The $100K Investment Prize

The $100k Investment Prize is the most coveted title at the event. We bring together a group of fantastic angel investors, and in a matter of 48 hours crown the title of the $100k Investment Prize winner. This prize is open to ANY startup at the event- no pre-registration required!

The Process

Startups have until end of day Thursday to pitch to any $100k Investor at the event, they’ll be wearing a judge badge and a BLUE lanyard- the complete list will be announced next month! 

Track them down onsite, or find them in the $100k Prize tent in the Tent Village Thursday, July 12th, from Noon-6pm.

Each judge will shortlist one startup by end of day Thursday.

The shortlisted startups will be contacted and invited to a private breakfast Friday morning where they pitch to the entire group of investors.

The winner(s) will be selected, and announced at the Friday afternoon ceremonies.


Q: Do I need to register? How can I sign up?

A: This prize is open to EVERY startup at Startupfest 2018 and there is no need to register before pitching.  

Q: Can I pitch for this on Friday?

A: No. You must pitch to an investor judge by end of day Thursday afternoon (this includes the Wednesday evening kickoff party). Friday morning only shortlisted startups will be invited to the breakfast.

Q: What if the terms of the note don’t exactly work for me?

A: These are the standard terms we base the investment on. PLEASE REVIEW the convertible note, and investor rights agreement, we will need you to confirm your intent to accept on these terms.

The Judges

Phil Telio

With over 20 years of business and technology experience, Philippe is recognized as a leader in the startup community. Philippe is a seasoned entrepreneur and all around startup enthusiast. He founded and runs The International Startup Festival, Canada’s leading startup event. Placing a strong emphasis on the “international”, he also created a spin-off event called the Elevator World Tour, in which a group of angel investors, Philippe included, hold elevator pitch competitions in the most impressive elevators around the world in search of great startups to invest in. He sits on the board of the OSMO Foundation (creators of Notman House) and is the President and Chairman of the Montreal Startup Foundation.

Anna Goodson

Anna Goodson is the CEO & Founder of Anna Goodson Illustration Agency. Anna has spent the last 25 years working with creatives and promoting their work. She’s passionate, innovative and is considered a leader and trend setter in her field. Having launched her first website back in 1996, Anna has always been interested in technology and is an active member of the Startup community in Montreal as well as a Mentor and Angel Investor. A strong promoter of women entrepreneurs, Anna hopes to inspire other young women to follow their dreams of starting a business. She believes that freedom doesn’t have a price tag and that balance is the key to real success and happiness in life. Anna is a passionate entrepreneur and is an active member of Montreal’s Startup community and for the fourth consecutive year, she will sit on the Jury of Startupfest.

Tom Williams

Born and raised in Victoria, BC, Tom now lives in San Francisco, where he is the Founder of BetterCompany, an anonymous career advice community for every career and is an angel investor in more than 30 companies. He is one of the most active investors in funding early-stage Canadian startups.

A serial innovator whose proudest professional accomplishments include helping pioneer modern-day crowdfunding, Tom has a legacy of investing in and creating world changing ideas and organizations.

Now a father of two young children, he has coined the term the “Survival Economy,” to describe his thesis for the companies he looks to invest in. Tom and his family return to their home on Vancouver Island as often as they can, especially in the summer.

Trent Johnsen

An entrepreneur with a dedicated belief in the power of innovation and new technology to improve the way we work and live; Trent Johnsen has been at the forefront of successive waves of innovation throughout his career. With pioneering work in wireless and mobile communications, Internet Data Cloud storage, Voice over IP, and Real-Time Communications software, Trent has founded and sold multiple private and public companies. He is CEO and founder of Hookflash Inc. Hookflash has been recognized by Microsoft, Google, Cisco, and global standards bodies (W3C and IETF) as a leader in real-time communications software. Trent shares his passion for innovation, education and business as a member of the A100, and a previous member of the Board of Directors and Board Chair for Junior Achievement of Southern Alberta.

Steve Abrams

Steven Abrams is a partner in the IT Venture Fund. Hejoined the BDC in 2001, after almost nine years in investment banking with Scotia McLeod and two years as CFO of an interactive advertising agency. As a director in corporate finance, he participated in many IPOs, privatizations, M&A advisory mandates, and equity and debt financings for companies in sectors, including technology, transportation and telecommunications. For an Internet company, he raised a first round of venture capital, did three acquisitions, two startups, and helped grow the company from 20 people to 145. Mr. Abrams holds an MBA in Finance from Cornell University and Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and Computer Science from McGill University.

Heather Adelson

Ms. Adelson has been investing in growing companies for the past 30 years. With over 15 angel investments over the past 8 years, as well as investments in numerous funds and funds of funds, Ms. Adelson’s contributions to the startup community have touched nearly every industry in the Quebec startup ecosystem. With a degree in Commerce from McGill, Ms. Adelson brings her skill in finance, strategy and behavioural elements of business into every deal she explores. Her ability to identify critical success factors and obstacles have led her to a career of interesting investment opportunities and ongoing business relationships.

A consummate “student of investing”, she keeps current with the latest business and technologic developments, hones her analytical skills and polishes her professional skepticism through attendance of trade conferences, reviewing business plans and communication with various professional advisors. She is an active member on several boards of both for profit businesses and non-for profit organizations.

Ms Adelson is extensively involved in philanthropic ventures, an area close to her heart. She always seeks opportunities to use her skillset and relationships to amplify the efforts of socially minded organizations. Ms. Adelson has been recognized for these efforts as the recipient of several awards highlighting her invaluable contributions to society.

Michael Hollinger

BS Electrical Engineering – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute 1988; MCI Telecommunications Corp., 1988-1991; H.W. Hollinger (Canada) Inc. Insurance Brokers, President, 1991 – Present

Neil Follet

Entrepreneur (it’s in my DNA). Agency founder (Brightworks, 13 years and over 100 awards and we’re still at it!). Writer (but not as often as I’d like). Fan of Startupfest (the greatest show on earth). Returning investor / judge (glad to be invited back). Surfer (but not as often as I’d like). Traveler (30 countries and counting). Photographer (would love to do this full time!). Dad (the most important job I have). Find me at and @brightworksneil on Instagram.

Mat Rosenblatt

Mathew is a Toronto based real estate developer and a creative entreprenuer. Mr. Rosenblatt’s experience includes master planning and revitalizing of the internationally acclaimed Distillery Historic District in Toronto, the Creation of the Toronto Christmas Market, an event that attracts over 500,000 visitors per year. The Toronto Christmas Market is considered by USA today, Mashable and Fodors magazine to be one of the Top 10 Christmas Market in the world.
He’s also responsible for the Creation of the Distillery Restaurant Corporation. An award winning hospitality company that now employs over 600 team members
Outside of his own businesses, Mr. Rosenblatt also acts as a marketing and business consultant to a number of other Canadian companies.

JD Begin

Hi, I’m JD. I have been involved with tech startups for 20 years. I started my career as a VC investing predominantly in Silicon Valley. It gave me the opportunity to rub shoulders and learn from great entrepreneurs. A few have been wildly successful, most not so much…If you never strike-out, you’re not hitting hard enough. I returned to Montreal in 2010 and started Guestful, a startup helping restaurants fill empty seats with yield management. The company was acquired in 2015.

I now spend my time giving back to the local startup ecosystem through mentoring & advising. I’m also an active angel investor having backed over 20 startups since 2014.

Marc-Antoine Ross

Marc-Antoine is a leader. He has a passion for building teams and is constantly evaluating those he meets to figure out how they can bring their skills to the multitude of projects that he touches. From there, he figures out what he needs to do to make their talent shine. He is a serial entrepreneur, having started his first company at 21. He has co-founded three successful companies, two of which were acquired by major tech companies and the last one was acquired by Intel. Marc-Antoine is very well known in the tech community, personally advising several startups and mentoring companies through Founder Institute and FounderFuel. He is also an ambassador for United Way and has raised significant donations from the tech community.

Cary Goldwax

Cary is an experienced entrepreneur and hands-on senior executive. After co-founding and successfully bringing Web APM company Coradiant to exit, he’s managed several prosperous ventures, including Wandrian, where he currently leads operations for the global leader in Europe travel and rail solutions. Cary also advises companies, including Montreal-based Cloudops, mentors for FounderFuel, and is an avid angel investor. His success in both the brick-and-mortar and the high-tech startup worlds includes over $200M in acquisitions and exits. Cary’s tough-love approach to mentoring is key to his formula for success.