By Robert Greeley
Startup Garage hosted its annual end-of-summer rally on August 30 as another three months of innovation and creativity drew to a close. The 10 companies that took part in the summer 2018 youth entrepreneurship program hosted by uOttawa each presented a quick pitch to the crowd. Four businesses took home the evening’s awards:
Noibu allows high-end retailers to improve their virtual storefronts and give customers the feeling of shopping in a real-world store. Using 3D and VR technology, people can “step into” a store without actually being there.
UrbanDash is a platform that assists customers in finding trusted laundry and dry-cleaning services, and also provides a pick-up and delivery service. And when it comes to your favourite going-out shirt, you don’t want to take any chances! Over the past two months, UrbanDash has served more than 100 satisfied customers.
Thawrih is an inclusive athletic apparel company that produces stylish turbans and hijabs that are comfortable and practical for a variety of sports. All their high-quality active wear is hand-made in Ottawa by newcomers to Canada who are paid decent wages.
Ethical Tree is a free directory that helps conscious consumers find businesses, such as restaurants and stores, which align with their values. It also helps those businesses attract more customers by providing data-generated marketing services. This startup was selected by the audience as the winner of the evening’s people’s choice award.
To cap off the evening, BMO announced that the bank would be donating $500,000 over the next 10 years to help fund Startup Garage. BMO Senior Vice-President Victor Pellegrino said the new BMO Startup Garage Fund will allow the program to expand.
“This means the facility can provide more space for the many students who apply, as well as develop spaces for traditionally underrepresented groups,” he said.