Halifax Startup Weekend 2018 Recap

On Friday, November 23rd Launch Dal kicked off Halifax Startup Weekend! Taking place in the Collider – a Launch Dal co-working space located in the Killam library – almost 50 participants gathered to form teams and work on business ideas over 3 days.

This year’s event saw an amazing turn out of high quality ideas and a widespread attendee age range, with some participants being as young as 7 years old. Event goers came from various areas of the community, including students from Halifax Universities and a large group from Annapolis Valley. From Friday-Sunday, participants worked away on ideas and 12 teams were formed after a pitching and voting process.

The event was facilitated by NNCE director and Dal professor Mary Kilfoil, who taught participants all about the business model canvas and how to validate their fresh ideas. Entrepreneurs from the community also stopped by throughout the weekend to provide coaching to the teams.

Out of the 12 teams formed, 3 of them were related to the oceans sector. Valley Clean is working ona non-toxic, cheaper, natural inspired bio-filter to help remove micro-plastics using muscles. Sweed Fibre was a brand new idea formed at Halifax Startup Weekend.  This team came up with a way to use sustainable and environmentally friendly seaweed to create quality paper products. Lay’Em Down!, a father/daughter team,  is hoping to build an automated window retraction system that provides safe escape routes from submerged vehicles.

On the last day of the event, Sunday, November 25th, the 12 final teams presented their ideas in a final pitch competition to win prize money to accelerate their businesses. The teams were judges by CEED President & CEO Craig MacMullin and Neuroscientist & Director of the SURGE Science Innovation Sandbox, Aaaron Newman. Judges rated teams based on an eligibility criteria that included customer validation, execution/design, and the business model.

Coming in 1st place was Sweed Fibre (Mark Kinch, Sam Levac-Levy, Paul Guardia and Freya Poirier), who walked away with $3,000 in prize money (cash and inkind services). Earining $2,000.00 and coming in 2nd place was Bursity (Charles Milton and Edward Ma), who is creating an online platform to help post-secondary students fund their tuition. Third place prize went to Tamagoshido – a team developing a “real life tamagoshi” platform to help young children learn the value of responsibility through pet ownership.

As the judges and Launch Dal team were very impressed with the quality of the junior level teams, some surprise prizes were award to all the teams in the junior category. LaunchDal and CEED combined some in-kind mentoring services to Tamagoshido (1st place ), Lay Em Down! (2nd). Nuggulopes (tied for 3rd) and BBOT (tied for 3rd). These teams are also going to be receiving admission to CEED’s Juniorpreneur Camp starting in March 2019.


All Participating Teams:

PaperAudit: An online platform for researchers to find, rate and review journal papers.

Assert: An on-demand cannabis potency testing experience.

Valley Clean: a non-toxic, cheaper, natural inspired bio-filter.

Couryah: An on-demand delivery service that helps connects you to local couriers and a wide list of local vendors around HRM.

Lay’Em Down!: An automated window retraction system that provides safe escape routes from submerged vehicles.

Nova Obsido: A platform for advertising amateur services in your local community.

Foodona: A mobile app to reduce food waste.

Sweed Fibre: Sweed uses sustainable and environmentally friendly seaweed to create quality paper products.

Nuggulopes
Kid created created creatures that make a difference.

Bursity
An online platform helping post-secondary students fund their tuition.

Tamagoshido: a “real life tamagoshi” platform to help young children learn the value of responsibility through pet ownership.

Crewbound: a mobile app designed to connect individuals facing social isolation with event hosts in their area.