The LiONS LAIR Investment Forum (the “Forum”) closes as a virtual competition from September 21-23, 2021 (the “Event”). The deadline for submitting applications is 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time on May 16, 2021. The LiONS LAIR Investment Forum is organized by the Innovation Factory (the “Organizers”). No fee is required to participate. Participation in the Forum constitutes acceptance of the terms, conditions and provisions set out below.


All teams/submissions are expected to abide by the specific guidelines enumerated below as well as the overall spirit of the Forum. The Organizers, in their sole discretion, reserve the right to disqualify any team that violates the guidelines, regulations or the spirit of the Forum. The Organizers may change these guidelines may at any time and without notice.

How to Participate

Residents and business owners in the greater Hamilton area of Ontario, Canada, and/or Ontario-located business owners with the intent to relocate to Hamilton, Ontario before December 31, 2022, Innovation Factory clients, and/or members of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce are eligible to participate in LiONS LAIR. Any corporation or enterprise with revenues in excess of $2.5 million, or who placed in the top 10 at a previous Lions Lair, or placed in the top 3 at a previous Synapse Competition shall be precluded from participating in this Forum.  Applicant’s technology/innovation should fall within one of the following sectors: advanced manufacturing, life science, cleantech, digital and ICT, integrated mobility and social innovations.

Participants shall:

1) Complete and submit an online application by 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time (EST) on May 16, 2021, at
2) Certify that any documentation shared in the application process is their own work;
3) Certify that they abide by all guidelines of the Forum; and
4) Be limited to submitting only one application per participant.

Any application that is received by the Organizers that is illegible or has not been received through the website outlined above is automatically void.

The Organizers assume no responsibility for any problems or technical malfunction of any telephone network, telephone lines, computer online systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, software, or the failure of any application to be received by the Organizers on account of technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website, or any combination thereof.


All applicants must complete the online application located at Applications that are mailed, dropped off or otherwise submitted will be considered void.


Participants selected to participate in the Forum will be notified by telephone or email. Up to three (3) attempts will be made to contact the selected participants within three days following their selection. The Organizers accept no liability for incorrect, incomplete or illegible contact information provided. If a selected participant cannot be contacted in the manner described above or fails to respond in a timely manner, its application will receive no further consideration by the evaluation panel.

Impartial third party judges will evaluate and score all applications, from which the top 10 will be selected.

The top 10 participants chosen are required to:

  • participate in training sessions over the summer months;
  • deliver a verbal pitch that will be recorded and made available online;
  • participate in 3, half-hour interviews, and
  • participate in the virtual production of the LiONS LAIR Pitch Madness competition.

Training sessions will occur between June 16 and August 26, 2021 with on-going coaching and one-on-one meetings required at the Organizer’s discretion.

Participants must be available to participate in interviews between July 19 and 23, 2021.

LiONS LAIR Madness Tournament

Finalists will be required to attend a scheduled filming event between August 17 and 19, 2021 to present their pitch to the judges, (the “Lions”) who will in return, ask questions and determine the winners of the pitch competition.

Film footage from the pitches may be used at the discretion of the Organizers for future promotions.

Key Dates and Delivery Method** (2021)

Any individual(s) pitching will be required at the following:

  • Meet & Greet (Virtual) – Thursday, June 10, 2021, 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM.
  • Training Sessions (Virtual) – Wednesday, June 16 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM; Thursday, June 17 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM; Wednesday, July 14 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM; Thursday, July 15  6:00 PM – 9:00 PM.
  • Expert Reviews (Virtual) – Monday, July 19 through Friday, July 23 for 3 separately scheduled interviews.
  • Tournament Filming (In-person) – Tuesday, August 17 to Thursday, August 19 to be scheduled.
  • Pitch Competition Event (Virtual) – Tuesday September 21 2021 through Thursday September 23 to be finalized.

**The Organizers reserve the rights to change the dates and times above.  The Organizers reserve the right to change the delivery format of the sessions (virtual, in-person) based on the recommendations from the Ontario Ministry of Health.


The evaluation panel will consist of investors, business executives, and other individuals contributing valuable insight as determined by the Organizers. The criteria upon which the panel will base its decisions may include whether:

  • the business concept/idea is clearly stated;
  • the customer is clearly targeted;
  • the message is delivered persuasively within the time limit;
  • the investment/resources are clearly articulated;
  • the business model is clearly described; and
  • the value proposition is clearly articulated.

All decisions made by the evaluation panel are final.


Awards of cash and in-kind services will be made from a fund administered by the Organizers. The amount and distribution will be determined by the evaluation panel and presented at the Event. While each participant is eligible to receive all or part of the grants available, it is not guaranteed that the evaluation panel will make a grant to any participant.

Disclosure and Ownership of Technologies and Materials

All participants will retain ownership of all intellectual property rights in the subject matter of their applications. Participants are cautioned that intellectual property rights, including patentable inventions and industrial designs, may be compromised by public disclosure.

Submission of an application to the Forum should be considered a public disclosure. Participants should not assume any right of confidentiality in any data or information discussed, divulged, or presented in their business plan or the Panel Review. Organizers and sponsors of the Forum, staff, evaluation panel, audience members, etc. will not be asked to sign any non-disclosure or confidentiality agreements. The evaluation/presentation will be conducted in a meeting with attendance open to the general public.

Participants acknowledge that it is their responsibility to take steps prior to submitting entries to preserve their intellectual property rights in any subject matter contained therein.

Publishing and Promotion

Once materials are submitted, the organizers reserve the right to publish information respecting the participants’ work in publications and to release information to the media, which may include radio, television, print media, and the Internet.


Applications and extra inclusions will not be returned after submission.

The award of any in-kind services will be provided to participants without any representation or warranty of any kind. No interest will be paid on any cash prize award. Cash prizes may take up to 90 days to be presented to the winning finalist(s).

The Organizers accept no liability whatsoever arising in respect of the participation in the Forum by any individual or the awarding or use of any grant.

By submitting an application to the Forum, each participant releases and holds harmless the Organizers, their affiliates and subsidiaries, advertising and promotional agencies, any panelists appointed by them, and in each case their respective directors, officers, owners, employees, agents, representatives, successors and assigns, from any and all liability in connection with the Forum or resulting from acceptance, possession or use of any grant including, without limitation, personal injury, death, and property damage, and claims based on publicity rights, defamation, or invasion of privacy.

By accepting an award of cash or in-kind services, the successful participant authorizes the Organizers the right to use his/her name, address, likeness, photograph, application, and/or statements in advertising and for other promotional or publicity purposes without compensation.

The Organizers reserve the right, without advanced notice, to suspend, delay or cancel the Forum or to modify these guidelines for any reason or as required by applicable law. Organizers will make best efforts to notify all participants of any changes.

By submitting your application, you represent and warrant to the Organizers that your submission is your own original work and that you have the sole right to submit it to the Organizers.