Hub350 was abuzz in May as 11 Canadian startup companies descended on the Kanata North tech park to pitch their ideas to an audience of KNBA members and tech enthusiasts – all in hopes of securing a place in the 2023 Hub350 x L-SPARK Living Lab Accelerator program.
The brainchild of L-SPARK and Hub350, the Living Lab Accelerator was launched with the aim of accelerating customer adoption and real-world deployment of 5G and next generation technology solutions that support the Kanata North community’s live, work, play, learn and innovate lifestyles.
This year was the first time the program held a pitchfest, as well as the first time they decided to look beyond Kanata’s tech park for startups – bringing in businesses from across the country to pitch.
Having 11 startups present to a live audience at Hub350 was a wonderful way to open the process to the tech park, says Elza Seregelyi, director at L-SPARK and Pitchfest host.
“We went into it with a ‘let’s see’ attitude,” she said, and they were delighted with the result.
Nailing the pitch
Taking a page from speed dating, the concept is simple enough: Selected companies get five minutes on stage to present their business’ objectives, share a success story, and explain why their solution would be a good fit for a pilot in Kanata North.
This meant founders had to be strong in marketing and selling their company.
The pitches included companies such as Carbon Neutral Club, which incentivizes employees to lower their carbon footprint, Soralink, an AI-fueled predictor which supports equipment maintenance, and Ariglad, an HR help desk that uses AI to respond to employees’ basic questions.
While businesses presented were from Halifax to Vancouver, their growth plan had to include a pilot project that is physically in Kanata North to be eligible for the Living Lab.
Four businesses will be selected for the accelerator program, which will allow them to work one-on-one with an experienced L-SPARK mentor over a four-month period to develop and grow their business.
The names of these winning companies will be announced on June 21.
Full list of Pitchfest partcipants:
- Carbon Neutral Club
- Invert Inc.
- Micro Engineering Tech Inc
- Autonom Inc.