PITCH With a Twist - Celebrating International Women's Day

March 8, 2023
5:30PM – 7:30PM EST

$10,000 in cash prizes!

PITCH showcases innovation and entrepreneurship from University of Toronto and our greater community. Focusing on early-stage ventures, we bring together innovators from a variety of sectors to pitch their businesses for cash prizes and in-kind support.

Join us on March 8th, 2023 for our fourth PITCH, International Women’s Month Edition, to stand in support of women entrepreneurs at a competition that promises to break down barriers and reward great ideas from diverse voices.

With a panel of women-identifying judges and all the people pitching will be women-identifying, coming in from two streams of ideas and early stage startups, come celebrate creativity and entrepreneurship for all. Learn from amazing speakers sharing their experiences, network with great companies, and witness exciting pitches as companies compete at the hub of entrepreneurship in action.

Speaker:

Lesley Hampton (she/her)

Lesley is an Anishinaabe Artist and Fashion Designer focused on mental health awareness, body positivity, and authentic representation in fashion and media. She is the Creative Director of LESLEY HAMPTON, an Indigenous-owned, women-led, size-inclusive clothing and accessory brand based in Toronto, ON. She is also a model/content creator represented by BNM Model Management, and speaker on Indigenous entrepreneurship and diversity in fashion. Lesley Hampton aims to decolonize euro-centric standards in the fashion industry, inspire the next decade of Indigenous leaders and entrepreneurs, and create space for empowerment and representation in fashion, media, and beauty.

Lesley has been described as “an important Indigenous face in the Canadian fashion landscape” by the Globe and Mail, number one Canadian Brand to keep your eye on from VOGUE, and “Wherever her career takes her, activism and style will always go hand-in-hand” according to The National Post. Lesley has also been the cover story on Now Toronto.

Lesley Hampton is a member of Temagami First Nation, located in northern Ontario, and she identifies as an adult ‘Third Culture Kid’ with her formative years spent in Canada’s Arctic and Atlantic, Australia, England, Indonesia, and New Caledonia. This amalgamation of her Anishinaabe indigeneity and her international nomadic upbringing nurtured a passion for socio-cultural causes.

Venture Categories:

Early stage

Do you have a business idea that will change the world for better? If you have an idea that aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals then you should apply here!

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must have a self-identified woman founder or co-founder
  • Submission to uphold equity and inclusion practices, which includes “creat[ing] a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person”, in keeping with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  • Registrants must be a student or alumni of the University of Toronto; OR participants of any U of T CLA/Incubator programs
  • Product or service idea must not be in the market (pre-launch)
  • Less than $25k in investments (Angels, VCs, grants) as of February 7th, 2023

Prizes Details Announced Shortly!

Later stage

If you are the founder of co-founder of an early-stage start-up that aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals then you should apply here!

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Must have a self-identified women founder or co-founder
  • Submission to uphold equity and inclusion practices, which includes “creat[ing] a climate of understanding and mutual respect for the dignity and worth of each person”, in keeping with the Ontario Human Rights Code.
  • Must be incorporated in Canada
  • Registrants must be a student or alumni of the University of Toronto; OR participants of EDGE or any of the U of T CLA/Incubator programs
  • Less than $100k in cumulative revenue and/or external investment (Angels, VCs, grants) as of February 7th, 2023

Prizes Details Announced Shortly!

All finalists must be able to:

  • Have a Pitch practice session with an ICUBE staff member
  • Available to present in-person on March 8th as a finalist
  • U of T students and alumni are strongly encouraged to register and complete the free UTE IP Education Program – Level 1 modules (~2 hours) before the competition.

Important Dates:

  • Applications open – February 7th
  • Applications deadline – February 28th
  • Event: March 8th, 2023 5:30-7:30 pm
Our Judges:
2022's winners:
HDAX Therapeutics Inc.
First Place Early Stage Winner
Sparked
Second Place Early Stage Winner
Hope Pet Food
First Place Later Stage Winner
Liohan
Second Place Later Stage Winner
Arbre
People's Choice Winner
2021's winners:
Mommy Monitor - Early Stage Winner

The Mommy Monitor app is a maternal health platform that provides on demand, customized support pre/postnatal for parents & a clinical tool to predetermine pregnancy complications.

MedEssist - Later Stage Winner

MedEssist turns pharmacies in Canada into proactive healthcare hubs for their communities. By modernizing these pharmacies, MedEssist is revolutionizing how population-scale health initiatives can be adapted to meet the requirements of local communities by enabling the first and only inventory-based solutions for pharmacy. Scaling across the country during the global pandemic, MedEssist’s proprietary patient triaging software is matching patients based on personal risk to local vaccine inventory to ensure equitable, accessible, and rapid deployment of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

Axonaly - People's Choice Winner

Axonaly is a startup venture revolutionizing mental health care. We are creating a mobile application along with an innovative sweat-sensing patch that tracks key biomarkers and calculates the onset of anxiety attacks. Our mobile application provides users with a range of programming to provide relief when an attack is detected. Axonaly places empirical mental health management in the hands of consumers.

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ICUBE, The home of Social Entrepreneurship at UofT, offers resources, programs, workshops and mentorship for people who are changing the world. If you want to make a difference, ICUBE is here to help you make it.

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

An experiential learning program for anyone with a great idea who wants to make it happen.

A boutique-style program to support your business development and help you grow.

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