Celebrity Lions Award $100,000 to 3 Hamilton Companies
The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Innovation Factory showcase 10 local companies
Hamilton, ON (September 15, 2011) – Last night, Hamiltonʼs business community gathered together at Carmenʼs Banquet Centre to celebrate entrepreneurship in Hamilton as the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Innovation Factory showcased 10 local startup companies at their inaugural LiONʼS LAIR gala.
Last nightʼs event was the final step for participants in an investment forum that was launched in May 2011. Out of 60 applicants, 10 Hamilton entrepreneurs were chosen to participate in a month-long training program before having 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. Among the finalists were Anivac Corp., Athelink, Gorilla Cheese, Illumacell Inc., Playlab Inc., Quant Interpretations, TR Research, Verdant Analysis Inc. Vida Holdings Corp., and Weever Apps Inc.
After a networking-focused cocktail hour, guests were treated to dinner and a variety of on-stage and previously-recorded entertainment led by Master of Ceremonies Bill Kelly (AM900 CHML). Demetrius Tsafaridis (Chair, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce), Ron Neumann (Executive Director, Innovation Factory), and David Adames (President and CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce) welcomed guests and shared their determination to create the necessary conditions for the growth of business and revitalization of the city. Short videos were shown from the 30-minute pre-recorded sessions that each finalist was afforded with the Lions – the first public glimpse of their presentations, which will be available in the coming weeks for public viewing in a special feature to air on Cable 14.
Guests were able to network with the finalists to find out more about their products prior to the grand finale of the evening – the live on-stage announcement of the Lionsʼ investment decisions. The Lions included business experts Nick Bontis (McMaster University), Ron Foxcroft (Fox 40 International Inc.), PJ Mercanti (Carmenʼs Inc.), Ed Minich (Edsicor Ltd.), and Connie Smith (CTSTV). Ultimately, they decided to provide investment in three of the finalists. Gorilla Cheese was awarded a total of $23,000: $20,000 in accounting services from KPMG and $3000 in marketing services from kitestring creative branding studio. Anivac Corp. was awarded a total of $27,000: $10,000 in business services from Trivaris, $7,000 in marketing services from kitestring, $5,000 in legal services from Gowlings, and $5,000 in accounting services from KPMG. Weever Apps took home the largest investment at $50,000 total: the coveted $30,000 in cash provided by BMO, Carego, City of Hamilton and Cogeco, plus $20,000 in legal services from Gowlings.
Although only 3 of the 10 finalist companies took home a portion of the available funds, each was provided with valuable training in developing a pitch, delivering a presentation, interacting with the media, and were given broad exposure to the Hamilton community and to the many venture capitalists and angel investors that attended LiONʼS LAIR. For more information on the winners and all of the finalist companies, visit pitch-it.ca – the official LiONʼS LAIR website featuring profiles, media information, interactive elements, and a mobile app powered by Weever Apps.
Since its official launch in November 2010, Innovation Factory has engaged over 160 companies from a wide array of business sectors. Partnering with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce is a significant step in harnessing all the know-how and resources in the community to provide a web of support for the next generation of Hamilton job creators.
About Hamilton Chamber of Commerce
Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, as the voice of ethical enterprise, is committed to making the City of Hamilton and all of its communities a great place to live, work, play, visit and invest; by promoting private sector jobs and prosperity growth of individuals, organizations and businesses. hamiltonchamber.on.ca
About Innovation Factory
Innovation Factory (innovationfactory.ca) is Hamiltonʼs not-for-profit Regional Innovation Centre, located in Hamilton, ON committed to connecting and enabling active collaboration between the cityʼs communities of science, business, government, academia and finance to accelerate the innovation process and amplify the economic and social impact of key new ideas and discoveries. Funded by the Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE), we are focused on strengthening Hamiltonʼs next generation of job generators. innovationfactory.ca
|Media Contact For more information, contact:
Stephanie Shuster, iF Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 905.667.2611 x.224
David Adames, President & CEO, Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, email@example.com, 905.522.1151 x.229