The Investment Prizes

$200k is up for grabs, here’s what you need to know:

The $100k Investment Prize has always been  the most coveted prize at Startupfest, and this year, we have two of them (one new $100k solely for a female-led startup). We bring together a group of fantastic angel investors, and in a matter of 48 hours crown the title of the 2, $100k Investment Prize winners. This prize is open to ANY startup at the event- no pre-registration required.

The Process

Startups have until the end of the day Thursday July 11th, 2019 to pitch to any $100k Investor judge at the event – they’ll be wearing a judge badge and a BLUE lanyard. 

Track them down onsite, or find them in the $100k Prize tent in the Tent Village Thursday, from Noon-6pm.

Each judge will shortlist one startup for each prize by end of the day Thursday.

The shortlisted startups will be contacted and invited to a private breakfast Friday morning where they will pitch to the entire group of investors judges.

The winner(s) will be selected and announced  at the Friday afternoon ceremonies.

Note: A female-led startup is qualified as a Startup with the most senior member of the executive team identifying as female.

Meet the judges

Heather Adelson

Ms. Adelson has been investing in growing companies for the past 30 years. With over 15 angel investments over the past 8 years, as well as investments in numerous funds and funds of funds, Ms. Adelson’s contributions to the startup community have touched nearly every industry in the Quebec startup ecosystem. With a degree in Commerce from McGill, Ms. Adelson brings her skills in finance, strategy and behavioural elements of business into every deal she explores. Her ability to identify critical success factors and obstacles have led her to a career of interesting investment opportunities and ongoing business relationships.

A consummate “student of investing”, she keeps current with the latest business and technological developments, hones her analytical skills and polishes her professional skepticism through attendance of trade conferences, reviewing business plans and communication with various professional advisors. She is an active member on several boards of both for profit businesses and non-for profit organizations.

Ms Adelson is extensively involved in philanthropic ventures, an area close to her heart. She always seeks opportunities to use her skillset and relationships to amplify the efforts of socially minded organizations. Ms. Adelson has been recognized for these efforts as the recipient of several awards highlighting her invaluable contributions to society.

Francis Baillet

Francis Baillet was Vice President of Human Resources at Ubisoft Divertissements from 2007 to 2013.  Since April 2013, Francis is Vice President, Corporate Affairs. The organization currently employs over 5,000 people in its studios in Canada: Montreal, Quebec, Saguenay, Piedmont, Halifax, Toronto and Winnipeg.

Francis has twenty years of experience in human resources management. He was Vice President, Human Resources and Corporate Affairs at Bell Business Solutions (previously known as Nexxlink Technologies). He also was Director of Global Compensation for North America at Rexel, Director of Benefits at Westburne and a pension consultant at Towers Perrin.

Francis is a board member of Conseil du patronat du Québec, Montréal International, KnowledgeOne, Entertainment Software Association of Canada, Alliance numérique and The 7 Fingers Foundation.

Patricia Saputo

Growing up with the “SAPUTO” name was both a blessing and a challenge for Patricia: a blessing because the name was very reputable in the province of Quebec where she grew up, and a challenge because people just assumed that coming from a successful and wealthy family, life was easy and full of opportunities.

Her father, Francesco Saputo, advocated that education was very important and that it would make his daughters self-reliant and not be taken advantage of by others. With that advice, Patricia became a CPA, and furthered her education in tax, investments, life insurance and succession planning.

After leaving Deloitte in 1998, she began a new path that allowed her to manage the patrimony of her immediate family in pioneering the startup of the family’s “Family Office” that further developed into the areas of family governance, managing wealth as it is transitioned to future generation so they become responsible stewards of their own wealth.

This allowed her to pioneer and launch the “Family Wealth Program” with 2 Canadian Universities. She is very generous with her time as she sits on a variety of boards and advisory committees. She is also a regular speaker at a number of International Forums. She has been invited to speak on numerous occasions in the areas of family wealth, women and wealth, education, philanthropy and financial literacy. She believes that education is an incomplete process which is why she considers herself a “life-learner”.

She recently married Angelo Caparelli and has been raising her 3 boys, Francesco (1996), Lorenzo (1998) and Tommaso (2005).

