The Speed Dating Zone

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How it Works

1. Partners present a challenge, mandate, competition, or compelling offer and announce a prize.

2. Participants line up to pitch in the zones that interest them for a chance to win or gain knowledge and value.

*All prizes are open to ANY startup registered for the event.

2017 Speed Dating Zone

$100K Investment Prize

A group of angel investors are looking to find one startup to invest $100,000 in, in the form of a convertible note. No pre-registration required! Line up, and pitch to them Thursday afternoon to be shortlisted. Meet the judges you need to impress.


With IBM being so large it is often harder than anticipated to find talent / new resources to fill roles from our internal employee talent pool. We are looking to see who can assist in helping with a plug and play solution that any manager can implement, no matter their ranking, from president to first line manager, in order to fill internal jobs with the pre-existing employee talent pool.

IBM will offer an exclusive mentorship within the IBM Innovation Space for 6 months where IBM will provide direct business development and technology assistance to the winning company along with 24 hour access to the office with two free desk spaces.

Mercedes-Benz with DMZ

Mercedes-Benz is seeking new business models and approaches that have the potential to impact the processes of consumer data and sales. Judges from Mercedes-Benz will select 1-2 startups who will have the opportunity to take part in follow-up meetings with North American executives, and potentially qualify for a pilot program at Mercedes-Benz locations across Canada, the US and/or Mexico.

Fujitsu with DMZ

Offering free airfare and access to the Fujitsu World Tour at Levi Stadium in Santa Clara, CA on March 9th, 2017 to the best pitch that addresses innovation in retail experience, in the following areas of interest:
· “Advanced Image Recognition for grocery and produce”
· “Body Imaging for online fashion shopping”
· “Mobile and Social Media Applications”

CBC Media Prize

Do you have a big idea? You’ve got 1 minute to make your best impression on our CBC Toronto journalists. The top media pitcher will get a digital story and an interview on either CBC Radio One or CBC television. Producers and hosts will also be available to give practical advice on pitching and cutting through the press release clutter.

Corporate / Startup Innovation Zone

Come meet some of Highline BETA’s corporate partners and customers in Insurance, Financial Services & Health. Startups will have an opportunity to pitch their venture to corporate innovators who can help accelerate partnership deals. Highline BETA will also invest $25,000 minimum into one of the startups that pitches in the Zone!


Rogers would like to work with passionate innovators, just like you. Rogers is disrupting markets with emerging technologies and reshaping Canadian business and consumer experiences. We are looking for innovative ways for sports and media fans to engage with the content they love; to improve our wireless and residential customer experience; and to deliver technologies like cloud and other next-generation solutions to help Canadian businesses grow for success.
Judges from Rogers will select the top innovator who will work with our teams to fine tune their idea and get connected to key Rogers decision makers with the ultimate goal of creating a pilot.

Business BOT Challenge

Entrepreneurs looking to start or grow their business often have the same questions – and while resources are available, it can be challenging to quickly connect to the right information. Business support organizations in Toronto field thousands of the same inquiries annually. StartUP HERE Toronto challenges startups to pitch a proposed BOT solution that can learn and respond to basic business startup and growth inquiries – better enabling entrepreneurs to connect with the wealth of resources and information available. The winning solution is eligible to receive up to $25,000 to design and implement their winning pitch.


Prize details coming soon! Find Intuit in the Speed Dating Zone.

Future of Work Challenge

MaRS’ wants to know how you’re preparing for the #futureofwork. Engage MaRS experts with your pitch on how to adapt in the workplace to the coming reality of AI & robotics in our everyday working lives. Share a story of how your corporation is using new and innovative tools, or how you are developing a new tool or business to tackle this challenge. Entries will be judged by MaRS experts, with the winner receiving an in depth video case study (filmed & produced by MaRS) shared to the MaRS network, plus a seat at our upcoming 2017 GrowCamp & MaRSVerge Summit.

Scale Through Partnerships

If you’re involved in machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, data mining, or data cleaning, and you’re targeting the financial, digital media, legal or accounting sectors, we want to hear from you. We’re looking for partners, whether it’s a business partnership (channel sale, white label, data licensing) or a technology partnership (integration of services, augmenting existing offerings, building for the future). How can you leverage the established businesses of Thomson Reuters and The Globe and Mail to extend the reach of your company and bring new experiences to our customers that harness the power of big data and big data technologies?
Selected startups will have the opportunity to grow their business through partnership with one or both organizations. Next steps could involve paid proof of concepts, paid trials, or long-standing business partnerships that grant you access to our extensive customer networks, dramatically shortening sales cycles and de-risking expensive enterprise engagements.

Flixel with Fasken Martineau

Fasken Martineau will host Flixel (winner of Startupfest’s 2016 investment prize) at Resolve with their new photo booth, everyone that participates in creating a Flixel image (and tags their photo with #faskenconnects and @resolvetoronto on Twitter or Facebook), will automatically be included in a draw for a Google Home!


Pitch your big idea for a chance to win a one-day design sprint workshop with TWG. Open to both startups and corporate teams, you’ll have one minute to share your vision before fielding some tough questions from our experts. Candid feedback guaranteed.


Prize details coming soon! Find Deloitte in the Speed Dating Zone.

The Mentor Zone

Get the chance to chat with our speakers hot off the stage and other industry experts at length in the Mentor Tent brought to you by BDO.

VR-Tech Intensive

Canadian Film Centre’s Media Lab, in partnership with Corus Entertainment, invite start-ups with VR technologies and solutions to pitch for a spot in a new 3-day virtual reality intensive ‘VR IDEABOOST’ taking place Feb 28th – March 3rd, 2017. One company will win a coveted spot, and be invited to participate in 1:1 mentorship with global creators, manufacturers and experts in the virtual reality market, customized sessions to validate and accelerate your business, and pitch to Corus Entertainment division leaders. Best pitch will also win free flights to Los Angeles on March 22nd, 2017, an invitation to join the CFC’s LA media and entertainment networking event, and an opportunity to present to members of CFC IDEABOOST’S LA Investment Advisory Group.


Come chat with the BDC and meet some of the BDC’s portfolio companies in the BDC zone.

Brookfield + StartUP HERE TO

The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship’s (BII+E) recent study The Talented Mr. Robot: The impact of automation on Canada’s workforce found that over the next 10 to 20 years, 42% of the Canadian labour force is at a high risk of being affected by automation.
Future-proofing our young people will require a high degree of digital literacy.
Win-Win: How do we help young people develop digital literacy skills while filling Toronto’s tech talent gap?
The most insightful ideas and solutions will have an opportunity to work with The City of Toronto and the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship to develop your ideas further. We’re excited by the possibility of partnerships with individuals and organizations that want to be part of the solution and address Canada’s tech gap.