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CNE Emerging Innovators Pitch Competition

In 2016, the CNE brought forward the latest innovative ideas created by young people across Ontario. The CNE offered an opportunity for young people to "pitch" their new, innovative projects to the general public, government officials and venture capitalists.

The CNE Emerging Innovators Pitch Competition received 73 applications! 

This pitch was made in two ways: 

  • a direct 3-minute appeal to the audience; and 
  • an interactive display as part of an exhibit that people who are interested can see the product/concept up close, touch it, ask questions, and give feedback. 

There were prize packages of $5,000 for each of the above categories. In addition to each cash prize, all five winners received in-kind prizing to support the growth of their business. Each in-kind package was valued at over $8,000 each and were provided by event partners Ryerson University, Futurpreneur, BDO, BHOLE IP LAW, and Enterprise Canada

The winners of the $5000 prize packages were: 

  • Waste Not Worm Farms - Agri-Tech & Food-Tech Innovation 
  • Help Wear - Bio-Tech & Health-Tech Innovation 
  • Axis Labs - Lifestyle Innovation 
  • iMerciv: Buzz Clip - Social Innovation 
  • Babylon VR - Virtual & Augmented Reality Innovation 

Winners of each category competed in the finals for the top prize of $25,000 cash, on Sunday, August 21 at 5:30 pm! The winner of the $25,000 grand prize was Help Wear from the Bio-Tech & Health-Tech Innovation category!


The CNE approached post-secondary Innovation Hubs across Ontario with direction from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). This was an open call and competitors were chosen based on the criteria on the Pitch Application. 

The Pitch Competition 

The Pitch Competition took place August 19 to 21, 2016. There were five qualifying competitions based on the categories described below with the winners of each category competing for the grand prize during the final pitch event on August 21.

The event was hosted in the East Annex of the Ricoh Coliseum hereinafter called the CNE Innovation Garage. This space featured a stage, with a video wall and podium. 

The Pitch Competition Categories 
  • Agri-tech & Food-tech (Friday, August 19 at 12:30 pm) 
    • This category focuses on advancements in the agriculture field including everything from farm to table. 
  • Bio-tech (Friday, August 19 at 3 pm) 
    • This category focuses on advancements in the biological and medical fields with an emphasis on health and innovations that can benefit our aging society. 
  • Life-Style Innovation (Saturday, August 20 at 12:30 pm) 
    • This category is a broad overview of any and all innovations that make a mark on everyday life, from automated cars to wearable technology and everything in between.
  • Social Innovation (Saturday, August 20 at 3 pm)
    • This category will explore innovations in education, philanthropy, and culture.
  • Virtual/Augmented Reality Innovation (Sunday, August 21 at 12:30 pm)
    • This category will feature innovations that utilize virtual or augmented reality.

Stay tuned for details on the 2017 Emerging Innovators Pitch Competition!

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