Cary Goldwax

Now a veteran Judge at the festival, Cary has been working for over 25-years to bring companies to the next level as a hands-on Angel Investor, seasoned C-Level Executive, active Board Member and a very outspoken accelerator program Mentor.
After co-founding and successfully bringing Web APM company Coradiant to exit, he’s managed several prosperous ventures, including Stack8, where he currently leads operations for the global leader in Unified Communications solutions. He has over 300 million dollars in exits under his belt and is a strong proponent of boosting Canada’s tech scene on the world scale.

Marie Josee Lamothe

Mrs. Lamothe has over 20 years of experience in the competitive digital and consumer products world (Google, L’Oréal, Procter&Gamble, Clairol). She is best noted for her expertise in Global Product Management and Omni-Channel Profitability. Ms. Lamothe is the President of Tandem International, an advisory firm specialized in omnichannel profitability and a Professor of Practice at McGill University (Desautels Business Faculty). From 2014 to 2018, she acted as a Managing Director at Google in Canada.

She held several executive positions at L’Oréal between 2002 and 2014, from International Marketing Director in France, to Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Corporate Communications Officer in Canada.

Ms. Lamothe also serves on the boards of Lightspeed HQ, OSMO and the ALDO group. She was previously a Director of Jean Coutu Group PJC Inc. from July 2016 until the privatization of the company in May 2018.

Since 2016, she has been appointed by the Treasury Board of Canada to the Audit Committee for Ministries such as Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) and the Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) and nominated by the Canadian Revenue Agency (CRA) Commissioner to its external advisory panel. 

Ms. Lamothe was also appointed to the 2017 Advisory Council on Economy and Innovation for the Government of Quebec and was a Member of Canada 150 Research Chairs Multidisciplinary Review Panel which aims to award research chair positions to Canadian universities and enhance Canada’s reputation as a global center for science, research and innovation excellence.

She completed INSEAD’s L’Oreal management program in France and earned a dual bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics, with honors, from the University of Montréal.

Steve Abrams

Steven Abrams is a partner in the IT Venture Fund. He joined the BDC in 2001, after almost nine years in investment banking with Scotia McLeod and two years as CFO of an interactive advertising agency. As a director in corporate finance, he participated in many IPOs, privatizations, M&A advisory mandates, and equity and debt financing for companies in sectors, including technology, transportation and telecommunications. For an Internet company, he raised a first round of venture capital, did three acquisitions, two startups, and helped grow the company from 20 people to 145. Mr. Abrams holds an MBA in Finance from Cornell University and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from McGill University.

Nathalie Marcoux

Nathalie Marcoux, CPA is vice-president of Capinabel inc, a private holding company, since 2001. Mme Marcoux is president of the advisory committee of HEC’s Remi Marcoux Entrepreneurial track and a member of the advisory committee of Tandemlaunch. Since 2014, she has been a member of many juries such as the one of Startupfest, of 25 Emerging Entrepreneurs supported by the Claudine and Stephen Bronfman Family Foundation at C2 Montreal and of the EY Entrepreneur of the Year.

Phil Telio

Phil may have an engineering background, but this seasoned entrepreneur got a taste of the startup world fresh out of university. His journey started in the early 90s pre-internet era when he joined Public Technologies Multimedia—a startup that grew from a handful of people, to hundreds of people in just a few short years. Although he launched his career as a programmer, Phil was quickly drawn into the business side of startups and has pursued this vocation ever since. From PTM he joined Locus Dialogue, who was eventually bought by InfoSpace (another startup that grew quickly). In 2003 Phil decided to start his own chapter with Embrase, a business-consulting firm centered on bringing innovation to the enterprise market. Despite his 20+ years of executive experience driving strategic business development, his heart was always in startups so he created a series of events that have now come to be the largest events in Canada for entrepreneurs. Phil is also a board member of the Osmo Foundation and is the President and Chairman of the Montreal Startup Foundation. As the Founder of Startupfest, and the Elevator World Tour, Phil has invested in every one of the investment prizes- including Paris, and Tel Aviv.

Anna Goodson

Anna Goodson is the Founder & President of of Anna Goodson Illustration Agency and has spent the last 25 years working with creatives and promoting their work. She is passionate, innovative and is considered a leader and trend setter in her field.

