Pitch Competition


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Reimagine business continuity for main street businesses amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Pitch Competition gives small and medium enterprises incorporated in Canada the opportunity to showcase their solution to a large audience, including industry, investors, government, media, and more.

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The Pitch Competition happened on Thursday, December 3rd, 2020, 1 – 3 PM EST. The top eight startups presented to top-notch public and private sector judges. The Pitch Competition was hosted by ventureLAB, the Regional Municipality of York, and Digital Main Street to explore, source, and pilot novel solutions that support business continuity amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Solutions addressed one or a combination of the following challenge areas:


  • Increase market visibility/presence and business networking opportunities
  • Enable staff retention and access to qualified talent
  • Elevate consumer confidence, particularly for non-essential goods and services
  • Manage costs associated with COVID-19 protocol compliance 


The winning finalist received $25,000; the runner-up received $15,000; and the third-place finalist received $10,000 in funding. These finalists will have access to advice, mentorship, business-relevant training, professional networks and the opportunity to pilot or scale their innovative solutions in York Region.


Meet the 2020 Pitch Competition Winners


First Place: EAIGLE

EAIGLE offers an AI solution for Crowd Monitoring & Occupancy Data Analytics for public places with high foot traffic. With the rise of COVID-19, EAIGLE introduced a new AI solution that automates the total COVID-19 screening process for employees at points of entry. The solution monitors large crowds non-invasively without any interruption in traffic flow specific for companies with large numbers of employees/visitors.


Second Place: Wrmth

Wrmth provides the first 100% Canadian designed and manufactured outdoor heated furniture to extend the patio season. Wrmth chairs provide incubating warmth, with three temperature settings, comfortable contours, and multiple safety features, while providing a green energy solution that adds months to the outdoor patio season.

inField Solutions

Third Place: inField Solutions

inField Shoppe iQ Connected CUBBIES enable retail and food services to thrive in a COVID environment and beyond. The Connected CUBBIES solution is a patent-pending smart locker solution that provides a curbside pickup and delivery management system driven by a mobile app. It combines the advantages of physical shopping with the convenience and safety of online commerce.

Meet the 2020 Pitch Competition Finalists

Just Vertical: Just Vertical is an indoor vertical hydroponic company that creates furniture that feeds you. Our modern indoor hydroponic garden systems are sleek, sustainable, and gives the gift of fresh food all year round.

TempOwn: TempOwn is a secure peer to peer rental marketplace for essential items/equipment – the Airbnb of essential items/equipment. Our progressive cloud-based platform securely connects owners & lenders of essential items and equipment to our growing pool of pre-verified borrowers.

Greeter.AI: Greeter.AI delivers better health & safety outcomes through AI. It automates COVID-19 screening and automatically enforces health protocols, such as masks and social distancing. Organizations can eliminate the need for human screeners, cut costs and reduce the risk of outbreak.

ShopCloseBuy: ShopCloseBuy is a Community eCommerce platform providing an online one-stop shopping experience for buyers in local municipalities. Shared marketing encourages mutual support and cross-promotion of vendors with the goal of strengthening the business community as a whole.

CACHETDELIVEReh!:A “new normal” logistics company founded to support small businesses during the pandemic and beyond. End to End digital solution. We deliver, Eh!

Our Judges

Megan Seres
Managing Director

Bronwyn Smith
Head of Operations
Shopify Retail

Sayan Sivanathan
Sr. Consultant
Smart Cities & Digital Transformation, Bell Canada

Karen Dubeau
Ecosystem Development Advisor
Newmarket Chamber of Commerce

Christina Kakaflikas
Acting Director, Economic Growth, Culture & Entrepreneurship
City of Markham

Charles Banfield
Manager, Strategic Economic Initiatives
Regional Municipality of York

Key Dates

Application Period: Applications are closed

Pitch Preparation: November 12 to 24

Pitch Day: December 3

Solution Implementation: Early December 2020 to mid-February 2021 (Dates to be Finalized)

Partner Organizations

Thank you to our partners who share our passion and commitment to supporting entrepreneurs all across rising cities across the country.

Have a question?

Get in touch. Send your questions to communitycollaboration@venturelab.ca.


About ventureLAB

ventureLAB is a leading technology hub located in Markham in York Region, Canada’s second largest tech cluster. Through our programs focused on capital, talent, technology, and customers, ventureLAB has supported over 2,000 tech companies and entrepreneurs, including 100 companies that have raised over $100 million and created 3,500 jobs. Our community of entrepreneurs, innovators, and tech leaders has always been at the heart of what we do at ventureLAB. Through this initiative, we will engage our community to help main street businesses adopt digital solutions and help future-proof Ontario businesses.


Read more on what this means for businesses in York Region and across Ontario.

About Digital Main Street (DMS)

Digital Main Street is a program and service that helps main street businesses achieve digital transformation. It is cost-free, made possible by the generous support of the Government of Canada and FedDev Ontario through the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund. It was introduced to help Ontario’s bricks and mortar businesses and the economy get through this challenging time.

About the York Region Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund will support development of the innovation network in York Region. This year, in light of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the fund will focus on business continuity solutions from communities and business organizations.

For this year, the Fund is focused specifically on business continuity to help mitigate the economic impact of COVID-19 and to drive business and economic recovery in the Region. Organizations applying for this fund should be engaged in projects that will have a larger impact on helping other businesses and organizations recover from economic loss, generate profit, or increase employment in a new post COVID-19 world.