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Pitch@Palace picks up steam in Ontario

by Melanie Bechard
Apr 23, 2019

Just like that, we are already half way through the Pitch@Palace Canada On Tour event series. Last Wednesday, 17 entrepreneurs from Ontario convened at Communitech, a well-known innovation hub in Kitchener, and pitched their businesses to a packed crowd.

After an inspiring afternoon full of ideas that are making the world a better place, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, announced the finalists. They are:

  • Co-founded by two University of Waterloo students, HelpWear designs, manufactures and produces wearables in medical technology. Their HeartWatch product is a 24/7 wearable heart monitoring system that detects when a user suffers a heart attack and contacts EMS.
  • Hyreis an online event staffing marketplace for the hospitality industry. Hyre removes the need for a staffing agency, connecting event staff such as bartenders and servers directly with event organizers (venues, caterers, planners, etc.) to find work that fits their schedule. It’s currently offered in Toronto and Ottawa.
  • O2 Canada, which operates out of Communitech, 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.
  • Based in Cambridge, Synergy Disc Replacement Inc.(SDRI) 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.

The four companies will meet again at the Pitch@Palace Canada 1.0 Bootcamp and Final in Toronto on May 27-28, 2019 during Canadian Innovation Week.

A steady presence throughout Pitch@Palace Canada On Tour has been the Right Honourable David Johnston, 28th Governor General of Canada and Chair of the Rideau Hall Foundation. He said he was glad to be back in the Kitchener-Waterloo region, where he spent many years as President of University of Waterloo, putting the institution and surrounding region on the map as a centre for talent, ideas, and innovation. “Pitch@Palace, for me, is a new phase in the evolution of Canadian innovation, it puts us on the world stage in a competition with 60 different countries.”

Greg Barratt, VP of Strategic Growth, Communitech and Julie Barker-Merz, Regional President, Personal & Business Banking, Southwestern Ontario, BMO also welcomed the entrepreneurs and audience members. Thank you to their organizations for making the event possible.

This week is packed with two Pitch@Palace Canada On Tour events: Vancouver on April 24, 2019, and then Whitehorse on April 26, 2019. The Canadian finalists will become part of a global network of entrepreneurship and the winner will go to St. James’s Palace in the UK to represent Canada at the Pitch@Palace Global event in December.