Up to $1,000,000 in prizes and investments available

About Festival
Startupfest is

An event built for founders.

Besides world class content across 8 stages, the event is designed to offer concrete investments and networking opportunities throughout the entirety of the Tent Village.

Garner Attention

Garner Attention

Top tier media in attendance

Acquire Knowledge

Acquire Knowledge

Over 125 speakers across 12 tracks

Secure Funding

Secure Funding

Prizes and Investment opportunities

Build Connections

Build Connections

Over 7,000 attendees from 20+ countries

Introducing the Startupfest 2018 Inclusion Initiative

The Inclusion Initiative

In 2018, we launched the Inclusion Initiative; a program dedicated to connecting entrepreneurs from underserved, and underrepresented communities to the opportunities they need and deserve. This year, our Inclusion Initiative is back, with a focus on women in technology. Startupfest, BDC Capital, and all of our partners are pleased to be offering passes to Canadian women working in the technology sector at a 90% discount.


“I was here and pitched Onavo, my company, we picked up one of the top prizes and later we get picked up by Facebook. It’s awesome.”
– Guy Rosen, Facebook

Startup pitching to Grandmothers

Up to $1,000,000 in prizes and investment available

From a $100K investment prize, to our panel of Grandmother judges- there’s no shortage of pitching opportunities. Our Accelerator Lounge is home to top tier Accelerator/Incubator programs looking for outstanding startups. Meet with Chief Innovation Officers from fortune 500 companies in our CIO lounge!

The 2019 Prizes and Opportunities

$100K Prize

$100K Prize

A group of angel investors comes together to award $100k+ to one startup. Open to: ANY startup in attendance.

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Where can I pitch? The $100k Prize tent or to any of the 10 investors found wearing a BLUE lanyard.

When can I pitch? You have until EOD Thursday, July 11th to pitch. If shortlisted, you will be contacted and invited to a breakfast Friday, July 12th. Read more about the prize here!

Grandmothers’ Choice

Grandmothers’ Choice

Our esteemed panel of Grandmother Judges have become a Startupfest favourite, and have an unbeatable track record.

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Open to: ANY startup in attendance.

Where can I pitch? The Grandmothers’ tent.

When can I pitch? Thursday or Friday from 12-5pm.

Introducing the Women in Tech $100,000 Investment Prize

Each year, Startupfest has a number of investment prizes. We’re adding a new one, with the help of some veteran entrepreneurs and investors: $100,000 available to a female-led startup in the form of a convertible note. This is open to any female-led startup in attendance, and it’s in addition to the Startupfest $100,000 Investment Prize.

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The prizes are awarded by a panel of judges based on pitches and discussions onsite at Startupfest. That means a female founder could walk away with $200,000 in investment, or that two separate $100,000 prizes could be awarded to two founders. Pitch for this prize in the tent village July 11th and 12th!

NextAI Top Startup Award

NextAI Top Startup Award

Pitch to NextAI alumni, scientists and mentor judges from both Toronto and Montreal for your chance to win an exclusive venture spot in the 2020 Cohort of NextAI!

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Canada’s premiere startup accelerator for AI-enabled businesses, designed for domestic and international entrepreneurs and delivered by NEXT Canada. NextAI ventures receive up to $200K in venture financing, dedicated workspace in downtown Toronto or MileEx Montreal, mentorship, founder development & more.

Open to: Any early stage AI-enabled startup (usually pre-seed or idea stage, but we are flexible).

Where can I pitch: Find them in the Accelerator tent in the Tent Village.

When can I pitch: Sign up for a time slot on Thursday or Friday here!

Innovative Media and Content Prize

Our partners at Videotron have teamed up with their counterparts at Quebecor, NumeriQ and MELS to award $50,000 in cash prizes and in-house partnerships to burgeoning content/media startups.

We’re looking for startups that serve the content industry, through disruptive means and mechanisms for creating, distributing, or managing content (text, video, audio, etc.). These can be innovative solutions for the content industry manifesting in hardware or software, that increases the value of content in a digital world, encourage new modes of interaction, or help to better curate what already exists.

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The Details: The selected companies will receive a cash prize and will have direct access to the Quebecor, NumeriQ, MELS and Videotron teams for mentoring, internal support and the opportunity to work on a pilot project with an industry leader.

Where can I pitch: Find them in the “Innovative Media and Content Prize” tent, July 11th and 12th in the Startupfest tent village.

Elevate your ideas with National Bank

Give us your best Elevator Pitch and you could win a prize worth up to $7,000, including a cash grant and free services from our partners Operiō, Lex Start, and Budgeto. Whether you’re ready to start your company or take it to the next level, come see us. Along with our partners, we can advise you about managing your budget, finance, accounting, and offer guidance about legal issues to consider as an entrepreneur.

