This past week, I had the honour of being a Startup Judge at Ryerson University startup competition for Sage Canada in Toronto. This was an incredible opportunity to evaluate new ideas and innovations. As always, I arrived a little bit early and head right into Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson to see some innovations. After meeting all the judges and getting set-up, I was ready to hear some great startup pitches. Here are the startups that pitched their ideas:
This startup addresses the issue with disposal chopsticks. Who knew this one? I had the same reaction as you. Currently, there are 3.8 million trees are used to produces 57 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks each in the world. The disposal of chopsticks produces a lot of pollution. This startup aims to collect the disposable chopsticks directly from the restaurant and making new products from them.
This startup offers a product called the Kombine. It’s multi-purposes water bottle with door-like compartments that can store water, pencils, pens, erasers, snacks, coins, and more!
This is an AI startup that leverages cutting-edge machine learning specifically for the growing market of cryptocurrencies.
This is a web-based startup that addresses the gap in personal financial planning, advisory, and literacy for youth particularly generation Z.
myCryptoHippo is the world’s first integrated cryptocurrency simulator and education platform for generation Z. This platform aims to provide accessible information about cryptocurrency and blockchain.
This is a niche job listing site for youth seeking new employment opportunities.
All the startups had to be evaluated on different categories:
Innovation and creativity – What is value proposition?
Progression – what risks and pivots have they done?
Amount of profit
Sustainable business practices
Succession planning – How will they continue to move forward?
While all pitches demonstrated an outstanding level of domain expertise, myCryptoHippo stood out the most. They simply came up with the goods, which is why I gave perfect score to this team. Perfect you say? Yes perfect score and here’s why:
- Great idea and even better execution with building an MVP and landing those early users
- Incredible display of expertise, passion, and enthusiasm but most of all being humble!
- Great branding: the name stood out, was memorable, and all team members were coordinated and even had a great T-shirt together!
- Had a great pivot from their original idea: shows that they are after the problem!
Me and other judges had the same opinion. At the end, I was honoured to hand out the trophy to this team. Keep an eye out for this team as they have a great future ahead. Huge thanks to all the organizers, judges, and everyone who came out to inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs, leaders, and change markers. There are no boundaries for entrepreneurship and certainly no age. Let’s help these young leaders built a better future for the world. Together we can accomplish great things.
About the Author
In Pursuit of World-Class Excellence. Eric is founder of FoundersBeta with a wealth of expertise in startups, building high-performing teams, and product development. He is a top ranked tennis player and always up for a conversation about startups. Connect with Eric here: www.ericrafat.com