Ontario has become an attractive zone for innovative entrepreneurs across the world, to grow their businesses in Canada and North America. To better support these entrepreneurs, Toronto Business Development Centre (TBDC) has partnered with Ontario Centre of Innovation (OCI) to offer a Pitch Platform for Indian Entrepreneurs in the Agri-tech space. The intent is to help entrepreneurs scale their businesses in Canada’s smart farming and Agritech space.
The TBDC Agritech Pitch Contest received applications from 28 companies, and active participation from startups that are in the growth and early stage. These companies have good traction and potential to be adapted in the Ontario ecosystem as they have innovative business models, a strong founding team and market validation. The jury panel featured several influential minds from the Ontario ecosystem such as Sarah Pick – Regional Business Development Team Lead, Ontario at Futurpreneur Canada; Ade Akinbola – Senior Manager, Commercial and Corporate Banking, Farm Credit Canada; Beverly Agar – Agricultural Account Manager, Royal Bank of Canada; Joe Dales – Co-Founder & President, Agriculture & Food Innovation, RH Accelerator Inc; John Hayden – Venture Catalyst, Northumberland CFDC; and Ehsan Mirdamadi – Co-Founder and CTO, Smart Cocoon, Partner and CEO, NuBinary.
Out of the top 10 companies who pitched for the Agritech contest, Bangalore – India based Qzense and Sensegrass were the winners. The candidates were evaluated on the basis of their business model, tech solutions, approach towards problem solving, Canada market fit, innovation, founding team, market validation and revenue.
“TBDC’s constant endeavour as Toronto’s premier start-up accelerator is to help grow the next wave of tech start-ups. The Agritech Pitch has provided a much-needed platform to innovative entrepreneurs trying to transform their entrepreneurial ambitions into successful businesses in Canada. Thanks to technology and innovation, this sector is growing speedily and Ontario in particular has become a hotbed of opportunities for entrepreneurs. We are also glad to have provided the required motivation to the entrepreneurial minds to develop their businesses and effectively start their company, by taking support from Canada’s conducive business ecosystem,” said Vikram Khurana, Chairman TBDC.
Mr. Rubal Chib, Founder and CEO of Qzense added, “Qzense team is thrilled to have been declared winners and accepted into the SUV program by TBDC. It has been a challenging few weeks where our technology and innovation as well as business and financial models have been chosen to be a good fit to the Canada market.”
Mr. Lalit Gautam, Founder and CEO of Sensegrass said “Sensegrass has been accepted into the SUV program by TBDC. We had a great interaction with the TBDC team evaluating our fit for the Canada market and I could not think of anyone other than TBDC to help us through this curve. This is an enormous opportunity for us to explore the potential North American market.”