Pitch Competition

The HardTech Pitch Competition is open to small and medium enterprises incorporated in Canada developing hardware innovations. Finalists will have the opportunity to showcase their technology to a broad audience including industry, investors, government, media, and more! 
Tech hub for semiconductor companies in Canada.

HardTech Pitch Competition

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ventureLAB’s™ Hardtech Summit, held in partnership with the Regional Municipality of York, is Canada’s premier hardware technology-focused summit and will take place this fall in the month of November. This is a 2-day conference, with the highlight being our annual Pitch Competition.  

In 2023, we welcomed over 1000 in-person and virtual participants from across Canada and the world to engage with the thought leaders and founders putting Canadian hardware innovators on the global map, producing transformative experiences, creating groundbreaking products, and inspiring the next generation of tech titans. 

This year, the stage will once again be open to Canadian tech companies developing hardware and semiconductor-focused solutions in the form of ventureLAB’s signature HardTech Pitch Summit. 

Up to eight companies will be selected to pitch for their chance to take home a collective $50,000 in cash prizes and showcase their breakthrough products and innovations in hardware technology to industry CEOs, investors, advisors, innovation experts, private-sector leaders, government, and media.

How to Apply

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Are you a Canadian startup and think you have what it takes?

The competition is open to small and medium size enterprises developing hardware products and innovations. Company innovations can impact, but are not limited to, the following industries:

  • Cleantech
  • Automobility: Electric Vehicles, Smart Mobility, drones, etc.. 
  • MedTech and Wearables
  • Smart Agriculture and Industrial Solutions
  • Smart Retail and Fintech hardware
  • 5G and Next Gen Communications
  • AI hardware applications

Applications for 2024 will be open from May 1st until June 26th.
Interested in applying? Fill out the application form here.

Finalists will be selected by July 26th.

Eligibility Criteria

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Companies must meet the following criteria to be eligible to participate in the HardTech Pitch Competition:

  1. Developed or are developing a novel semiconductor, sensor, silicon-based IP or embedded system hardware product
  2. You are an incorporated company in Canada and have a business number (CRA)
  3. You have 99 or fewer employees and earned less than $5M in revenue in the last 12 months 
  4. If you are not already located in York Region, you are committed to co-locate to York Region or at ventureLAB’s innovation hub for at least six months upon winning the prize: Note that this criterion can be fulfilled by signing up for a hub membership with ventureLAB’s Innovation Space, and as part of the award for the pitch competition, the winner(s) shall be entitled to have the first six months of the membership free of charge. Thereafter the standard monthly fee applies.
  5. You are not a winner of a previous ventureLAB pitch competition
  6. All finalists must be available to participate on the following dates:
       - Orientation and pitch coaching: August 4th
       - Pitch Coaching: August 12-16
       - Mock Pitch Day: September 19th
  7. Finalists must be available to pitch In-person in early November in Markham, Ontario
    Deadline for sending final deck: October 24th

*Winners will be required to submit company progress and impact surveys to ventureLAB™ upon request 

Key Dates

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Application Period: May 1 - June 26, 2024

Finalists Selected: July 26

Orientation and pitch coaching: August 8

Pitch Coaching: August 12 - 16

Mock Pitch Day: September 19

Pitch Day: November 7

*Dates and times are subject to change

Evaluation Criteria

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Eligible applications will be evaluated and scored based on criteria aligned with the challenge statement, which include:

  1. Alignment with ventureLAB’s goals and priorities to develop embedded hardware products and/or chip innovations to enable the economic sustainability of the Canadian semiconductor industry and its broader ecosystem
  2. Innovation: How novel, creative and/or improved the product/technology is, relevant to technological and economic growth
  3. Feasibility: A clear vision of the product or service being built and the application of a sound business model that has a compelling mission to grow a commercially viable business
  4. Scalability and Market Opportunity: Demonstrates potential for sustainability, scalability and growth of their product or technology
  5. Financial Stability: A feasible plan to finance the product development and launch of their innovation

Applications for 2024 will be open from May 1st until June 26th.

Pitch Competition 2023 Winners

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Have a question?

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For questions related to the application process, contact: hci@venturelab.ca

About ventureLAB™

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ventureLAB™ is a leading global founder community for hardware technology and enterprise software companies in Canada. Located at the heart of Ontario’s innovation corridor in York Region, ventureLAB is part of one of the biggest and most diverse tech communities in Canada. Our initiatives focused on raising capital, talent retention, commercializing technology and IP, and customer acquisition have enabled thousands of companies to create over 5,000 jobs and raise more than $340 million in investment capital. At ventureLAB, we grow globally competitive tech titans that build-to-scale in Canada, for global markets. www.venturelab.ca

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About the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund

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The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Fund encourages innovation towards business continuity and business recovery efforts by supporting promising early stage start-ups, accelerators, incubators, and community partners.

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Past Winners

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