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Does Your Business Need a Pitch Person? Meet the Strongest New Voices in Manitoba.

Innovate Manitoba held their annual Pitch’Day event this past Wednesday, November 18 to a packed house of 240 people including entrepreneurs and business professionals. Pitch’Day allows anyone with a business idea to deliver two-minute pitches to an expert panel of judges. Entrepreneurs gain traction on their ideas, experience with pitching, networking, and exposure to potential investors.

Innovate Manitoba supports the creation of next-generation startups and the people working in this growing market. It’s tough navigating the many challenges and barriers to success entrepreneurs are faced with at each stage of their business. One of the most crucial steps is selling your idea and getting through the business pitch.

The Pitch’Day room is filled with an audience from Winnipeg’s entrepreneurship and innovation communities, so the pressure is on. They say with risk comes reward, as the winners received cash prizes and professional advice to take their idea to the next phase. Follow below for a full list of winners.

The agenda for the night was well thought out with plenty of time for networking. I heard of a few business deals taking place and new connections being established, which is a huge part of the entrepreneur community.

Jan Lederman is the President of Innovate Manitoba and as a business lawyer with extensive experience in angel investing, she has led her team through another successful event. Over the last few years, their team has managed to bring in some incredible startup and venture capital experts to enlighten Winnipeg’s business community.  The judges this year were exceptional and asked all of the tough questions:

MTS was an Innovator Sponsor and I attended the event with Jerin Valel, Director of MTS Digital. We both love to show our support to the startup business community and we had an amazing time listening to all the creative pitches.

For those who missed it this year, you can listen to the entire event coverage via a podcast by local entrepreneur superstars, Chris Johnson and Michael Legary. Also hear judges’ comments and follow the action that was live on Periscope.

Meet the Winners and “The Top 15”

Over 30 startup entrepreneurs competed in the round one of pitches on Thursday, November 12. This “Preliminary Round” helped select the top 15 pitches to move on to Pitch’Day. Below are the winners and additional pitches, with thanks to Innovate Manitoba for the list of descriptions for each category and pitch.

1st Place: Traptap, Presented by Bryce North:

Bryce is a seasoned pitchman, and it was evident by his pitch in this event. He is also the Co-Founder and CEO of AdVolve Media and has competed in Canada’s Most Promising Startup and Get in the Ring — so no slouch in the Startup Community.

Traptap is a completely legal, hands-free, speed trap indicator with pre-mapped red light cameras, school zones and crowdsourced radar traps and road hazards.

2nd Place: People’s Choice AND Best Student Pitch, Comfort Wave Mobile, Presented by Jesse Perry:

A mobile device using microwave technology that pre-screens for breast cancer without breast compression in about 2 minutes. The device focuses on patient comfort and quick analysis as a pre-screen to mammography and has the potential to be used in rural and remote locations across the world.

Best Researcher’s Pitch: Mi-Life, Presented by Sandeep Kaur:

A non-contact, portable, microwave-based life detection system that can detect and locate a live person when hidden behind most types of barriers, including under the rubble caused by earthquakes or other disasters.

Best Technology Pitch: GiftMail, Presented by Matt Cibinel:

A hyper-local iOS and Android supported app that lets users purchase and send digital gift cards via email, text message or Facebook from local businesses that find it difficult to break into the online gift spending market.

Best New Product: PopRX, Presented by Ali Esmail:

An app that allows patients to fill or refill their medications with just a picture, and have those medications delivered the same day for free.

Best Social Innovation Pitch: USAFI Hand Washing Station, presented by Charles Gikwerere 

USAFI is a hand washing device to help low income families who have no running water in their home to have a washing station at their convenience. Although this pitch didn’t make the official Top 15, it still took the Best Social Innovation award for the night.

Additional Pitches:

Cakewalk, Presented by Ben Myers: 

An app that tracks the user’s activity throughout the day and publicly shames them on their social networks if they aren’t achieving their exercise goals.

Docuful, Presented by Kevin Buckner:

A cloud-based, ‘intelligent’ document storage and deadline filing reminder system that walks entrepreneurs through managing their governance, legal and accounting documents while providing effortless sharing between staff, investors, bookkeepers, accountants and lawyers.

Integrated Armor Systems, Presented by Matt Olson: 

The lightest and most flexible Spike/Stab body armor that meets US DOJ Level 3 standards. This patented material has applications in law enforcement, military, corrections and private security.

Lift Innovations, Presented by Jesse Marr:

Lift Innovations designs and manufactures a high quality and completely novel grinder for medical and legal recreational cannabis markets.

Max Evaluations & Analytics, Presented by Bob MacGregor, Jay Roberts and Jason Abbott:

A web/app platform allowing athletic skills to be easily assessed, evaluated, analyzed and tracked over time.

PanoPla, Presented by Daniel Blair:

A low-cost platform that allows users to build their own virtual tours or virtual reality content for business, educational or recreational purposes. Read more about Daniel and PanoPla as we profiled his startup in this emerging industry.

Passages Media Ltd., Presented by Travis Dreger:

An online and highly social platform for remembering deceased loved ones that allows for the collection of memories, videos, stories and other content for sharing, publishing genealogy and record keeping.

RideBuddies, Presented by David Dang:

A social media platform with a local distribution strategy that connects people who live nearby who want a long-term ride-sharing relationship – saving them time and money.

Trukmate, Presented by Blake Sabeski:

Uber for trucks – it connects truck owners with people needing a truck’s utility.

Vidday, Presented by Denis Devigne:

A collaborative, online, social, and mobile video “many to one” application designed to be a virtual, online surprise party for events such as retirements, wedding presentations and birthdays.

Innovate Manitoba has more upcoming programs and events on their schedule. Learn about Launch’Pad, Startup Skills Workshops and more.

What were your favourite pitches from the night? Let us know in the comments below.

Marney Stapley

Marney is the Vice President, North Forge Technology Exchange. The North Forge Technology Exchange provides access to advanced digital fabrication and prototyping equipment with support from entrepreneurial and innovation communities. In her spare time, she helps to shape one of the world's most respected blogs dedicated entirely to Additive Manufacturing / 3D printing. She is also a volunteer for TEDx Winnipeg as a team member who selects and works with engaging speakers.

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