Startupfest update: introducing the 2017 Tent Village and the revamped $100k prize

More details have been released for this year’s upcoming Startupfest, July 12-15.

Tent Village, one of the most popular features of Startupfest, is back, and today the list of participating tents and a map of the village were released. Highlights include:

-Introducing an ElementAI tent, where they will be looking for the next big thing in artificial intelligence (AI) and the solution to “fake news”. Present a plan or create a prototype leveraging AI to solve this issue for the chance to win 4 hours with two world-class AI experts and a coffee date with Yoshua Bengio.

-JLABS (Johnson & Johnson) and the Hacking Health teams will be showcasing some of their startups in the Health space

-There will be a CIO tent, where you can find Chief Innovation Officers from SAQ, Jean Coutu, Banque Nationale, Scotia Enterprise Innovation, General Motors, and more.

For the full list of tents click here.

Startupfest also announced a big change to the $100,000 investment prize. For the fifth year in a row, Startupfest has brought together Angel investors guaranteeing to invest $100,000 in the best startup in the fest. But this year, you decide what to offer in exchange for the investment money: debt, equity, royalties?

“The $100k Prize modification will only apply to the companies that get shortlisted,” Katherine Johnsen, Startupfest’s Director of Marketing and Partnerships told MTLinTECH. “In previous years, we’ve used the standard BDC convertible note, but there’s a lot of companies with different situations, we’re now giving them the opportunity to tell the investors what they’ll give in exchange for the $100k investment (debt, equity, royalties). We have too many companies in a variety of situations to make them all fit into a standard set of terms.”

The first round of pitches will take place Thursday, July 13th in the $100k Prize tent, with shortlisted startups invited back on Friday morning to pitch again. Judges include Startupfest founder Phil Telio, Anna Goodson, CEO & Founder of Anna Goodson Illustration Agency and MEATMARKET Photography, and Tom Williams, founder of BetterCompany, just to name a few. You can find the full list of judges here.

There are a number of additional prizes on offer this year as well. The Grandmothers’ Choice prize returns, this year backed by EY. The winner will get a stellar package of goodies AND fast track to the finals for FounderFuel’s 2018 cohort. Analytics startup Onavo was a previous winner, and months later went on to be acquired by Facebook for $150 million. CBC is also back with their CBC media pitch. Startups will have one minute to pitch to CBC journalists for the chance to be featured on CBC Montreal. Startups that pitch for the $100k prize will also be considered for an all expenses paid trip to Turks and Caicos for the Star Up Weekend Turks & Caicos.

Startupfest is also working with e180 to do Braindates at the event, where people can make offers and book meetings to share personal and professional knowledge. e180’s recommendation algorithm, named Freia, curates an individualized selection of braindate topics for each participant,based on their behaviour and interests.

There’s still time to be a part of this year’s Startupfest, click here to register.

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