Local startups vied for early stage seed funding in DDQIC's Winter Pitch Competition, and one venture that is providing an on-demand boat ride-hailing platform rose to the top.

Teams could compete for either seed capital or for admission to the QICSI incubation program that provides not only funding but wraparound supports like office space, mentorship, and training during the summer.

In the seed funding category, Veho, founded by Bryce Neil (Comp'24) and Andrew Kraik (Class of 24), won $5,000 to help pilot their boat ride-sharing services this summer in the Muskoka region. The judges awarded a runner-up team, Knowetik, $1,500. Founded by Derek Ng, Asma Minhas, and Ernest Chan, Knowetik is building a virtual classroom that incorporates cognitive-based engagement and collaboration tools for online tutoring services.

While the ventures were looking for funding, they also had the opportunity to receive feedback from an expert panel of judges that included Brad Tipler (entrepreneur and former Chairman of Bluetooth), Scott Runte (CEO at Launch Lab) and Erin Leblanc (Professional Coach and Author).

The majority of competitors in this year's winter competition were pitching for admission to QICSI. Out of dozens of applications, 13 finalists were selected. Check out the winners: 

Culture Snacks
Founded by: Esther Adewuyi (MMIE'22), Aditi Uzagare (MMIE'22), Jingwen Ding

Founded by: Oda Lanizi and Jane Shui (Comm'16)

CO2L Tech
Founded by: Tu Nguyen, Cao Thang Dinh, Ahn Tran-Ly

Founded: by Oluchi Chiazor (MMIE'21), Ladi Ogunsulire (MMIE'21), Jennifer Amaraibi

Founded by: Abby Kingswood (Comm'19), Divya Makkar (MaSC'19), Ethan Callanan (Comp'24)

Market Delta
Founded by: Taha Shafique (MMAI'21), Sarah Hadi

Gigli Inc.
Founded by: Jake Moodie (Comm'23), Allan Foran (Comm'23), and Narges Rezaei (MMA'21)