On May 7, Jay Rosenblatt took the stage at The Big DiF to accept the fourth annual Mark Chamberlain DiFizen of the Year Award in front of a crowd of Hamilton’s Innovation Community.
“This has been one of the biggest ruses of my life,” said Rosenblatt, who thought he would be accepting an award on behalf of his company for their partnership with Innovation Factory.
”I had absolutely no idea, but am so proud to have been chosen.”
The Big DiF is a celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation in Hamilton. The award is presented to an individual in the Innovation Factory ecosystem who makes a big difference in Hamilton’s business and innovation community.
“Jay has been a great supporter of Innovation Factory from the beginning. If you’re looking for someone who is actively making Hamilton a better place to live and work, you can’t find someone who fits the bill better than Jay, and we’re thrilled to recognize him for his ongoing efforts,” stated David Carter, Executive Director at Innovation Factory.
Rosenblatt is a Partner at Simpson-Wigle Law LLP in Hamilton, is the founder of the Golden Horseshoe Venture Forum, and is a startup supporter through and through.
“My first involvement with developing a culture of innovation was in 1999 when a group of us developed the Golden Horseshoe Venture Forum. I am proud of the efforts my supporters and I have made to start, to grow and to develop the culture of innovation in Hamilton and Halton. We continue to assist the Innovation Factory grow its ecosystem and achieve its goals to make Hamilton’s innovation community a global centre of innovation, and build a dynamic culture and community. I will cherish this award and thank everyone who has helped Hamilton and iF grow its ecosystem. For Hamilton, I believe the best is yet to come!” stated Rosenblatt.
iF clients from various industries were also on hand to showcase during the event. The lineup included: Avertus, fred, Flyte Studios, QReserve, Sound Options, Starinse, Thrive Games and xocial.
“The clients you see here today are just a small sample of the companies we are currently supporting,” stated Carter. “We’re asking you, our innovation community, to get to know all of our startups. Offer them feedback and support, help them make a connection with someone you know, or just listen to their pitch and ask questions. It has been said that it takes a community to build a startup, and we want to continue to build that community with your help.”
At the event, attendees were given an “innovation passport” to document that they had spoken to all of the companies showcasing. Those who completed their passport received a small prize for their efforts.
“The innovation community is thriving in Hamilton, but we need your support to fuel this continued growth,” stated Carter.
Photos of the event can be seen here: www.innovationfactory.ca/thebigdifphotos.
Thanks to event partners McMaster University, the City of Hamilton and McMaster Innovation Park, The Big DiF event was free for attendees.
More information on the companies that showcased:
Avertus has created a home based, wireless, brain monitoring and seizure warning system, with active dry electrodes. Over 50 million people world-wide have epilepsy, and assessment times for treatment can be a lengthy as often patients do not even realize they are having a seizure, which can lead to brain damage over time, or even death. avertus.ca
fred is an all-in-one Bluetooth paired glucose monitor device, which is coupled with a smartphone case housing a lancet and storage for test strips. The design of the “fred” device is sleek, and at just 6.5mm thick, it can comfortably fit in your pocket, eliminating the need for any kind of diabetic carrying case.
Flyte Studios is creating a seamless experience of playing curriculum based educational games within blended and online educational frameworks. This allows educators to create gamified and game-enhanced learning environments that produce analytical evidence of student success. www.flytestudios.com.
QReserve is a public database of research equipment, services and experts built to connect researchers and encourage the use of available research resources. They help universities and colleges catalogue tools and services to encourage resource sharing and to attract industrial collaborations. www.qreserve.com
Sound Options Tinnitus Treatments offers an effective, affordable and convenient sound therapy for tinnitus sufferers, which is a hearing condition that produces ringing in the ears. The company has developed cutting-edge software that analyzes an individual’s tinnitus and hearing loss profile to develop a customized sound-therapy treatment that is clinically proven to be more effective than other solutions. www.soundoptions.ca.
Starinse is the only Health Canada approved anticavity mouth rinse recommended for children as young as 9 months old. Using naturally occurring Xylitol, a proven anticavity fighter, Starinse helps prevents early childhood dental caries (cavities) and lets children have better dental checkups. www.starinse.com.
Thrive Games is a game development studio seeking to re-capture the sense of wonder and excitement first experienced by gamers as young children during the 1980s and 1990s. Their passion is to revive the magic and complexity that was found in the timeless classics — while infusing them with modern technologies and innovative gameplay mechanics. www.thrivegames.net.
xocial is the reward and recognition platform for everyday life. You connect through your existing social networks and can say thanks by searching the entire xocial community, giving you the opportunity to reach the people you wouldn’t typically be connected with online—the crossing guard, the volunteer hockey coach or the volunteers at the charity BBQ. www.xocial.com.