A Hamilton-based online paint store, which boasts being Canada’s first, has taken top prize with the Innovation Factory’s annual LiONS LAIR competition.
The e-retailer picked up the $30,000 prize for providing a convenient online portal to 60 of the most popular colours of high-quality, made-in-Canada paints.
CEO and co-founder Jill Torrance said the business model was helped along by the COVID-19 pandemic and a change in the way some people of have been shopping in the last seven months.
“Certainly with the current state of the world right now, more and more people want to do contactless shopping,” Torrence said, “and so it was high time that somebody came up with this idea.”
Torrence says the paint business still predominantly operates on the old brick-and-mortar model of going to a renovation store to pick and mix colours.
Digby paints says it makes the experience “hassle-free and fun” with a website that has the most commonly used wall paint colours and a “paint visualizer” which allows prospective customers to place available colours on a wall.
Torrence says the technology is being updated on a regular basis and likely will soon offer a visualizer that’s more representative of an actual wall in a customer’s home.
“Right now, it’s a fairly standard room with what the trim looks like and what the accent wall will look like,” Torrence said.
An order from Digby is not just paint, but supplies as well. A purchase can also include trays, rollers, brushes and tape.
Prospective customers can also buy large, stickable colour card swatches that allow for a sampling of colours.
Second place in the competition went BData Solutions, developers of an artificial intelligence and machine learning system for manufacturing.
The People’s Choice Award was given to ImaginAble Solutions – a biomedical engineering outlet that creates assistive devices for people living with accessibility issues.
The first product from the company is Guided Hands, a device designed to help people with limited hand mobility in writing, painting, drawing, or using a tablet.