Pitch competition celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship


Pitch competition celebrates innovation and entrepreneurship

August 15, 2023


For more than a decade, the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre (DDQIC) has been bringing together emerging entrepreneurs to develop their skills, innovate, and share solutions to modern-day challenges.

This year’s Summer Pitch Competition is fully in-person with a livestream available. Twelve for-profit teams from Kingston and the Queen’s communities will compete for a prize pool of up to $80,000.

Entrepreneurial teams spent the summer tackling a problem, creating and validating solutions, and building a business venture. Participants will have seven minutes to pitch their business to judges, followed by a six minute question-and-answer session.

Judges with entrepreneurship experience will assess presentations and business ideas to determine which teams will earn a share of the seed funding and prizes.

“We are immensely proud of this year’s talented innovators and their unwavering dedication throughout this year’s entrepreneurship journey. As we embark on this summer's pitch competition, we celebrate the spirit of innovation and the power of collective collaboration. Together, let us embrace the impact of working hand in hand, fueling the growth of a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem, not only in Kingston, but across Canada,” says Greg Bavington, Executive Director of the Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre.

This year’s teams include startups participating in the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI), Build2Scale Health (B2S), and regional ventures. In the morning, teams will present a pitch to the judges privately, followed by two-minute pitches to the larger audience in the afternoon. The event will wrap up with an awards announcement where the top ventures will find out who will be awarded prizes from the prize pool.

The competition will be held in The Beamish Family Atrium in Mitchell Hall at Queen’s University beginning at 2 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 17. Complimentary tickets can be reserved via EventBrite. There will also be a livestream option, with information about accessing the livestream posted on the EventBrite page.

Build2Scale Health
Build2Scale Health is an accelerator program for entrepreneurs who are responding to unmet needs by developing and delivering new health policies, systems, products and technologies, and services in the health sector. In previous years, the program has led to creative solutions that improve accessibility and quality of care.

Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative
Each year, the Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative selects ambitious individuals with a demonstrated interest in entrepreneurship, innovation, or social impact. Participants gain access to resources and mentorship which provide an environment where ideas can grow into successful startups.


GLASQ is a chemical technology company introducing an innovative hard coating polymer for flexible consumer displays. This material seamlessly integrates anti-smudge and omni phobic characteristics with exceptional hardness (wear resistance) and remarkable flexibility. 

It’s comma 
It’s comma focuses on philanthropic marketing – partnering with brands to advertise on the packaging of menstrual pads. This covers the cost of the product, making it free for menstruators everywhere. 

MapKey provides a 3D mapping device for cavity surveying in mines. This technology makes mining safer and more efficient. 

PONDER builds and strengthens communities through meaningful conversations with a daily question. The team provides a solution to the increasing disconnection and mental and physical health challenges caused by the lack of genuine connections and human interaction. 

Neuma builds online and experiential learning solutions to safely and accessibly integrate psychedelics into the global mental healthcare system. 

Minerva is a next generation clinical decision support system that allows physicians to intuitively manage and query medical information. It helps improve patient outcomes by decreasing the time to diagnosis and quality of care received.

Symptom360 is a virtual care platform with ZOOM integration, offering a highly-tailored and streamlined healthcare experience for First Nations Peoples and healthcare providers. By equipping providers with diagnostic decision-making and report-generating pre-screening tools, in addition to enhanced content sharing capabilities, S360 extends what is possible during virtual consultations. 

Expresume is an AI résumé writing platform that leverages a user’s personal, professional database to build relevant, tailored résumés to every job application. We equip the next generation of the workforce with the tools they need to articulate their true potential and worth. 

Emske Design Studio 
Emske is a design studio offering products and services all stemming from an eco-conscious, inclusive, and accessible mindset. 

Strive Storage 
Strive Storage is a cloud-based storage system for vulnerable individuals to store their essential documentation safely and securely. This includes identification, bank cards, and other data that can be easily lost, stolen, or missing.    

Hippo AI
Hippo AI is developing an entire suite of AI-powered tools to increase physician productivity and support comprehensive patient care. The flagship product is an AI clinical assistant that harnesses the power of advanced language models to provide accurate answers to any clinical question within seconds. 

Demagel is a hydrocarbon polymer electrolyte membrane, which finds application in electrolysers and fuel cells, in a manner that ensures safety, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness, surpassing the capabilities of existing polymer electrolyte membranes.

Technology and Innovation