This was the big event-the culmination of the program’s 16 rigorous weeks of brainstorming, business modelling, brand building and pitch polishing.
The evening began with opening remarks from Krista Jones of MaRS’s information technology, communications and entertainment (ICE) practice, followed by a thought-provoking keynote address from bestselling author and blogger Julien Smith. In his presentation, which was filled with punchy imagery and quotes, Julien talked about persistence hunting, bodybuilding, selection pressure and the art of parkour to the startup hustle. Some of the advice he offered included: “become a weapon or be destroyed”; “seek out adaptive struggles”; “don’t copy-evolve”; and “vulnerable is the new cool.”
Then came the main event: the eight-minute pitches from the six JOLT teams. After a brief black-and-white introductory video complete with theme song, each CEO took to the stage. This was the moment everyone was waiting for-and each team truly nailed their pitch and left the stage to huge cheers and applause. A job well done by all.
The teams all got to relax and celebrate over drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a build-your-own poutine bar in the Steam Whistle venue before a night of dancing at the after party, which was held at Bloke & 4th.
Now that JOLT’s four-month program is complete, the six companies move on to join the MaRS ICE practice ecosystem. JOLT graduates will receive continued support from MaRS advisors, capital partners, market intelligence and more. The most successful JOLT entrepreneurs might even be asked to join the MaRS network of experienced mentors to advise startup companies that join future sessions of the JOLT program.
A big thanks to all who attended, showed their support and helped make this event such a great success!
Here is a recap of the JOLT Summer 2012 cohort: