SAVE THE DATE: Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Entrepreneur finalists to pitch new business ideas at Innovator Idol 4

Mississauga, Ontario – Four entrepreneur finalists from the Altitude Accelerator, Peel Region, will pitch their new business ideas to a panel of four well-known Toronto media and business personalities on Wednesday, June 13, 2012, at the fourth annual “Innovator Idol” competition. At stake is a prize package worth about $50,000 to help propel business forward for the lucky winner. Click here for details.

This year’s title sponsor of “Innovator Idol” is intellectual property law firm Bereskin & Parr LLP.

“Canadian innovators, both young and experienced, have a strong track record in bringing innovative products to the world.  Innovator Idol celebrates the efforts and successes of entrepreneurs and their ideas,” says Bhupinder Randhawa, a partner Bereskin & Parr LLP and head of the firm’s Software/High Technology patent practice group.

In April 2012, Toronto was the fourth-best startup ecosystem globally, after Silicon Valley, New York City, and London, according to Startup Genome, a project to crack the ‘innovation code’ of Silicon Valley. There are four finalist companies that are competing in 2012 “Innovator Idol”:

  • Emcara Gas Development, with a pressure release device that prevents explosions in natural gas and hydrogen-powered vehicles;
  • OpenAXYZ™, a collaborative software that focuses on results;
  • CHAR Technologies, with Activated Biochar, a filter that removes toxic and corrosive hydrogen sulphide from renewable biogas sources and turns it into useful fertilizer;
  • SMARTeacher, the first software game that uses a bio-feedback wrist-band to sense and respond in real-time to children’s emotions while teaching them math skills as they explore a magical world.

“You can’t move these days without tripping over the word ‘innovation’—it’s everywhere as we struggle to come out of the recession, create value for entrepreneurs, and well-paying jobs for Canadians. Innovator Idol is just one example of how we use creative marketing to connect star innovators with motivated investors,” says Pam Banks, executive director of the Altitude Accelerator [which stands for Research, Innovation, Commercialization] in Mississauga.

“The Altitude Accelerator has been helping entrepreneurs in Mississauga, Brampton, and Caledon move their product ideas and service innovations to market since 2009,” adds Banks.

During the past five years, the Altitude Accelerator has helped more than 200 companies commercialize their ideas and bring those ideas to market. Importantly, 46% of RIC clients have either received funding or been introduced to funding sources and investors.

Altitude Accelerator provides services to emerging entrepreneurs including:  business mentoring, market intelligence, financing, and networking through two “Entrepreneurs in Residence” (EIR). For established companies, Altitude Accelerator provides:  a roundtable innovation exchange; industry-academic collaboration; and peer-to-peer networking.

Best of all, the vast majority of Altitude Accelerator services are free.

The “Innovator Idol” competition is the finale event for the Altitude Accelerator’s monthly networking and entrepreneurial training breakfasts for 2012, called “Growing Your Business.”  The competition is a hybrid modeled on American Idol and Dragon’s Den where four companies are invited to present their company pitch to an investor panel for the $50,000 prize package as well as feedback.

The 2012 “Innovator Idol” will be held 7:30am to 11am, at the Noel Ryan Auditorium, Mississauga Central Library at 301 Burnhamthorpe Road West, Mississauga, ON.

The 2012 panel is comprised of financial guru, author and now TV personality Patricia Lovett Reid from the CTV News Channel; William White, director at MaRS Innovation and retired president of DuPont Canada; well-known contrarian investor Benj Gallander, President of Contra the Heard investment newsletter; and Bhupinder Randhawa, a partner at intellectual property law firm Bereskin & Parr LLP and head of the firm’s Software/High Technology practice group.

At the end of the competition on June 13, the judging panel will award the $50,000 prize package to the winner in front of a live audience.  To attend as an audience member, click here.

Past “Innovator Idol” winners not only benefited from exposure to funders and valuable prizes, but they have gone on to become significant players in Canadian and international markets. Induce Biologics took home the crown at RIC’s Innovator Idol contest in 2011. Sean Peel, Induce’s chief operating officer, was named the winner with a compelling pitch about his company’s innovative, unique technology to help surgeons regenerate bone.

Prizes for “Innovator Idol 4” are provided by:  Bereskin & Parr LLP, KPMG, RBC, PeerPoint Consulting Group, MNP, Indigo Consulting, Ernst & Young, Vengeo, Avega, BLADE Creative Branding, BiZ TV Canada, Adam Good Production, and First Principles Communication.

For more Information, please contact:


The Altitude Accelerator is a registered not-for-profit organization that offers support to entrepreneurs and innovators who want to take their great ideas to market in advanced manufacturing, life science and emerging technologies. The Altitude Accelerator is created through partnership with the municipalities and the Boards of Trade in Mississauga, Brampton and Caledon; Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation; Region of Peel; Sheridan College; University of Toronto Mississauga and MaRS. Altitude Accelerator has become a go-to portal for connecting innovators with investors for sustained commercial success.

The Ontario Network of Excellence (ONE) is a collaborative network of organizations across Ontario, designed to help you commercialize your ideas. Whether you are an innovator, a technology-based business, entrepreneur, or researcher, ONE will connect you with services and programs to help you innovate and gain a competitive advantage.

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