LiONʼS LAIR is an annual competition presented by Innovation Factory, in collaboration with the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce and the City of Hamilton, and brings Hamilton’s entrepreneurship and innovation community together. The competition gives 10 companies the opportunity to pitch to a panel of our city’s top business experts – the “Lions” – for a chance to win a CASH prize!
The first annual competition took place in 2011 and has significantly grown – in application volumes, gala attendees, prizing and buzz – year after year.
So how does LiON’S LAIR work? Every Spring, hopeful participants submit business plans which are evaluated by a panel of independent judges.
The judges’ score the plans based on a company’s product, its commercial viability and the ability of the entrepreneur to execute. After the judging, the 15 companies who scored the highest selected at the finalists.
The finalists are taken through training sessions intended to strengthen their skills in pitching, developing questions and responses on the fly, and ultimately preparing them to face the Lions. The 15 finalists then have their 10-minute pitch filmed and participate in 3 half-hour interviews to evaluate the company’s branding, intellectual property and business case. The Lions will review the pitch and the scores from the interviews and select the top 10 finalists who will pitch at the Gala.
PITCHING AT THE GALA
Each of the 10 finalists will deliver a 2-minute pitch live at the Gala on September 26th. The Lions will ask one question of each pitching company. After all the finalists have delivered their pitch, the Lions will deliberate and decide the winners.
Many of our past finalists are continuing to grow their businesses post-LiON’S LAIR and are making an impact on Hamilton’s economy. Many have grown their teams, raising follow-on investment, with a few appearing on the Dragons’ Den stage!
If you have any questions regarding LiON’S LAIR, please email [email protected].