Additionally, 10 startups will be selected to share a VIP lunch with a National Bank Executive.

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Who can enter our contest? ALL start-ups at Startupfest.

Where to make your pitch: In our elevator located in the National Bank tent in the Tent Village.

When to make your pitch: Thursday or Friday between 12 noon and 5 p.m.

The Aix Marseille Canada

The Aix Marseille Canada 2019 Challenge focuses on the following 4 domains: Creative Industries, Environment and Smart City, Blue economy, entertainment & tourism.

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Pitch your project answering 3 questions (5 minutes of pitch + 5 minutes of Q&A)

1) Who are you (your startup, your innovation, your team ..)?

2) What is your development project in Europe / Africa?

3) What are your expectations in terms of support / connections to establish your company in Marseille and develop your activities in Europe & Africa?

3 winners will be selected at the StartupFest Montreal 2019 on July 11th 2:30 pm at the Marseille booth Winners will get mentoring by Aix Marseille French Tech, have access to free office space and much more. The services listed above, worth 12,000 euros are offered by the City of Metropolis and their partners.

Next 36 Young Entrepreneur Award

Next 36 Young Entrepreneur Award

Pitch to Next 36 alumni and mentor judges for your chance to win an exclusive founder spot in the 2020 Cohort of Next 36!

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Canada’s premiere program for developing young entrepreneurs delivered by NEXT Canada. Next 36 ventures receive dedicated mentorship, founder development, up to $80K in seed funding & more.

Open to: Any senior post-secondary student or recent grad. Pitch yourself for the program, or an early-stage venture idea you have.

Where can I pitch: Find them in the Accelerator tent in the Tent Village.

When can I pitch: Sign up for a time slot on Thursday or Friday here!

Investor Zone Powered by the DMZ

The Investor Zone Powered by the DMZ

With the help of our partners at the DMZ, we’ve introduced the Investor Zone; a place for investors and startups to connect.

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Startups and investors will be pre-selected and matched based on industry, type of funding you’re looking for, etc. All startups must pre-apply and a limited number will be chosen to have an afternoon of meetings with leading VC’s and angels on Friday, July 12th onsite at Startupfest. Learn more about the Investor Zone here!

Braindates

Every participant has valuable knowledge that deserves to be uncovered, shared and tapped into. Braindate is a web platform that allows you to curate your event experience at Startupfest based on what you can learn from the collective genius around you.

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e180’s recommendation algorithm, named Freia, curates an individualized selection of braindate topics for each participant, based on their behaviour and interests.

It’s simple: 1. Explore the knowledge Offer and Requests –where all participants (including you!) post the knowledge they are willing to share. 2. Pick something you want to learn or create your own Offer or Request. 3. Book your braindates and meet in person at the Braindate Lounge! Read more about Braindates here!

DMZ 2020 Cohort

Good mentors send you to an accelerator, great mentors send you to the DMZ. Come pitch to the DMZ for a chance to join one of our world-leading programs.

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The DMZ at Ryerson University is the leading business incubator and accelerator for technology startups in Canada. Ranked the number one university-based incubator in the world by UBI Global, we help early-stage, high-potential technology startups grow and scale to world-class businesses by connecting them with customers, capital, advisors, influencers and other entrepreneurs. Since opening our doors in April 2010, we have incubated 412 startups, fostered the creation of 3,779 jobs and helped our startups collectively raise $605 million dollars in funding.

Open to: Any tech startup in attendance (pending tech due diligence)

Mentor Lounge

Presented by our partners at BDC Capital, the Mentor Lounge is where you can find our speakers for open office hours following their sessions. The schedule is released one week prior to Startupfest’s kickoff.

Service Provider Zone

Service Provider Zone

From law and accounting firms, to government organizations offering thousands in grant dollars, come meet the service providers that can help bring your business to the next level.

Demo Space

Demo Space

In the heart of the Startupfest Tent Village, startups can reserve a demo table for the entirety of Thursday and Friday to showcase product, and have a homebase for the event.

CIO Lounge

Chief Innovation Officers from leading corporations take open office hours with startups.

Tent Village

Tent Village

Over 35 tents focused on showcasing different industry sectors, geographic locations, and facilitating real time connections. This is also home to the $100k Prize tent, Grandmother Judges, and more.

Onstage Content

Onstage Content

Stay tuned for more info on what’s coming content-wise, but we can tell you that we have many exciting things planned!

Media Opportunities

Media Opportunities

Asides from the Media Prizes up for grabs at the event, Startupfest brings in the likes of TechCrunch, Entrepreneur Magazine, BetaKit, VentureBeat, and more.