PRIDE Pitch 2024 – The Recap 

On June 10, 2024, ICUBE, The University of Toronto, and the City of Mississauga held their fifth annual PRIDE Pitch Event, awarding $10,000 in cash prizes and a partnership with Say Hi to the Future to UofT’s LGBTQ2S+ entrepreneurs. The PRIDE Pitch Event aims to provide support and resources to these entrepreneurs, and to encourage them to continue pursuing their goals and their dreams. This year, it hosted a group of talented and driven entrepreneurs with innovative start-ups.  

Wamiri is an applied research studio dedicated to democratizing access to knowledge and information needed for growth across Africa. Their flagship project, “Alkebulan”, is an AI-powered platform that aggregates, digitizes, and makes African knowledge accessible and actionable for researchers, educators, and innovators locally and globally. Tolu Alebiosu has a background in sustainability management and a passion for leveraging technology for social impact. Tolu started this journey to bridge the knowledge gap between Africa and the rest of the world. Wamiri consists of a diverse team of AI experts, data scientists, and scholars who share a common mission to unlock the potential of African knowledge and drive inclusive growth. 

You can find Wamiri on Twitter and Instagram @wamiristudio

Neuropeutics is a pharmaceutical company developing targeted therapies to extend neurodegenerative disease patients’ survival and improve their quality of life. They have developed a patent-pending lead small molecule with great efficacy in preclinical trials and are now working to advance it to clinical trials. Catherine (Mogyi) Kirschner and is an intern at Neuropeutics Inc and a 3rd year undergraduate student at the University of Toronto, double majoring in biochemistry and immunology.  

Regrain is a social enterprise that makes natural food and soap products from agri-food byproducts. Their mission is to drive a circular economy in the food industry through collaboration and innovation. Chenge Yang is a creative solopreneur who is passionate about science and sustainability. Chengye came up with Regrain while working at a food processor, where they witnessed firsthand the large amounts of food waste that is generated and saw an opportunity to create change.  

You can find Regrain on Instagram @regrainproject and on Facebook @biophyter 

Leapon offers SaaS products designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs to efficiently manage and grow their customer relationships. Their solution includes a digital business card, networking profile, booking system, and personal customer relationship management. Their vision is to automate these processes, making essential tools mobile-friendly and accessible, supporting business growth at an affordable price. Nikhil Pawar co-founded Leapon after observing the challenges faced by small businesses in recovering their customer base post-COVID. Them and their co-founder engaged with service providers to understand their needs.  

You can find Leapon on Instagram and on Twitter @LeaponTech 

The pitch event took place outside The Blind Duck at the University of Toronto Mississauga, complete with beautiful Pride decorations, some fun music, and our wonderful judges: Jason Murray, David Grisim, and Catherine Meade. After some wonderful presentations and some difficult deliberation, the $10,000 cash prize was awarded to Leapon! Leapon will also have the opportunity to attend Say Hi to the Future’s annual conference in September, in Mississauga, and will be featured on their podcast. Read on to find out more about Leapon.  

A huge congratulations to all of our contestants and the winners, and great thanks to all of our participants and our judges! If you would like to join us for future events, check out .  

Happy Pride Month!  

More about Leapon 

When Nikhil came to Canada to pursue his Master’s degree, he observed that many service providers and small businesses were struggling to regain their customer base post-COVID. This inspired him and his co-founder to start talking to these businesses to understand their pain points. They realized there was significant frustration with existing complex and costly CRM tools. Concurrently, his brother was also struggling with the same in his business, so they began supporting him by creating a combination of tools. This experience revealed an opportunity, leading to the creation of Leapon, a personal relationship management assistant designed to help small businesses manage and grow their customer relationships efficiently.

With the $10,000 they won through ICUBE’s PRIDE Pitch event, Leapon will further develop their product by adding more useful features for their existing users and reaching out to more potential users. Their goal is to help businesses create meaningful interactions with their customers. They believe that when their users succeed, they succeed.

Leapon’s Website:

Leapon’s LinkedIn:

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Indigenous business training program created by RedBird Circle Inc. in partnership with UofT Libraries, ICUBE UTM and The Bridge at UTSC

An experiential learning program that follows the school 3 semesters schedule, for anyone with a great idea who wants to make it happen.

A boutique-style remote program to support your business development and help you grow through one-on-one support. This program is open all year.

A student-led creative studio with intends to serve the prototyping and design needs of our ventures and small businesses in our community.

This 2-day retreat is designed to help you reflect on your journey, what drives you, all the hats you wear and what is next for you and your social enterprise.