It was an afternoon of magic on Friday, May 4, 2012. There was good press coverage on Friday/Saturday by all the usual news outlets (CTV News, 570 Radio, The Record, etc.) so I won’t repeat the obvious details. Rather, in retrospect, I wanted to capture some of the personal experiences that excited us as the day progressed:

  • The new entrance to the Breithaupt Block is very impressive with a glass tower and appealing water feature. Much of the building is still under construction but it certainly didn’t compromise the feeling that we were about to enjoy something very special.
  • We commented on the up-scale lobby as we elevator’d to the fourth floor and were welcomed by Benton Leong; thank you Benton for the tour and quick peek at some of the under construction spaces in the building. It was amazing to learn that the appealing fourth floor space for the LaunchPad activities, complete with high ceiling and exposed beams, was a construction site with holes in the floor just three weeks prior.
  • There was lots of chatter and anticipation in the crowd of 200+ people—and speculation over which of the 8 finalists would win the $50K, $25K and $10K prizes plus the People’s Choice honours sponsored by Machteld Faas Xander. In total, 40 start-ups applied in the LaunchPad$50K competition.
  • The presentations were fascinating. You could feel the tension and appreciate the pressure they were under as each presenter told their story; this was a first-ever pitch for most of these start-up entrepreneurs. A real nail-biter! Challenging questions by the judging panel and the audience added to the drama.
  • Rebecca Short was thrilled to present our People’s Choice Award to ‘Will Pwn 4 Food’. LaunchPad judges also awarded owner Ivan Lukianchuk the $25K second prize honours to help fund his start-up launch.
  • The $10K third prize went to start-up ‘Rebel Hippo by Lumos’.
  • We weren’t surprised at the Big winner—Natalie MacNeil– well deserved. As exciting as it was to hear the announcement that her ‘She takes on the World’ won the $50K monster cheque, her win initiated the event’s most emotional moment when Benton Leong interrupted the celebration’s closing remarks. In an unscripted announcement, he asked Natalie to return to the stage, and indicated that she needed to rip up her prize cheque! It turned out that he and other LaunchPad investors spontaneously decided that Natalie’s business deserved more and contributed another $50K to her prize … upping her total take to $100,000!!!
  • Finally, it was a thrill for Rebecca to hear that her number was drawn in the door prize raffle; we are now the proud owners of a BlackBerry Playbook.

Congratulations to all those on the Golden Triangle AngelNet (GTAN) LaunchPad$50K organizing committee for a flawless event. And thank you for a great time!

No Comments

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.