Four innovative startups win big at Hamilton’s 9th annual Lions Lair Awards

 In News

Hamilton, ON – Sept. 26, 2019 | 

IRIS, a company which enables cities to conduct real-time monitoring of road conditions using AI-enabled dash cams, took home the top prize of $35,000 after making their pitch the Lions to a sold-out crowd.

IRIS’ technology enables city-owned assets such as buses and trucks to autonomously locate and measure the formation of potholes and road damage, cutting down the cost of manual patrols employed by cities today.  The Investor Lions chose IRIS for not just their innovation, but also for creating a sustainable business that can improve cities and addressed pain points in many other industries.

“Lions Lair has been an experience of entrepreneurial growth, personal insights and self- awareness,” said Emil Sylvestor Ramos, co-founder of IRIS.  “Everything from the application process, pitch training and live interviews has pushed us to strive better both personally and professionally.”

In second place was ARCH, a shared-equity housing program that provides up to 100% of the down payment for first time home buyers.  After being praised for their strong business model and solid legal footing, ARCH took home $25,000 in cash.

BTXpen, the world’s first dial-a-dose medical syringe that can be filled by the user, was awarded third place and a prize of $10,000.  BTXpen had the highest ranking in the legal scorecard for its well-researched business proposal in the highly regulated medical field.

The Hamilton Award, a cash prize donated by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, was awarded to Sean Snyder of Engagement Agents.  Engagement Agents is a platform that helps retailers easily engage their shopping centres’ digital and physical marketing channels.

Engagement Agents was also the winner of the People’s Choice Award, a $2,500 cash prize presented by Pillar of Business Sponsor Meridian Credit Union.

All finalists were awarded a free one-year membership to the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

For the first time ever, the Top 10 finalists faced two sets of Lions at two different stages.  Finalists were interviewed and ranked after meeting Pillar of Business Lions from Jan Kelley, Gowling WLG, and KPMG throughout July.  On September 29th, they braved the stage, and faced Karen Grant of Angel One Network, Dominic Talalla of Trellis Capital and Dash40 Ventures and Stuart Wheldon – owner of Redchurch Café and CEO of Junction Craft Brewing, the “Investor Lions” and over 500 gala guests.  After a quick deliberation, the Investor Lions announced their picks.

“Not only were we looking for something that was really innovative, but also for teams that were building sustainable businesses, that have a good understanding of their market, and have obviously done their research,” said Karen Grant, Investor Lion and founder of the local angel investor group, Angel One Network.

Lions Lair is an annual pitch competition presented by Innovation Factory, in partnership with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Hamilton Economic Development.  Previous Lion’s Lair winners include Weever Apps, Nix Sensor, and MesoMat.

About Angel One Network Inc.

Angel One Network Inc. is a member-based, not-for-profit organization of accredited investors who live, work or have strong interests in Mississauga, Oakville, Burlington, Hamilton and other communities in Southern Ontario. Founded in September 2011, its sole purpose is to find quality, early stage companies for its members to consider and invest in. Angel One provides

members with opportunities to increase their exposure to quality, curated companies seeking capital and gives the Angel investors the opportunity to expand their network of like-minded investors.


Angel One and its members are committed to “Building the Canadian economy, one deal at a time!”

Source – LiON’S LAIR[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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