Friday, July 3, 2009

Innovator Idol - A new pilot for a TV show?

The concept came to us as we thought about all the neat companies that we were seeing through our Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR) work at OCETA and the RIC-Centre. James Sbrolla ( another of those EIR's in the Ontario Commercialization Network and I were keen to showcase some of the companies that we were working with. With significant support from the RIC-Centre team (Sharon, Radi and Pam) were created Innovator Idol. The concept mirrored that popular TV show that concluded in early June.
We created a panel consisting of an Angel investor (Henry Vehovec, a Venture Capitalist (Michael Curry and a representative from the Innovation Accelerator Fund (IAF) (Shriley Speakman Over a beer or two James and I sifted through a signficant number of applications and chose 4 companies that were clearly up to the challenge. These included Thoughtspeed ( - a ecommerce health application, IDAlerts ( - an identity theft protection company, Refined Data ( - a risk management software system and Real Tech ( - water quality test instrumentation. Each company was given 6 minutes to present their unique story and another 6 minutes to answer questions from the panel and audience. The panelists were then asked to provide their constructive feedback to each of the presentors. In a stroke of innovative genius, Radi and Sharon found some SMS voting software and with a little help we were able to have the sold out audience vote the company that they were most likely to invest their own money into.
The winning company was Real Tech represented by their CEO Jodi Glover. Congradulations to all of the presenting companies and to the audience for their support and appreciation. The event was such a success that James and I are already scheduling the next visit to the Pub to plot the next version - I am thinking something like: "...Ontario's Got Innovation Talent..."

What do you think?


  1. I like it - both the concept and the name - Nice!

  2. Hey David, the blog is looking really great.

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