the pitches in person, register here.