LiONS Lair invests in startups. The competition takes entrepreneurs through extensive training and provides the chance to pitch their business and win a CASH PRIZE!


LiONS LAIR is an annual competition presented by Innovation Factory in partnership with the City of Hamilton Economic Development office, which brings together the entrepreneurship and innovation community in Hamilton. The competition gives innovators the opportunity to pitch their ideas to a panel of our city’s top business experts – the “Lions” – for a chance to win big prizes.

The first annual competition took place in 2011, and has significantly grown – in application volumes, gala attendees, prizing and buzz – year after year.


lions lair training hamilton innovation factory pitch competition

finalists selection

So how does LiONS LAIR work? Every Spring, hopeful participants submit applications which are evaluated by a panel of independent judges.

The judges’ score the plans based on a company’s product, its commercial viability and the ability of the entrepreneur to execute.



business & pitch training

The finalists are taken through training sessions intended to strengthen their skills in pitching and developing questions and responses on the fly.





Each of the finalists are required to deliver a verbal minute pitch that will be recorded and available online. From there, the participants will interview with a panel of experts to score their company’s legal and business status.





The LiONS LAIR pitch competition will be delivered as a bracket-style tournament where the finalists will pitch and compete in head-to-head showdowns.




Many of our past finalists are continuing to grow their businesses post-LiON’S LAIR and are making an impact on Hamilton’s economy.

Have a question about LiON’S LAIR? Send us an email at [email protected] or visit to learn more!