After a week full of activities, guest speakers and hard work, the groups were finally ready to hit the stage in the MaRS Auditorium in front of their family, friends and judges to pitch their business idea! Before the pitch competition began, the groups participated in some final activities today.

Final preparations

Early in the morning, Earl Miller, director of partnerships at MaRS, gave all the students some advice and tips for public speaking. The cohorts analyzed their pitches and prepared for investor questions they might receive from the judges. Musician Adam Hart-Owens, stopped by to give the students a lesson in confidence and how to own the stage. Adam stressed that being nervous is natural and by leveraging your strengths, you can accomplish your objectives. Following his talk, there was a jam session with facilitator Ryan. After lunch, each group had a quick dress rehearsal and then it was show time!

Ryan Burwell and Adam Hart-Owens
Ryan Burwell and Adam Hart-Owens

The Panel 

  • Lalit Canaran is a co-founder of the mobile software company MobileQ and is now the senior director of emerging technologies at SAP Labs. Lalit leads development teams, engages the local ecosystem and works with strategic partners and customers.
  • Sarah Katyal has worked with tech-based startups in building their brands and market strategies globally, and has also mentored several young entrepreneurs who are now participants of world-class incubators like Y Combinator.
  • Amie Sergas manages programs for the Business Mentorship and Entrepreneurship Program, a component of the Ministry of Research and Innovation. The program allows these organizations to carry out their entrepreneur outreach activities and advisory services in their communities.
  • Chris Singh currently holds the role of vice president in Applications Innovation at SAP. He mentors many students and employees and also serves as a life coach for MBA students. Chris has a keen interest in fostering the growth of our next generation leaders.
Judges (left) and AccuTransit (right)

The Pitch Competition

The competition was split into two streams, each with a $1000 prize on the line. The groups hit the stage and what unfolded was impressive to watch. There even was an impromptu rap in following one of the pitches.

Junior cohort groups:

  • Tip Tap: Tip Tap is an app that allows you to turn appliances on and off from your mobile devices.
  • Steps: Steps is an eco-friendly, customizable shoe that can charge your phone as you walk.
  • Fresh Kickzs: Fresh Kickzs designs fully automatic shoe cleaning and storage technologies.
  • Hip Hop Tribe: A movement of knowledge, unity and change through the art of Hip Hop in Toronto and the GTA.
  • Share Care: A game-based app that teaches children basic social skills that aren’t always taught in schools.
  • Composure Coffee: A unique twist on affordable, biodegradable coffee cups.
  • Simple Connec7ons: A program that teachers seniors how to use technologies to enrich their lives and connect with their family.
Simple Connections presenting their infomercial
Simple Connections presenting their infomercial
Simple Connections (left) and Share Care (right)
Simple Connections (left) and Share Care (right)

Senior cohort groups:

  • AccuTransit: The world’s first mobile application that informs transit users, via text, of the current status of their bus to ensure that the least amount of time is wasted waiting for it.
  • EASYPICK: A free mobile app that simplifies the grocery shopping experience while saving time and money. It makes things easier for food lovers to make and share grocery lists, find the best price and deals on the best quality products and find the best grocery stores nearby to suit their shopping needs.
  • Full Force: A charging device and app that works together to retain a healthy, and long-lasting battery life.
  • Supercharged Inc: A newly formed company that has already designed and constructed a prototype phone charger and app, which extends a mobile device’s battery life over a long period of time.
Crowd (left) and Full Force (right)
Crowd and Full Force (right)

Drumroll please…

After some deliberation from the judges, winners were announced. Tip Tap and EASYPICK took home the $1000 prize! Congratulations to both groups and all Future Leaders!

Junior cohort winner Tip Tap with facilitator Ryan Burwell
Junior cohort winner Tip Tap with facilitator Ryan Burwell
Senior cohort winners EASYPICK and facilitator Chris Giantsopolos
Senior cohort winners EASYPICK with facilitator Chris Giantsopoulos

Check back on the MaRS News & Insights page next week to read a full profile of both winning groups!

Sarah Aspler

Sarah Aspler was a Communications Assistant at MaRS. Sarah recently graduated with a bachelor of technology from Ryerson University in Toronto. See more…