A washing machine that works on pedal power, an app that lets you find an apartment and pay rent from your phone, a website that connects artisanal food makers with hungry customers. These are some of the products to come out of OCAD University’s Imagination Catalyst.
Meet the fresh new group of companies to join this hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization at the Take it to Market pitch competition on Tuesday, July 14 at the Toronto Umbra store. Come for the pitches and product demos; stay to vote for the strongest pitch and meet the celebrity judges and start-up founders.
“The diversity of companies we’re seeing come out of the OCAD U community is remarkable. Design thinking is helping start-up entrepreneurs in every sector,” said Imagination Catalyst’s Executive Director Katherine Roos.
In the July 14th pitch competition, some 20 entrepreneurs selected to participate in the Imagination Catalyst will be given 30 to 60 seconds to present their product to a panel of judges who will score them based on differentiation and innovation, quality of business model and customer validation. Up to three “pitchers” will win cash prizes.
- Dr. Sara Diamond, President and Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University
- Stephen Tapp, Chair, Imagination Catalyst Advisory Board
- Paul Rowan, Co-founder and Vice-President, Inspiration, Umbra
- John Albright, Co-founder and Managing Partner, Relay Ventures
- Leila Boujnane, CEO, Ideé Inc.
- Pat Lorenz, investor and board member, Network of Angel Organizations
The Imagination Catalyst is entering its third year with diverse new companies working in areas such as design, digital media, consumer products and business services, among others.
Imagination Catalyst Pitch Competition
Tuesday, July 14, 5:30 p.m.
165 John St., Toronto
The Imagination Catalyst:
The Imagination Catalyst is OCAD University’s hub for entrepreneurship and commercialization. Our mission is to support and develop entrepreneurial talent among the OCAD University community as well as across the GTA. Our goal is to help launch new companies and products that contribute to the prosperity of our community.
OCAD University’s Strategic Innovation Lab in conjunction with Imagination Catalyst is working with Ontario’s Regional Centres of Excellence to design, develop and implement programming that will bring design thinking to entrepreneurs across the province.
Imagination Catalyst is currently funded by the Government of Ontario and the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE), the province’s innovation system for scaling and growing campus-linked entrepreneurial capacity and campus-linked entrepreneurial activities. The Imagination Catalyst Fund, a seed investment fund designed to support Imagination Catalyst companies, is supported by Relay Ventures.