The Hub Startup Showcase 2018

Posted on Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

Written by Jasmine Dament

The Hub Incubator Cohort 11

Are you passionate about solving problems important to you while also improving lives of people around the world? Our Hub Incubator Startups feel the same way and have been working away for the past semester to strengthen their business model, complete customer discovery, and prototype their product.

Cohort 11 of the Hub Incubator are not only solving problems faced by populations around the world, but also answered the “how” in well-rehearsed, captivating 3-minute pitch presentations at the Hub Startup Showcase on Wednesday, December 5th at the Royal Brock Hotel.

The six startup businesses took the stage one-by-one in front of an audience of more than eighty attendees, including students, community members, family, faculty, and judges.

Thanks to the rigorous weekly pitch training provided by the Hub Incubation Services Manager, Tyler Zemlak, the startup founders had the courage to get on stage and deliver flawless pitches, while also effortlessly answering the tough judges’ questions.

All six businesses were given a shout out by Julia Christensen Hughes, Dean of the College of Business and Economics, for a job well done. Dean Christensen Hughes commended the startups for their dual-focus on social impact while driving profit.

“We are proud to develop and inspire entrepreneurs who will lead the shift to a more sustainable, responsible, and equitable world, and drive the highest possible standards” – Dean Julia Christensen Hughes

During the intermission, audience members dashed to the polling stations where they had the opportunity to vote for the winner of the “People’s Choice Award”. Then it came time to announce the winners of the three awards up for grabs.

The Warren and Deborah Jestin Impact Award was awarded under the discretion of Julia Christensen Hughes, Dean of the College of Business and Economics, Kristel Manes, Executive Director of the Business Centre Guelph-Wellington, and Wyatt Trainer, founder of Lendly and Summer ’18 recipient of the award. This award focused on the social impact of the startups’ business models. After a drumroll, the winners, Kiran Bains and Laura Frielingsdorf of Upcycle Kitchen, were announced! The Upcycle Kitchen works with the Seed in Guelph to rescue misshapen and undesirable produce from landfills and makes delicious tomato sauces and other preserves from rescued produce. While doing so, the Upcycle Kitchen also provides jobs to youth facing barriers to employment, solving another local issue in Guelph.

The Executive Choice Award was given by a panel of executives from Nuvo Pharmaceuticals, a pharmaceutical company located in Mississauga, Ontario. The panel included John London (chairman), Jesse Ledger (CEO), and Mary-Jane Burkett (CFO). The Executive’s Choice Award’s focus was on a business model that is disruptive and scalable. After a challenging deliberation, John announced the winners – Austin Bruch and Luke Climenhage of A9-Lighting! Austin and Luke have built an intra-canopy greenhouse light that makes it easier for greenhouse growers to yield high outputs in the winter months. They are working to engage with early adopters of their lighting solutions to help growers all over the world to be more efficient!

The last award of the night was the People’s Choice Award. Voted on by audience members, the People’s Choice Award provided the opportunity for attendees to vote on the business which resonated most with them. The People’s Choice Award included the revenue of all ticket sales for the evening, resulting in a $585 prize for the winning startup! The ballots were counted and the winner was announced by Jakki Prince, our Entrepreneur in Residence who is a mentor to our startup businesses. After a dramatic last drumroll, the winners were announced – Kiran Bains and Laura Frielingsdorf of Upcycle Kitchen!

We’d like to once again congratulate all of our startup businesses on their performance at the Hub Startup Showcase, and for all of their hard work this semester! We look forward to building the Hub community further and continuing to engage with our now Hub Alumni! Congratulations Cohort 11!

To learn more about all of the startups in Cohort 11, visit our Meet Cohort 11 page.


If you’re interested in learning more about the Hub Incubator Program, we want to hear from you! Please feel free to reach out to us, or check out our Hub Incubator Program page for more information.

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