Bliss Symbols and BlueOrchid win at Innovation Night!

This month’s Innovation Night took place on March 11, and iF was pleased to feature a roster of 20 – yes, 20! – brave local startups who mustered up the courage to pitch to our live audience.

Innovation Night takes place three times a year, with around 15 local startups taking the stage at McMaster Innovation Park to present a succinct, two-minute elevator pitch – not an easy feat!

The pitch competition is Hamilton’s key event for innovators and entrepreneurs to practice and perfect their pitch, and present their ideas to the local business community. This month’s pitch night garnered an audience of over 100 people, and presentations of the night were as follows*:

  • BlueOrchid – a sit-to-stand lift for caregivers
  • Country Basics – a refillable aerosol can
  • Bliss Symbols – a web-based software system for fluid and emotive communication, targeted at non-speaking individuals
  • Aliptera – a personal aircraft concept using a lip wing zero speed flight system
  • Gluten Free Tax Free – an app to help you track your receipts for gluten free items, for tax purposes
  • Mailed It! – a home and business door-to-door mail delivery service
  • Care Connector – an app that will increase patients’ ability to self management their treatment
  • Start The Cycle – a non-profit youth bike library program
  • HARvEST – a suite of waste heat recovery technologies
  • Xocial – an app that allows you to say thanks to others, and measure your positive social impact
  • FriendlyRentr – a peer-to-peer rental community where you can rent anything you own or need
  • Vestrae – makes advertising personal by inserting the ads you like into the audio or video streams you consume
  • Digital Medical Experts – a way to analysis brain wave data to estimate psychiatric diagnosis and predict the most effective treatment
  • Mattress Carrier – a better way to help you move your mattress
  • Book Bug – a better way to buy or sell university textbooks
  • Sound Options – a music therapy system for tinnitus
  • Hamilton Tool Library – a cache of home, garden, kitchen, and bike tools available for members to borrow
  • Fence In A Bag – an easy to use, portable fence in a bag
  • Syntegra Labs – looking to produce Insoluble Sulphur, a high margin product used in the making of rubber tires.
  • Chocolazor – a glue-gun type device developed to make decorating with chocolate easy


Audience members were asked to cast their votes after hearing all pitches, to select two winners, one for Best Business Idea and one for Best Pitch. Once votes were tallied, Paul Marshall of Bliss Symbols won Best Pitch, and Sina Afshani of BlueOrchid won for Best Business Idea! Paul and Sina each took home a Parrot Rolling Spider Mini Drone as their prize.



The event was filled with great networking opportunities for presenters and attendees alike. Congratulations to all of the Innovation Night presenters!

View photos from the event here!

*If you are interested in contacting any of the above companies, please email [email protected] 

Share this article
View All Categories

Featured iF Clients

Celebrate BIG ideas that make a bigger impact at The Big DiF, Innovation Factory’s annual open house and client showcase. Join 250+ people from the Hamilton-Halton community to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation.

Join Innovation Factory's Annual Open House - The Big DiF!

Network with 250+ industry professionals, discover emerging solutions from our innovators, and celebrate entrepreneurship within the Hamilton-Halton ecosystem.

May 9, 2024 | 4:00pm – 8:00pm | Hamilton, Ontario