Pitch Competition


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The 2021 HardTech Pitch Competition will award close to $100,000 in prizes, and serve as an application to the coveted third cohort of ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative. Applications are now closed. 

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2021 Pitch Competition Finalists


The 2021 HardTech Pitch Competition will award close to $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizing, and serve as an application to the coveted third cohort of ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative. Eligible companies will fast-track their applications to the Hardware Catalyst Initiative, Canada’s only hardware and semiconductor lab and incubator to help accelerate commercialization at scale.


The HardTech Pitch Competition will be held on June 23, 2021, in partnership by ventureLAB and the Regional Municipality of York. The competition is open to small businesses developing hardware and semiconductor-focused products. Up to eight finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their solution to a broad audience, including industry leaders, investors, government, media, and more!


Company innovations can impact, but are not limited to, the following industries:

  • Cleantech
  • Electric Vehicles, Smart Vehicles, and Mobility (inclusive design)
  • MedTech and Wearables (Smart Glasses, etc.)
  • Smart Agriculture and Industrial Solutions
  • Drones
  • Smart Retail and Fintech hardware
  • 5G and Next Gen Communications
  • Smart City and Smart Factory applications deploying sensor systems, IOT and IIOT, and accelerated AI hardware


Applications are now closed. 


Key Dates

Application Deadline: May 17, 12:00 p.m EST*
Finalists Selected: May 17 – 21
Orientation: May 27, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Pitch Coaching: May 31
Mock Pitch Day: June 2 – June 8 (TBC)
Pitch Day: June 23, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. EST (Time subject to change)


*Applications are now closed. 

2021 Finalists

IdeaCuria is a Canadian company that is an innovation leader in AI sensor systems developing smart sensor products. Their Digital Spectrometry (TM) platform is multi-functional and can be used for environmental monitoring of fugitive emissions of greenhouse gasses.
Pontosense is a Wireless Intelligence Sensing company using mmWaves to measure vital signs. Their technology aids applications and deployment in automotive, and smart home industries, providing leading accuracy and monitoring capabilities.
Cyberworks has developed a vehicle agnostic autonomous navigation technology platform for third party commercial equipment. Their smart technology replaces the driver of any type of equipment that is pushed or steered, thereby mitigating labor shortages, reducing labor costs and increasing operating efficiencies for customers by redeploying employees who work with wheeled machinery.
Titan Haptics TITAN Haptics is a haptics company developing next-generation wideband HD motors called LMRs. Instead of springs or flexures, the motor uses a floating magnetic array with 1 moving part, providing superior durability, and wide frequency response and new effects.



Daanaa helps forward-thinking solar panel manufacturers leverage its proprietary bimodal chip-based technology to transfer energy freely, solving formerly impossible energy challenges that were previously constrained by the limitations of physical hardware.
Nfinite Nanotechnology is an advanced material company that enables breakthrough innovations to redefine how we live, use, and create using open-air atomic layer deposition (ALD) techniques. Their turnkey solutions provide quick market entry and large-scale production capability to cleantech companies. 
MMSENSE is helping power the future of autonomous and connected vehicles. MMSENSE is developing leading edge beam-forming technologies in millimeter wave range for automotive imaging radar, MIMO beamforming for mmwave 5G and multi-beam solutions for LEO satellite markets. 
RockMass is a Toronto-based mining technology company that started in 2016. The Axis Mapper is a LiDAR-based mobile data collection solution that uses point cloud data to determine and digitally record structural orientation measurements in real time. The Axis Mapper improves safety, increases productivity, and saves time, while reducing development cycle time. 


Have a question?

For questions related to the application process, contact hci@venturelab.ca

What is the Hardware Catalyst Initiative?

ventureLAB’s Hardware Catalyst Initiative (HCI) is Canada’s only lab and incubator for founders building hardware and semiconductor-focused products, enabling the creation of transformative technologies that will power our products of tomorrow — including healthcare technology, consumer electronics, telecommunications, smart energy, connected transportation, and more. Funded in part by the Government of Canada, through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Hardware Catalyst helps tech companies accelerate their time to market in a sector that normally incurs lengthy entry and scale times, enabling Canadian hardware and semiconductor companies to grow and scale locally, and compete globally.

About the York Region Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund encourages innovation towards business continuity and business recovery efforts by supporting promising early stage start-ups, accelerators, incubators, and community partners.

Our Judges

Tarun Verma
Managing Partner, Silicon Catalyst
Duncan Stewart
Partner, BDC Deep Tech Fund
Shelley Kuipers
Founder, The51
Rani Pendse
Senior Partner Development Manager, Microsoft 
Olivier Rousseaux
Director Venture Development, imec
Tony Di Benedetto
CEO, Launch Capital
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