May 30, 2012, marks an important and exciting afternoon at MaRS as 10 finalists will be competing in the seventh annual Up-Start! Competition.

The Up-Start! Competition is a business pitch competition for the 2011—2012 attendees of Entrepreneurship 101. Individuals or teams will have 10 minutes to pitch a business idea in one of four categories—information and communications technology, cleantech, social venture or life sciences—and to apply concepts from the course to make a compelling business case.

Under the mentorship of MaRS volunteer advisors, 10 companies have spent the last few months working hard to prepare their pitch presentations. The top business plan and presentation will receive a prize of $10,000 along with a pitch video production package from MaRS Media with a retail value of $4,000.

Watch the video to learn more about the competition and to hear from last year’s winners.

Plus, read “A winner’s take on the Up-Start! Competition” by last year’s prizewinner, The Hot Plate.

Who’s competing?

Chematria makes software that helps pharmaceutical companies determine what molecules can become medicines. With Chematria’s molecular docking simulations, pharmaceutical researchers can confidently predict potent molecules for novel biological targets, thereby enabling faster drug development for a fraction of the price of wet-lab experiments.

Epilogger is the life of the party, the event and the movement. It is the central online hub and pulse of an event and lets you see, share and curate—before, during and after the event—the best content from all attendees. Find out who’s going, build anticipation, live the experience and rediscover all the great content in one place, automatically. Make sense of the event. Make history. Make your mark

The LIFEbike is an ultra-lightweight and portable electric bicycle (e-bike) that is designed for commuters in cities like Toronto. LIFEbikes are fun, easy to ride and extremely convenient. Unlike other e-bikes, the LIFEbike weighs only 15 kilograms and can fit compactly in your home or office. For just five cents of electricity, it can transport you up to 30 kilometres without breaking a sweat.

Casero is an online platform that allows real-estate investors to quickly and easily analyze deals, find high-quality tenants, and manage their properties for optimal cash flow. It also allows tenants to find and lease great rental properties while fostering a channel of open communication with their landlord.

Lumasonix is an early stage medical device company focused on the early detection of breast cancer. It is developing a non-invasive imaging device that uses harmless regular light to capture all diagnostic information in seconds—data that is presently collected by several different procedures over the course of months. This simple test will eliminate the false positives of current detection methods, making breast cancer detection a more accurate, hassle-free, safe and painless process and resulting in better healthcare at significantly lower costs.

FlyerFlo is the logical next step in the evolution of direct marketing, bringing traditional paper flyers to the exploding tablet demographic. Starting with a dedicated iPad application, shoppers can browse deals and promotions from their favourite local brands in a simple and fluid fashion. FlyerFlo measures the usage and trend data, providing a platform for retailers to achieve greater customer engagement by delivering more targeted campaigns and customizing relationships with their customers. promotes dancing in Toronto. It lists classes, workshops, auditions and other events. Don’t just sit there, Toronto. Dance!

Libratiq exploits the full potential of e-books and digital documents to improve the quality of professional, academic and other forms of research. A combination of software applications and web services, it focuses on the components of reading and study that are required but missing from all current reading systems. It enables the linking of multiple documents and complex annotations, as well as collaboration and sharing.

Fungaea is a grassroots movement using fungi to promote the benefits of sustainable urban farming. Fungaea has developed a completely compostable grow-your-own-mushroom kit, giving gourmets and environmentally conscious customers a way to grow their own fresh and local food—at home!

The WalkSafe mobile phone application allows women to feel secure while walking in potentially risky situations. It offers an alarm and police-calling system that is triggered automatically on a user’s smartphone.

This year’s judges are:
Peter Evans, founder and CEO, Speakerfile
Raymond Simmons, tech entrepreneur and volunteer advisor, MaRS
William Brown, managing director, BCW Ventures
Cathy Steiner, managing director, Nucleus GC

Check out some of our previous Up-Start! Competition winners: The Hot Plate, Eve Medical, Shape Collage, Dreamcube and SWIFTplate.

For more information and to register to attend, click here.

Good luck to the finalists!

Marielle Voksepp

Marielle works as part of the education team at MaRS. She helps entrepreneurs get access to business resources both online and in-person. See more…