LiON’S LAIR 2017 top 10 finalists announced

The top 10 finalists for LiON'S LAIR 2017 have been announced. Banko Media

The 10 finalists for LiON’S LAIR 2017 in Hamilton have been announced.

The annual competition brings together the entrepreneurship and innovation community to pitch their ideas to a panel of local business experts, the “lions,” with the winner receiving cash and in-kind prizes.

They are Aiva Labs, BridesMade, Dash MD, Dolled Up Desserts, Gene Blueprint,, HiNT Neuro, Lumago, Nanophyll, and Oneiric Hockey.

They will compete for more than $160,000 in cash and in-kind prizes at the seventh annual gala on Sept. 27 at Carmen’s Banquet Centre.

The companies will also be featured on CHML’s Bill Kelly Show leading up to the event.

The shortlist was created after 15 businesses went head-to-head in a mini-pitch competition in front of judges from Innovation Factory and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce.

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“Our Top 10 is truly representative of the economic diversity and growth that Hamilton and the surrounding area has experienced since the competition’s inception,” said David Carter, executive director at Innovation Factory. “We can see a wide range of industries and products represented, and for the first time, the majority of our finalist companies are led by female founders and co-founders. It’s exciting to see the competition reflect larger, positive trends in entrepreneurship.”

Tickets to the event will go on sale starting in mid-August and will be available at

Some background on the finalists, courtesy of Innovation Factory:

Aiva Labs
Aiva Labs empowers website owners to easily engage their online visitors by creating unique marketing experiences with their simple, yet powerful campaign and landing page builder. They offer users the unlimited flexibility to build customized, mobile responsive designs that seamlessly blend with their website. Aiva Labs harnesses the magic of AI to let these campaigns design themselves to get better at converting visitors, with no coding required.

An estimated $2.6 billion is spent on bridesmaid dresses every year, and millennial bridesmaids complain about the cost and process. Through a rental model, online experience, and unique fitting algorithm, BridesMade solves these problems. Bridesmaids can rent size-adjustable designs through the BridesMade online portal and have them shipped to their doorstep. By renting their dress, bridesmaids can save an average of 60 per cent off retail. A special fitting algorithm also ensures that bridesmaids get the perfect fit entirely online.

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Dash MD
Patients are often stressed, tired, or medicated when being sent home from the hospital for recovery. Recovery information given at this time may be misunderstood or forgotten, leading to unnecessary readmissions or revisits. Dash MD offers a solution: their mobile patient experience connects patients to everything they need to manage their care after leaving the hospital.

Dolled Up Desserts
Dolled Up Desserts is a wholesale bakery offering gluten-free and vegan treats and baking mixes. The bakery was founded with the mission to empower those with dietary differences to conveniently enjoy dessert without sacrificing taste, texture, or nutrition. Their 100 per cent gluten-free, vegan, and soy-free baking mixes allow the home baker to easily make their favourite treats, including fudgy brownies, banana muffins, chocolate cake, and more. Dolled Up Desserts baked goods and baking mixes can be found in dozens of retail stores across Southern Ontario.

Gene Blueprint
Everyone responds to fitness and nutrition plans differently and this is largely due to genetics. Gene Blueprint has developed patented methods that use a client’s DNA, an algorithm, relevant lifestyle data, and gene scores to make recommendations on effective nutrition and exercise strategies. This personalized approach to health and wellness is delivered via a genetic test kit. is Canada’s first virtual veterinary consultation platform, serving as an online marketplace connecting veterinarians with local pet owners on demand through video chat. Pet owners can source the trustworthy information they need to make an informed pet health decision and seek in-person care if required.

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HiNT Neuro
HiNT Neuro is developing a wearable monitoring device using EEG technology to detect a stroke, alerting high-risk patients, their caregivers, and emergency services, while providing a medical report for the hospital. Until now, a stroke during sleep could cause debilitating effects or even death. This is because sufferers of sleep strokes are unable to receive the highly effective, time-sensitive treatment they need. HiNT Neuro’s device provides continuity of care outside of the hospital and could save the lives of thousands of stroke victims every year. The device is a comfortable, wearable headband that patients can wear to sleep.

Lumago provides an aquaponics system that is customizable, expandable, and fully automated. Aquaponics is an alternative farming technique that can decrease farming costs, increase yields, and provide certified organic produce. The method combines aquaculture (fish farming) and hydroponics (growing plants in water) into one system. With the Lumago system, farmers can implement aquaponics and expand as their needs change.

Nanophyll has developed a line of proprietary smart coatings that can be applied to existing surfaces. Industries expend time, effort, and toxic cleaning products in a constant fight against dirt, dust, and grime. The risk of mechanical breakdown, environmental pollution, and workplace safety is high if these elements are not kept in check. Nanophyll’s coatings are self-cleaning and anti-microbial, improving air quality while reducing the need for chemical use and costly repairs or renovations.

Oneiric Hockey
Getting dressed for hockey can be a hassle, especially for young players. Despite the fact that players have to dress in 13 or more different pieces of equipment, there are still critical gaps in safety left by current equipment on the market. Oneiric Hockey has developed innovative, patented protective base layer apparel for hockey players that allows them to get dressed faster, provides additional safety in areas currently left exposed, and holds shin pads securely in place.


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