We wanted a showdown and a showdown it was! The vibe at last week’s Innovation Night Showdown was sizzling. There was delicious food, interactive entertainment and nostalgic sweet treats! The weather held off and it was gathering of iF and MIP clients, friends, partners, and fresh faces. If you missed all the action, keep reading for an exciting overview of how it all went down…or check out some video coverage from Valleytown Media!
The night kicked off with mingling and networking while indulging in the most delicious southern BBQ Hamilton’s ever seen! The pulled pork, chicken, and beef was piled high on fresh bakery buns accompanied by home-style baked beans and refreshing coleslaw. Guests were marvelling over the generous portions and delectable tastes of Rolly Rockets BBQ (470 King St W, Ham) as they chatted with new and old faces and prepared for the round-robin pitch tournament about to begin.
After a couple friendly hours of catching up with friends and meeting new contacts, everyone took their seat with a large piece of cardstock – blue on one side and orange on the other – ready to participate in our first ever INNOVATION NIGHT SHOWDOWN. Past Innovation Night winners gathered in front of a visual tournament board to determine their place in the competition and prepare for round one. Our featured companies included:
Topic Simple creates short animated videos for the web that explain and promote your product, idea, business, or startup in a fun and interesting way.
At Air Conveyance Systems, we design, fabricate and install material separation and bi product recovery systems. Our patented Air Wash is the heart of our separation system. We are the leaders in plastic recycling systems specializing in converting carpet, tire, computer and automotive waste into re-useable products. Equipped with a full sized production testing lab we can demonstrate our separation technology eliminating any process surprises. Air Conveyance Systems have assisted our customers in diverting their waste streams from landfill to marketable products that can be re-used internally or out sourced to other companies. We have diverted millions of pounds of waste from local landfills, making our customers environmentally sound with increased profits.
Mohamed El Mahallawy
Don't you hate missing savings on your favorite vendors? Or how about receiving irrelevant promotions that may not be suitable to you? Nervu changes that. Simply go online, select your favorite vendors, sit back and relax. Whenever they have a saving, sale or promotion, we will text message you to let you know. The beauty about this is you select what suits your lifestyle, we eliminate irrelevant spam and it doesn't cost you a dime.
Nervu.ca - Always on the lookout.
O2 OXYGEN BAR
Craig P Denby
We make 94.7 % pure oxygen with sixteen flavours of aromatherapy. Our customers have told us about their experience with headache and fatigue relief from using our product. We use an Oxygen Concentrator to take room air to almost 95% pure oxygen.
We specialize in renewable energy systems and energy efficiency services providing considerable savings throughout Southern Ontario with the highest value in today's best technologies including : Solar PV (Ontario microFIT program), Thermal Video Audits, LED Lighting Retrofits, Nano Insulation, and High Efficiency Windows.
Canuck Corp. has exclusive distribution rights for a new chemical-free fabric called CoolCore that can cool to about 65F just by adding water to it. Our company makes various cooling products including scarves, towels, neck wraps and apparel. All of our apparel is made in Canada and the majority of our towels are too.
The ability to accept credit card payments through a Point of Sale machine today is completely out of reach for small merchants around the world. Snappay instantly turns any smartphone into a POS machine, no crazy fees, no additional hardware, sign up and immediately begin accepting payment.
HAMILTON CITY ROLLER GIRLS
Established in 2006 the Hammer City Roller Girls (HCRG) are trailblazers for modern flat track roller derby in Canada. As a women only, grassroots, volunteer organization they are focused on promoting a healthy avenue for women to grow athletically while getting involved in the community. As members of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association, they promote the highest level of competitive international game play while fostering an attitude of sportswomanship amongst league members and in Hamilton. With local and international bouts HCRG always put their best skate forward to promote their hometown pride of 'Real Sport. Real City. Real Women.
Crowds were engaged round by round as we dwindled from 8 competitors down to 4 after the 2 minute round on problem/solution: Topic Simple, Nervu, Cool Canuck, Snappay. Involving the audience in the voting aspect was amazing! There was a sea of orange and blue after each individual showdown, determining who would move on the following round. Naturally, as these were the best of the best of our Innovation Night participants, each round was neck in neck. At points, Ron Neumann, iF’s Executive Director who was doubling as the night’s MC, even had to ask the audience to vote colour by colour to get a more accurate result – that’s how close they were!! In round 2, the 4 remaining companies pitched their best 2 minutes on market opportunity. Between Nervu stripping down some articles of clothing and Cool Canuck taking a different approach to the meaning of “market opportunity”, it was a nail-biter to the end. In the closest of competitions the final showdown featured Nervu’s Mo El Mahallawy and Snappay’s Jim Rudnick spewing their best executive summary in 2 minutes or less.
I’m sure it came as no surprise to many that our very own Difizen of the Year, a crowd pleaser, a swift businessman, and a flourishing Hamilton advocate, JIM RUDNICK of SNAPPAY brought the house down as our final winner! Snappay took home a fantastic prize package featuring a brand new iPad 3, an hour meeting with accomplished entrepreneur executive, Mark Chamberlain, and a Mabel’s Labels bundle featuring their new Write-Away labels. He delivered a polished speech in appreciation and lead the way to the Sweet Ice Cones, our delightful dessert.
The night concluded with the ever crowd-pleasing girls from Sweet Ice Cones serving up mouth-watering warm-weather treats. 300 clients, business partners, and Hamilton professionals lined up like schoolyard students to get their hands on one (or many) of 5 amazing unlimited flavours. The flavours of the evening were each attributed to our incredible Showdown sponsors: SB Partners Apple Cider, kitestring Pink Lemonade, MIP Raspberry Green Tea, and iF Strawberry Lime (plus of course Sweet Ice Cones signature Sweet Espresso flavour!)! The night wouldn’t have been possible or nearly as successful without the generous support of all these partners. On behalf of all the attendees and iF staff, THANK YOU!
Another great big thank-you goes out to all the attendees that brought along non-perishable food items. In response to Hamilton’s food bank’s recent desperate call out for supplies, iF raised the challenge to all our summer BBQ guests. We were extremely overwhelmed and humbled at the support of the Hamilton community! The following morning we delivered 3 large boxes and $150 to those in need in our own backyard. Way to go HamOnt!!!
Lastly, a note on one challenge we faced at one of our biggest events to date. Despite a few dark clouds and giant gusts of wind threatening our orange and blue balloon invasion in MIP’s newly updated courtyard, we had a record-breaking turnout. In the days leading up to the Showdown - which we combined with our annual Summer Sizzle Barbeque with a new twist on Innovation Night - we actually had to advertise that we were SOLD OUT to those still inquiring from the community. This was a tough message for Hamilton’s last-minute lollygaggers. However, when confirming catering numbers and liquor license capacities, we simply cannot expand our attendance numbers at the last minute. This was a hard lesson to learn as some our most valuable long-time supporters showed up unregistered and had to wait in a waiting-list line as we conducted up-to-the-minute headcounts. We encourage all of HamOnt to come out to iF events and see the great things going on around innovation, but you MUST REGISTER in advance! We look forward to hosting even bigger and more outstanding events in the future.
See you there!