Following a successful Boot Camp where 24 Pitch@Palace Canada 1.0 finalists gathered as a community, learned from mentors, and practised their pitches to perfection, the group reunited at the Art Gallery of Ontario on May 28 looking to punch their ticket to St. James’s Palace to represent Canada at Pitch@Palace Global in December. Fittingly, the Final was held during Canadian Innovation Week, which is powered by the Rideau Hall Foundation and aims to connect, cultivate and celebrate innovation across Canada.
The Final showcased entrepreneurs’ many unique innovations to an esteemed audience of Canadian business leaders and HRH The Duke of York, who founded Pitch@Palace in 2014 to accelerate and amplify entrepreneurship around the world. “What we’ve seen around Canada is quite extraordinary,” he said, before urging the audience to help the entrepreneurs in whatever way they can, whether that’s through mentorship, investment, or providing access to supply chains and distribution systems.
One by one each entrepreneur took the stage to the packed room and offered a polished, articulate explanation of their business and their ask of the audience. For some it was connecting to business or political leaders, while others sought guidance to help their business grow and scale. Regardless of who was going to represent Canada on the world stage, one thing was clear: all were impressive, and the competition was tight.
After 24 pitches, it was time to vote on the Pitch@Palace app. The room was abuzz with speculation and chatter, and shortly thereafter the Duke of York took the stage and announced the following results:
People’s Choice Award-Winner:
- Synergy Disc Replacement Inc. designs, tests and commercializes innovative surgeon-driven products to address degenerative disc disease in the spine. Its Synergy Disc is the first artificial disc designed to restore physiological motion and correct sagittal balance.
Third Place Winners:
- Coastable Biotechnologies creates sustainable and fully compostable bioplastics from abundant natural resources such as crustacean shells and insect husks that are normally considered as waste.
- Precision AI provides agricultural artificial intelligence for autonomous farming. From self-driving combines to aerial drones monitoring crop health in real-time, precision.ai is the technology behind the food production systems of the future.
- Synergy Disc Replacement Inc. (see description above)
First Place Winner(s):
Voting was so close that not one, but two winning finalists were selected to represent Canada in the UK this December.
- O2 Canada is on a mission to make fresh air available to everyone, no matter where they live in the world. The team produces air pollution respirators offering an all-in-one solution to protect consumer health and enhance style.
- Proof empowers governments to go paperless by streamlining internal approvals, digitizing application forms and improving policy decisions with data.
Congratulations to Proof and O2 Canada, we look forward to cheering you on in London!
The Rideau Hall Foundation (RHF) would like to express thanks to all the entrepreneurs for their perseverance, ingenuity, and working to build a better Canada and better world. As Teresa Marques, President and CEO of the RHF, said, “This is a program that’s really reflected both the depth and breadth of Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship. After experiencing so many pitches across Canada these past few months, I’m left with a feeling of profound hope, as well as excitement for the Canada that lay before us.”
Finally, a huge thanks to BMO – as the lead supporter of Pitch@Palace Canada, this first year would not have been the resounding success that it was without their commitment to Canadian innovation and entrepreneurship.
If you missed the Final or simply want to relive the action, check out the live stream here.