Crossing the finish line: judging criteria for SWTO

You’re heads down and working hard, teams. Creating, validating, making, innovating… and for what? To help keep you on point while you drive your ideas to the finish line, here’s a reminder on the judging criteria. Remember, you’re competing for a host of rad prizes AND the chance to represent Toronto at Global Startup Battle: can we win a third a year in a row?!

The three key criteria are:


  • did your team get out and talk to customers?
  • are you actually solving a problem?
  • have you identified a specific target market?

Execution and Design

  • do you have an MVP or prototype?
  • how functional is your technical demo?
  • Design matters! How easy is your product to use?

Business Model

  • are you solving a problem? (value proposition)
  • is your idea unique?
  • how do you plan on making this a successful business?

Also, courtesy of our Global sponsor Coca-Cola, our friends at vitaminwater are sponsoring the vitaminwater do-er award! Here’s the details: 

Glaceau vitaminwater believes in the creators, the movers, the shakers, & the do-ers who are making things that help people rock their day like nobody’s business.  maybe it’s a breakthrough app that lets you play with your dog remotely while you’re at work and he’s at home (done!) or a chair that allows deaf people to feel sound so intimately they can hear it (happening!) and you – budding entrepreneurs who make the world go ‘round.

that’s why we are here, hydrating you through startup weekend and doing our part to help unleash the power of your idea. we want to acknowledge your hustle, your passion, your spirit by hydrating your team for a whole year and give you access to some of the resources we use that help us do what we do.  think of it as one way we’re trying to pay it forward. we were, after all, a start-up of our very own once.

vitaminwater and UP GLOBAL will be granting the vitaminwater do-er award to the team that best demonstrates their take-no-prisoners, hustle-their-hearts out, work-their-booties-off attitude.  so what if you don’t win startup weekend? we only care about the overall positive pursuit of your idea. 

for complete contest details click here

You’ve got your marching orders, SWTO teams. Dazzle us!




SWTO Teams: Meet the judges!

Wanna know who you’re presenting to tomorrow, teams? Here’s our fancy Internet of Things Edition Judge’s panel!

Natasha Baker is the founder of SnapEDA, a platform that accelerates the design and manufacturing of electronics. She is also a technology contributor to several publications including Reuters and Forbes. Natasha has a BASc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Toronto, and has held technical and marketing roles within the electronics industry since 2006, working with companies such as National Instruments and Analog Devices.

SnapEDA is democratizing the development of electronics and fuelling the innovation of new gadgets, including wearable technology and Internet of Things devices, by providing the building blocks electronic designers need to design and manufacture products faster.

Karl Martin is the founder and CEO of Bionym, makers of the Nymi wristband which authenticates identity using the wearers cardiac rhythm. He has a PhD in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto, with expertise in biometrics, cryptography, and privacy. A builder at heart, he’s happiest when creating things (especially with blinky blinky lights).

Matthew Leibowitz joined Plaza Ventures as Partner in 2012. Throughout his career, Matthew has been involved in all aspects of the investment cycle having completed dozens of transactions of early stage technology companies. Matthew was formerly a Principal with an institutional investment firm in Toronto. Matthew focuses on origination, vetting, due diligence, negotiation and deal structuring of investments and private equity financing agreements across technology sectors, as well as the refining of business concepts, selecting appropriate business plans for investment and monitoring and enhancing the
performance of portfolio companies.

Ian Collins is the founder and CEO of the Crowdcare Corporation, building the next-generation of app based tech support platform that will enable regular people to quickly and easily solve their everyday problems with their smart devices. Ian is an entrepreneur and investor who has founded 6 tech companies in the last 18 years, while raising over $100 million in venture capital.