Queen's Innovation Centre

Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre
Dunin-Deshpande Queen's Innovation Centre

Queen's Innovation Centre Summer Initiative 2019

backr pitching at the summer pitch competition photo

The Backr team presents at the 2019 Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition (Supplied photo: David Rideout).

The 2019 QICSI Recap:

After 16 weeks of hard work, twelve teams from the Queen’s Innovation Centre Summer Initiative (QICSI) competed alongside two regional ventures in the Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition yesterday. The decision to determine the winners was a difficult task and no small feat. The esteemed panel of judges included Shelby Yee (CEO, RockMass Technologies), Alison Turner (CSO, Pnuvax), Ben Barrows (CEO, Cabot7), Raj Melville (Executive Director, Deshpande Foundation), and David Lloyd (CEO, PostBeyond).

Results of the 2019 Dunin-Deshpande Summer Pitch Competition:

Congratulations to the entire 2019 cohort and the regional candidates! We look forward to continuing to support the founders and their ventures into the future. Thank you to the many individuals and organizations who have contributed to the QICSI program this year.

The winners of the pitch competition are as follows:

Backr | $30,000 winners
HeroHub | $15,000 winners
Cromble | $15,000 winners
Red Gold of Afghanistan | $10,000 winners
Research Stream | $5,000 winners
Big Spoon Lil' Spoon | $5,000 winners
Lifted | $10,000 Wisdom of the Market Awards winners

The QICSI 2019 Ventures

backr logo


For creators who have fans yet struggle to get paid, backr is a tool which promotes fan engagement while creating revenue for creators. We work alongside creators existing social platforms and reward fans for every act of engagement, motivating them to do more. 

Big Spoon Lil Spoon (BSLS) is a social venture that provides healthy living programs and life skills workshops to people with disabilities and their siblings. Each participant, or ‘lil spoon’, is paired with a university student, or ‘big spoon’, and together they take weekly cooking classes together and learn essential life skills. BSLS’s goal is to help teach participants of all ages learn to be self-sufficient and lead a happy and healthy lifestyle.

Atria Fitness logo
58% per cent of all food in Canada is lost or wasted, while a third of that wasted food could be rescued. At Cromble, we rescue brewer’s spent grain, which is the byproduct of processing beer. Since beer is the third most consumed drink in the world, millions of tons of brewer’s spent grain is generated every year. Currently, brewer's spent grain is mostly picked up by farmers or sent to the landfill, but Cromble is here to change that. Cromble aims to become the largest and reliable spent grain management company in Canada. Currently, Cromble is exploring alternative uses for it, such as feed for sustainable insect farming.
Kuebecko logo
Doppl is building long-range smart sensor devices in addition to a telecommunications network for IoT devices. With the support of several local municipalities, Doppl’s first product enables city-wide monitoring of garbage bin levels allowing city officials to optimize and reduce costs of garbage removal. Doppl continues to develop new sensor products while scaling the Doppl Network across Canada. 
glocalization hub logo

Glocalization Hub is a marketplace and a connection platform that consolidates all skilling and knowledge-sharing needs to develop people, organizations, and economies.

HeroHub is an online platform that creates a greater social impact by connecting local charities & non-profits to individuals or businesses who are seeking volunteer opportunities, charity events, and to donate new or gently-used items.

InHabit CoLiving is a flexible shared living space for young professional, transient students and travellers that is affordable and creates a sense of community while addressing the housing and accommodation crisis in Kingston.



LifeLuxe helps retirement communities deliver exceptional wellness programming by improving efficiency, recreation planning, and event management with a one-stop shop web platform.

North Spout logo

Bras are uncomfortable and inaccessible, Lifted is here to change that. Lifted is a collection of bras designed with style, ease and you in mind. Lifted designs to empower every body, regardless of shape, size, skin-tone and ability. Lifted makes bras easy.

North Spout logo


Netzero is a social enterprise that aims to empower people and businesses to make greener choices and take action in the climate change crisis. At netzero we believe that we all have a part to play.

North Spout logo



nufuuds is a packaged goods company using algae to address the environmental burden of food and lack of quality nutrient sources in our diets. We combine foods with algae to create whole-meals that are both nutritient dense and sustainable.

North Spout logo



Red Gold of Afghanistan aims to empower women farmers in her home country of Afghanistan to grow premium saffron and sell it to global markets. 

North Spout logo

Stepstool runs in-person workshops where individuals get to create woodworking pieces to use in their home while learning home improvement and troubleshooting skills. We strive to empower people to be more confident and self-sufficient when it comes to repairs and maintenance in their homes.

North Spout logo

Wyndo is an AI-powered assistant that takes the guesswork out of insurance by simplifying the most sophisticated insights and allowing users to save money.