LaunchYU awards five startups with $3,000 in development funds

The LaunchYU AccelerateUP Award 1 winners

York University’s entrepreneurship program, LaunchYU, has awarded five startups from the 2018 cohort of its AccelerateUP program with $3,000 in development funds. With 20 participating companies, the four-month-long program supports entrepreneurs as they build, launch and scale their ventures through boot camps, workshops, one-on-one mentorship and other services. These awards are the first of three sets of awards offered as a part of the program.

The LaunchYU AccelerateUP 2018 class

The following are the LaunchYU AccelerateUP Award 1 Winners ($3,000):

Blade Filters: Blade Filters is the face of innovation in the activated carbon air filtration industry. Blade Filters creates activated carbon air filters that encompass a replaceable carbon cartridge that is exchanged once the carbon becomes exhausted. Currently, all notable filters used in the market are non-reusable. Blade Filter’s patent-pending design decreases both wasted resources and costs.

Candy Cutlery: TUF Candy Inc. was created by three diverse university students who had the vision of becoming one of North America’s top B2B food innovation companies. Candy Cutlery is the first brand to create environmentally friendly edible utensils for the food service industry.

Nugget: Unimaginable applicant volume and unconscious bias make the recruiter experience a challenge. Nugget is a talent discovery platform that helps employers create and launch task-based assessments to find the right candidate fit, solving personalized recruitment at scale. Nugget’s proprietary artificial intelligence-based model provides powerful insights on candidates’ decision-making process.

Ohh Foods: Ohh Foods innovates healthier snacking alternatives with “free from” attributes. All the snacks manufactured by Ohh Foods are free from the eight most common food allergens in Canada.

RedPine Music: RedPine Music is changing the way artists and venues book concerts. With RedPine, artists don’t just book shows, they crowdfund them. Crowdfunding eliminates the risk for both the venue and the artist – venues only approve shows that will be profitable, while artists perform in front of a guaranteed audience.

The second round of LaunchYU AccelerateUP Awards will be awarded in September to three startups. Each will receive $5,000. The winners of the LaunchYU AccelerateUP Award 2 will be announced in September at the LaunchYU AccelerateUP graduation and launch day, an event where the top ventures from the program are showcased to a curated audience of investors, professionals and industry partners.

After graduating from the program, the top three finalists will then work with program mentors to compete for the Aird & Berlis StartupSource Market Entry Award, worth $25,000. This new award, spearheaded by York University alumnus and Aird & Berlis partner Randy Williamson, will award the top startup with $12,500 and provide an equal amount of Aird & Berlis’s StartupSource legal services. Williamson and Aird & Berlis have generously committed to provide a total value of $100,000 through this new award.

With just over a month to go of intensive workshops, boot camp and investor sessions, and peer-to-peer feedback sessions, the ventures are preparing for their final pitch and graduation. The private event will take place on Sept. 18 at the Aird & Berlis offices in downtown Toronto.

To learn more about the LaunchYU program, visit