This year, startup businesses went big at the annual LiONS LAIR pitch competition.
Three businesses — Boardball Inc., Llif Healthcare, and Chirp — shared nearly $50,000 in prize money during the Wednesday event.
Returning to an in-person event after two years, the 12th annual LiONS LAIR awards gala (presented by Innovation Factory) drew over 300 attendees from Hamilton’s business and innovation community at Carmen’s Banquet Centre.
The competition had 16 finalists, pitching their business ventures to a panel of Hamilton’s top business experts and potential investors. Think Shark Tank, but local.
David Carter, Executive Director of Innovation Factory shares, “The gala on Wednesday was the result of three months of training, and lots of sessions, pitches and presentations.”
The finalists at the ‘pitch-madness’ tournament didn’t just ‘pitch an idea’. “It’s a business that’s behind the idea which is so important to us,” Carter said.
Here are the 12th annual LiONS LAIR winners:
The Toronto-based startup company took home $25,000 prize money as the LiONS LAIR grand prize winner. Additionally, the company won another $2,500 for the People’s Choice award. Amanda Nguyen created a new sports game — a more accessible version of volleyball — with her best friend in 2020. The prototype, which doesn’t require a volleyball net, blew up online. It is now available on Amazon, Walmart and Target. Nguyen, who has a marketing background, told The Spectator she will be using the prize money to build on the existing game concept and expand into international markets.
The second place winner, Llif Healthcare, a Hamilton-based health-care startup, won $15,000 for its electronic medical record database. The platform creates an MD dashboard for doctors and health care professionals, providing them feedback in three areas — quality and safety, care efficiency, and cost based on data collected through electronic medical records (EMR). First, the data is sent to Llif’s cloud-based platform. Then, physicians can then see their performance indexed anonymously with their peers, and can make strategic decisions on improvements. St. Joseph Healthcare is already working with the organization.
Finally, as the third place winner of the 12th annual LiONS LAIR, there’s Chirp. Focused on the well-being of aging adults, Chirp allows caregivers to remotely monitor and assist older people. The Waterloo-based company was awarded a $10,000 cash prize for its innovation. The device provides home-based care by using radar data like walking speed, calls for help, and real-time notifications sent to caregivers. The device uses contactless monitoring, and eliminates invasive video recording.