The 11th edition of Schulich Startup Night attracted nearly 300 students, alumni and industry professionals on March 7. This biannual event, staged in collaboration with the Lassonde School of Engineering, gives students and alumni an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of top industry professionals for a chance to win a $5,000 cash prize.
Chris Carder, Schulich entrepreneur in residence and Schulich Startup Night organizer, and Dezsö J. Horváth, dean of the Schulich School of Business, kicked off the event with special welcome remarks.
“Entrepreneurship is part of our school’s DNA,” said Horváth. “This year we are on pace to work with more than 200 Schulich student and alumni startup companies and aspiring entrepreneurs – an incredible number.”
First up were three Schulich alumni presenters: Matt Cass (MBA ’11) with StorkSupply, Daniel Steinfeld (BBA ’04) with On the Block and Sina Nazari (MBA ’18) with Click Payments.
The student presenters who took over the stage next were: Shruti Zinzuwakia (MMgt ’19) with GetSparkled, Jonathan Trivisonno (MMgt ’19) with Canna Conscious and Max Vivier (BBA ’19) with Novaly Studios.
While the judges deliberated in the green room, Jeff Ruby (MBA/JD ’00), founder and CEO of Newtopia Inc., delivered his keynote address.
Newtopia made news headlines last month with the announcement that it was going public with a direct listing on the TSX Venture Exchange. The company is looking to raise $20 million in financing from institutional and retail investors.
After much anticipation, the judges announced Cass as Schulich Startup Night alumni winner and Vivier as student winner. Vivier also took home three more awards: BEST Lab Award, Ownr Award and People’s Choice Award.
StorkSupply is a Toronto-based baby gear rental and leasing service designed to make the parenting journey just a tiny bit easier by helping find the right baby gear and delivering it to parents exactly when they need it. Novaly Studios leverages the popular gaming platform Roblox to create out-of-this-world games. They are the creators of Bandit Simulator and Wild Revolvers.
“The Schulich entrepreneurial community continues to impress with the quality of the businesses under development by both our students and alumni,” said Carder. “We appreciate the support from our alumni, faculty and industry contacts in supporting this next generation of Schulich startups.”
Event sponsors included: the official cash prize sponsor, Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation; the supporting sponsors, Innovation York and Ownr; and the prizing sponsors, Aluvion Law, BEST Lab, Future Balance CPAs, Futurpreneur and Indochino.
The 12th edition of Schulich Startup Night will be returning on Nov. 7, when the keynote speaker will be alumni Eva Lau (MBA ’05) of Two Small Fish Ventures.