The Umbra store on John St. was packed with some 90 spectators for the Imagination Catalyst’s fourth annual pitch competition on June 14. Tanner Wills Short, founder of Bowtie Interview Tool, took the top prize of $5,000, out-pitching four of his colleagues from OCAD U’s business incubator.
Bowtie is a puzzle-like toy that allows employers to determine the strengths of potential recruits during job interviews, rather than relying on common personality tests such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Bowtie can also be used as a team-building activity to improve workplace culture.
Short, a 2016 graduate of OCAD University’s Industrial Design program, studied play theory to come up with his product.
Other Imagination Catalyst companies that took part:
- Dice – Jinho Kim and Steve Kim
- Lumos – Mulugeta Bisrat and Alexandr Gerassimov
- MeOrganics – Daneila Bratu and Nicol Rebello
- Witnis – Anne Gorgy
The judges' panel comprised:
- John Albright – Co-founder and managing partner, Relay Ventures
- Dr. Sara Diamond – President and vice-chancellor, OCAD University
- Allyson Hewitt – Senior fellow, Social Innovation, MaRS Discovery District
- Paul Rowan – Co-founder and VP, Inspiration, Umbra
- Daniel Sawaya – Founder and managing partner, AyaWas Investment Group
The Imagination Catalyst is based in a 3,000ft2 co-working space at 230 Richmond St. West. Currently, there are 77 jobs associated with the companies participating in OCAD U’s business incubator program, which has recently received renewed Campus Linked Accelerator funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence.