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The annual competition provides up-and-coming entrepreneurs the opportunity to pitch their product and business innovations to a panel of judges, with a chance of winning prizes which together add up to over $55,000 in cash and business support services.
The six finalists were divided into two categories based off their business. The winners are. . .
Alex Bushell and Steve Wright of Lab Improvements took the grand prize in the Innovation Stream with their product CapTrack!
The innovative healthcare advancement stores and manages medical tubes with the ability to cap and refrigerate the product. Meant for medical laboratories, the CapTrack provides a fast, safe, and organizational way for anyone in the healthcare sector to better keep track of inventory.
Lab Improvements also left with the $200 FastStart prize, rewarded to an entrepreneur under 30 to add towards their business growth.
Brothers Tim and Dan Waggoner of Loch took the grand prize in the Goods and Services stream with their sunglasses product!
Crafted from 500 year-old water recovered timber from the Great Lakes, Loch sunglasses are made in Peterborough and sell online in a range of frames and lens styles. Loch’s sunglasses aim to create a bold style through high quality local resources while supporting sustainability in the production of their product.
“We’re really grateful that Bears’ Lair exists and that there is such a supportive community for start-ups and entrepreneurs,” said Tim Waggoner. “The prize package is going to push our business forward even further and faster.”
The noted four runner ups who pitched walked away with $1,000 for making it into the finale:
- Mont Pellier
- TreeWell Limited (That Dam Tea)
- Ship Shape Service – who also was awarded a free year membership by the Women’s Business Network of Peterborough.
The Venue was fully packed with entrepreneurs and supporters, watching each business pitch their ideas and face a panel with questions that challenged their business plan.
Diane Richard, Bears’ Lair 2017 Chair said she was impressed by the entrepreneurs preparation for the finale.
“We had a very robust line up of entrepreneurs this year and they all did a remarkable job with their business plans, displays and pitches,” she said. “We applaud everyone who participated in this years’ competition and we encourage them to continue to develop and grow their businesses and connect with the Peterborough and the Kawartha’s business support community.”
Congratulations to the winners of Bears’ Lair and all who competed!
The Innovation Cluster is a proud presenting sponsor for Bears’ Lair in supporting entrepreneurs in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.
The Canada Mining Innovation Council is looking for innovators to help solve challenges the mining industry faces through a collaborative “hackathon”. With mining being in the top 10 industries in Canada, participants will have the opportunity to build solutions while gaining their own network connections.
The council is looking for participants to gather into teams and solve one of two problems:
- Transporting ore and waste from difficult to access areas
- Reducing the volume of mine tailings
From May 12-14 at the Cisco Innovation Centre in Toronto, participants will work together to solve these issues, while also:
- Adding to your resume to showcase your interest/abilities in innovation and problem solving
- Networking with executives in the mining industry
- Challenging yourself
And win prizes for problem solving including:
- $2,500 cash
- 50 silver coins
- Lunch with a mining executive
- A visit to a mine
If you are currently enrolled or recently graduated from university, or an innovative start-up who would like to build their skills with a challenge, you can register to be a part of the event!
Introducing new Pilot Program: The BIG IDeA! - 2017-04-07
We are excited to announce the Innovation Cluster has been selected as an organizer to host a new pilot program in Ontario. Its mission is to improve technology innovation to help workplaces become more accessible for people with disabilities.
Called “The BIG IDeA”, the Government of Ontario in partnership with OCAD University in Toronto developed the program, which launched in Toronto on April 4th. Now, the Innovation Cluster will begin organizing the program as well starting April 19th.
So what is The Big IDeA?
The Big IDeA is encouraging collaboration and celebrating innovation in many ways, specifically highlighting accessibility innovation to help people with disabilities.
Toronto and Peterborough are the current two cities hosting the program, with hopes that support and collaboration for the project will spread across Ontario.
High-tech companies such as Google, Microsoft, and IBM are supporting the BIG IDeA by putting research into machine learning models, technology which is designed to self-operate depending on the needs of a person or task.
How do I get involved?
Along with large companies working on new advancements, Toronto and Peterborough will have interactive workshops, challenges and events for the public to participate in and help in the development of new tech ideas.
The BIG IDeA provides collaboration by hosting:
- Design Challenges – This will bring together designers, technology companies and customers to design innovative accessibility technology.
- Design Innovation Showcases – The innovative ideas from the challenges and other innovative projects throughout Ontario can be nominated to be recognized at the showcases.
- Mapathons – People will be able to gather in teams and work on setting nearby locations as whether they are accessible or not. Not only will it give an overview for people with disabilities to know safe locations, it will also give a perspective of areas that need to become more accessible for the whole community.
By the Innovation Cluster assisting businesses and customers to create a more accessible community, we will achieve:
- Expanding customer base
- Increasing customer satisfaction and improve loyalty
- Eliminating barriers between businesses and their clients
- Gaining a competitive advantage by being inclusive
The DBIA, the council for persons with a disability, and Peterborough Economic Development will be supporting the Innovation Cluster in managing this program.