Local startups competed in Ottawa’s take on Dragons’ Den last week as Axis Ottawa brought them together with international investors and entrepreneurs from all areas of the technology world.
While there was no official winner for either of the two pitchfests, presenters and attendees alike agreed the real strength of the conference was in helping startups get noticed by international investors.
Organizer Ed Frank, CEO of Axis Innovation, said he was very pleased with the calibre of this year’s startups.
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“Ottawa’s startup ecosystem is definitely very strong and we look forward to bringing more Axis events to Canada’s capital city in the future,” he said.
Startups were pitching technology that included voice-activated passwords, verification software for ID, and even a monthly cologne subscription designed for ‘hipsters’.
“Events like Axis Ottawa are so important for getting the next great idea out into the world. Startups are changing the world with their innovative technologies, and having access to international investors at an event like this gives them – quite possibly – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to take the next step and go global,” said Roman Kikta, managing partner and founder of Mobility Ventures. Mr. Kikta also delivered a keynote presentation at the event, describing entrepreneurship and innovation from a venture capitalist’s perspective.
Duncan Stewart, director of technology, media and telecommunications research at Deloitte Canada, agrees.
“The different ideas and technologies presented at this year’s Axis Ottawa event are a testament to the level of innovation coming out of Canadian startups – truly inspiring to see,” he said. Mr. Stewart also delivered a keynote presentation at the event, exploring common misconceptions about artificial intelligence and the future of technology.