Having launched her first startup back in 1996, Anna has always been interested in technology and is an active member of the Startup community in Montreal as a Mentor, Speaker and Angel Investor.

A strong promoter of women entrepreneurs, Anna hopes to inspire other young women to follow their dreams of starting a business.

She believes that freedom doesn’t have a price tag and that balance is the key to real success and happiness in life.

Anna has been on the Jury of Startupfest since the beginning and was one of the first women on board.

Gary Pudles

Gary A. Pudles is a “serial entrepreneur” who focuses on helping organizations execute better and become more profitable all while having fun. He is the Founder and CEO of AnswerNet, and the co-founder of TextGen, SA Billing, Splendtastic, and Subout. He is a winner of the SmartCEO Best-Run Companies award and the prestigious “Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year” for business service providers and has led AnswerNet to the 21st spot on the Inc. 500. He also teaches Entrepreneurship at the University Of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Of Business and is a regular participant in Startup Camp and the Intl’ Startup Festival. Pudles’ philosophy is that every project he is involved in must be with the intent of helping companies run their businesses more efficiently and profitably. However, it must be according to their unique style – not by forcing them into a predetermined template, but by replicating proven processes and adding that custom twist unique to their needs.

Josh Felker

Josh is the founder and managing partner at BoxOne Ventures, an asset management firm whose VC activities are focussed on early stage companies across several sectors including fintech, applied ML/AI, synthetic biology/biotech, crypto/decentralized finance.Prior to BoxOne, Josh Felker was the co-founder of the Montreal based proprietary trading firm Vigilant Global. A leader in the most latency sensitive and technology driven areas of trading, Vigilant was an early pioneer in the use of FPGAs and wireless communication technologies in financial markets. Vigilant was acquired by proprietary trading firm DRW Trading in 2012. As partner at DRW, Josh helped oversee a highly diversified global trading firm spanning liquidity provision operations, risking-taking/directional trading, real-estate, venture investing as well as cryptocurrency trading.Josh has a degree in Genetics from Western University and is a father of three.

Adrian Salamunovic

Adrian Salamunovic is the co-author of  FREE PR a book that is focused on helping entrepreneurs grow their businesses using the power of free media exposure without having to hire a PR agency. Previously, he founded CanvasPop and DNA11, which he bootstrapped to 8-figure sales. Previously he helped to launch, which sold to J2 Communications for over 200M dollars. He is also a public speaker, startup advisor, investor, and PR expert who is passionate about helping entrepreneurs amplify their companies. Adrian has strategized the launch and continued success of many businesses, helping both his own and his clients’ companies generate hundreds of millions of free media impressions. He is a global mentor for San Francisco based 500 Startups and and is the #1 rated advisor

Allen Lau

Allen Lau is the CEO and co-founder of Wattpad, the global multiplatform entertainment company, where he leads the company’s vision to entertain and connect the world through stories. A leader in Canada’s technology sector and startup ecosystem, Allen is a member of the Canadian Council of Innovators, a lobby group that advances the interests of Canadian technology companies at all levels of government. He is also the co-founder of Two Small Fish Ventures, a fund that invests in Toronto and Waterloo-based early stage internet companies with strong network effects.Prior to Wattpad, Allen co-founded FeedM8, a mobile advertising company that was later acquired. He also previously co-founded Tira Wireless, where he helped leading brands optimize content for mobile delivery.Allen received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Toronto’s Electrical Engineering program.Find Allen on Wattpad and on Twitter: @allenlau 

Solon Angel

Solon Angel is a loud speaking enterprise serial innovator, visionary founder and Chief Strategy Officer of MindBridge Ai makers of the AI Auditor, a world’s first. His time in Silicon Valley shaped his philosophy of watching trends and building product-centric companies that solve massive market problems. Solon’s years of experience in high-tech firms ranging from ERP, CRM, venture capital to AI expert systems make him the perfect technology strategist to reshape how organizations around the world gain new insight on the wave of change now called the 4th industrial revolution. He spends most of his time travelling, helping other founders part of FreshFounders or fishing with his two daughters.

Michael Hollinger

BS Electrical Engineering – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1988; MCI Telecommunications Corp., 1988-1991; H.W. Hollinger (Canada) Inc. Insurance Brokers, President, 1991 – Present