The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and Innovation Factory are bringing their popular LiON’S LAIR investment forum back to Hamilton this fall to celebrate entrepreneurship in Hamilton and inject local start-ups with much needed exposure and resources.
Providing Hamiltonians with the opportunity to experience the thrill of start-up investment, aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators will again face a panel of Hamilton’s top business executives and solicit up to $100,000 in cash and services to get their companies off the ground.
“There is a growing entrepreneurial spirit in Hamilton, and the LiON’S Lair event provides the perfect forum to inspire, nurture and showcase start-ups and their economic impact on our community”, stated David Adames, President and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.
Hamiltonians are invited to participate by submitting an original business plan for consideration. Ten finalists will be selected to attend a series of workshops designed to strengthen their business planning, media relations, and presentation skills before pitching their idea to a panel of experts in a television studio environment. The video shorts will be presented at the LiON'S LAIR gala held at Carmen’s Banquet Centre on October 4, 2012, where $100,000 in cash and in-kind prizes may be awarded at the discretion of the panel. Hamilton icon, Connie Smith (http://conniesmithtoday.blogspot.ca), will MC the gala, returning to the event from her role as a Lion in 2011.
Last year, winners Weever Apps, Anivac Corp., and Gorilla Cheese each took home a portion of the $100,000 prize, but many of the finalists agreed that the workshops and public exposure for their companies were well worth the time and effort. Tweedle Productions Inc. (tweedleproductions.com) has produced a short video capturing the spirit of the 2011 finalists as they reflect on their experience five months after the event, which is available to view at pitch-it.ca/finalists.
The online submission deadline is April 30, 2012. Full event terms and conditions, along with the application form and directions can be found at the LiON’S LAIR website at pitch-it.ca.
This year, potential applicants also have the opportunity to participate in a pre-submission workshop and Q&A, designed to thoroughly explain the LiON’S LAIR selection process, discuss finalist commitments, and help develop the required 10-page business plan for submission. “This is a great chance for anyone in the community to come out and find out if LiON’S LAIR is right for them while gaining some expert advice on developing their business plan,” says Ron Neumann, Executive Director of Innovation Factory. Interested participants can register for online at http://lionslairworkshop2012.eventbrite.com.
Since its official launch in November 2010, Innovation Factory has engaged over 230 companies from across a wide array of business sectors. Partnering with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce has been key to connecting with the city’s technical and business communities through a spirit of entrepreneurship.