The Brampton Entrepreneur Centre, in partnership with Startup Peel, hosted the Peel Region Techstars Startup Weekend 2019 from November 8-10. Over 50 designers, developers, marketers and entrepreneurs – more than 70 percent of them from Brampton - came together to share ideas, form teams and create tech startups.
Over 50 innovative individuals from across the Region kicked off the weekend by pitching their business ideas to the audience. Five of those ideas were selected, and participants, coaches and mentors collaborated around them over the weekend, aiming to turn initial business ideas into Minimum Viable Products (MVP) and services.
The weekend was full of insightful speakers and many learnings for all attendees. On Friday night, Paul Birkness, Chief Product Officer of Berkely Payments Solutions, delivered an inspiring keynote speech regarding the FinTech industry and spoke about the importance of foundational business theory in strategy, finance and marketing.
On Saturday evening, Brampton resident Dave Kapil, President of Kapil Financial Services, provided a stimulating keynote speech regarding the importance of understanding your target customer, with key points about customer service which were applicable to everyone.
On Sunday, Sara Masson, Director of Customer Success at Toronto Tech company name Loopio,spoke about the importance of deliberately building and ingraining an organizational culture which is about providing individuals with opportunities and ensuring they don’t burn out.
On Sunday night, three winning pitches were selected by the event judges (Declan Ramsaran, Managing Director at PANGEA Private Family Offices, Sara Masson, Director of Customer Success at Loopio, Emil Sylvester Ramos, Co-Founder at IRIS Group and Shauna-Kay Jones, Founder at Motify).
Winners received prizes totalling $30,000 in value to help launch their businesses including business coaching, print services, memberships and gift cards to support business launch and growth.
First place: InstaBUY
Several Brampton residents were part of the winning team that built a prototype that utilizes GPS, scanners and mobile technology. The goal? To provide consumers with access to the latest pricing of products they are purchasing including coupons, and allowing them to skip the line and cash out via their mobile device.
The team of InstaBUY included Harsh Pandya, Christian Samaniego, Nathaniel Hawron.
Second place: Retail X
Retail X is an Artificial Intelligence system that gives retail users the power to track and be notified of potential retail product engagement information in real-time. Their system aims to empower retail owners to make more informed decisions regarding product placement and provide a loyalty program to retail consumers using facial recognition.
The Retail X team is comprised of the following individuals: Hadid Huque, Mayur Pandya and Muhammad Qasim.
Third place: Rent-A-Style Boutique
Building on the popularity of the sharing and sustainability economy, the team developed a platform targeting the South Asian market. The platform allows users to create additional income from outfits they have purchased by renting them out to other members. Each time an item is rented, the owner of the product will receive up to 50% of the profits where they have the option to donate it to a social cause or keep it for additional purchases.
Team members: Rosemarie Powell, Romika Mehra, Sumit Mehra, Shelley Shi.
Team support by Ignatius Nwafor, St. Iyke Ndubursi.
About Techstars Startup Weekend
Techstars Startup Weekend is a 54-hour event where attendees learn how to build a company in a weekend. Since 2007, Techstars Startup Weekend has taken place in over 150 countries with more than 200,000 alumni. Participants bring their product or business idea to the next level and join in a vast worldwide network of entrepreneurs.