Windsor, ON, November 19, 2020 – Five top tech scale-ups in the region got the chance to pitch in front of a group of seasoned investors and members of the Windsor-Essex Regional Alliance for a top prize of $15,000 in celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW).
“Now in its fourth cohort, Libro is tremendously proud of the impact this program has had on our region, and on the companies dedicated enough to undergo the demands of the ScaleUP four-month sprint,” said Lori Atkinson, Windsor Essex Regional Manager at Libro Credit Union. “Every year is different from the last, and this year is no exception. To see these companies totally transform their business models in the face of adversity has been a wonderful reminder of the kind of tenacity and resiliency that defines our business community here in Southwestern Ontario.”
ScaleUP is the first and only accelerator program dedicated to scaling tech companies in Windsor-Essex and Chatham-Kent.
The four-month accelerator program provides one-on-one mentoring, cohort sessions, and access to provincial, national and global networks of programs and mentors valued at $15,000.
This year’s ScaleUP programming targeted regional tech and tech-enabled companies in bringing new products to market, adopting new revenue streams and/or scaling back up amid the new realities of the economy.
“Recovery and reinvention may have been a major theme throughout this year’s cohort, but the incredible problem-solving entrepreneurs we engaged with acted as they always do, without hesitation. They saw big challenges, and they created big solutions in creative and amazing ways” said Adam Castle, Director of Venture Services at WEtech Alliance. “From rebuilding flagship products with a more customer-centric design, to providing families with all of the tools needed to track complex health conditions, anytime you provide bright, fast learning entrepreneurs with the right resources, they are going to turn that opportunity into new ways to make all of our lives better.”
In addition, WEtech Alliance partnered with the Windsor-Essex Regional Alliance member organizations, the Province of Ontario, The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC IRAP), SOAR Innovation, Windsor-Essex Capital Angel Network (WECAN), and its investors to host the pitch competition and keynote remarks from Melanie Sodka, Founder of Capacity Creator, and Brad Feld, Co-Founder of Techstars.
“Small business and entrepreneurship is the foundation of our local economy and new innovations are the catalyst to future economic growth and prosperity for our region” said Sabrina DeMarco, Executive Director, Small Business Centre at WindsorEssex Economic Development Corporation and Chair of the Windsor-Essex Regional Alliance. “Each of the members gathered here today represent the Windsor-Essex Regional Alliance – an organization of local public and private agencies who work with new and existing businesses and have an important role in driving the success of Windsor-Essex entrepreneurs and the economic success of our region. Together we are working to identify and support local high growth companies and providing them with a coordinated network of supportive resources to help them grow and diversify.”
Following a virtual “Dragons’ Den” style pitch that measured cohort company’s growth over the course of the program, the Winner of the top prize was Embrace Health Tracking. Taking home the People’s Choice prize was Fetch Moto.
“I feel genuinely humbled to have been selected as this year’s winner of the Scale(Back)UP Pitch Competition,” said Brandon Pottie, Founder at Embrace Health Tracking. “My fellow cohort members represent incredibly talented entrepreneurs and I am honoured to have gone through this program with them. My sincerest thanks goes to the judges for their acknowledgement and expertise, to Libro Credit Union and to WEtech Alliance.”
Applications for the fifth cohort will open in summer 2021.
The fourth graduating class of Scale(Back)UP includes the following companies:
Embrace Health – With one tap on any device, Embrace Health allows you to be on top of the most important thing in the world – your family’s health. Their custom-made trackers track everything from basic injuries, illnesses, and appointments to chronic health conditions.
Fetch Moto – Fetch Moto is the fastest and easiest way to get the best deal on your next vehicle. Their consumer-driven reverse auction website saves vehicle buyers an average of 89 days spent in the market and 15 hours normally spent shopping and negotiating.
iDream Interactive – A software and game development studio that specializes in the creation of visually engaging, interactive experiences that are highly scalable and measured for success. During ScaleUP, iDream Interactive rebuilt and relaunched Recipe Rescue, a match three mobile game.
Mentur – An online career coaching and self-development platform designed for international students and new graduates. Mentur aims to provide an immersive learning experience for job seekers to improve their core competencies and communications skills as well as their professional skill-sets.
Red Piston – A tenured digital agency that provides expert development services for everything from mobile gaming to Virtual and Augmented Reality applications. During ScaleUP, Red Piston looked at the opportunity to scale promising new quality assurance and traceability software for the agri-sector.
You can watch the full pitch finale on our YouTube page HERE.
Thanks to our friends at Media Street Productions for the fantastic video!