Judging Criteria

Live presentations will take place in two rounds. All live presentations will be a maximum of 10 minutes in length, with 10 minutes of questions from the judging panel and will be hosted virtually via Zoom. Judging will not be biased based on the type of business and their inherent pivoting timeframe (i.e. web-based businesses are able to pivot inherently more quickly compared to physical product-based businesses).

First Round
Semifinalist teams will be required to present their presentations live via Zoom, hosted by EPICentre. Teams will present to a panel of highly experienced and qualified business experts. Each team will be assessed based on the judging criteria below. Up to 6 teams with the highest score will move to the finalist round.

All semi-finalists will be eligible for the Postmedia People’s Choice Award and KPMG Financial Competence Award.

Second Round
The final presentations will take place virtually, in front of a new panel of judges, and the winner and runner-up of the RBC EPIC BMCC will be determined. Each finalist team will be judged on the Main Judging Criteria.

Each of the following criteria will be scored on a scale from 1 – 5, with 1 being poorly explained and 5 being exceptional.

Main Judging Criteria
Semi-Final and Final Competition will be judged on the following:

  1. Did the team clearly state their initial hypotheses and how they were developed?
  2. Is the customer problem a ‘significant’ problem and was ‘significant’ defined?
  3. Did the team identify which hypotheses are most crucial for their business success and therefore should be tested first?
  4. Did the team create fast, low cost, and effective methods for testing their hypotheses?
  5. Did the teams use the testing methods they developed in a reliable and effective manner?
  6. Did the team develop conclusions from the results of their testing, and did they clearly state whether their hypotheses were validated or invalidated?
  7. Did the team pivot based on supporting evidence from their testing?
  8. Did the team develop a minimum viable product, as opposed to immediately creating a full product, which addressed their hypotheses for further testing?
  9. Did the team use a business model canvas to record their progress?
  10. Did the team provide evidence that their business model/solution to a customer problem was validated?

Postmedia People’s Choice Award

Postmedia People’s Choice Award will be selected by the audience in the Final round. Only the finalist teams are eligible for this award.

KPMG Financial Competency Award

All teams are eligible for this award.

  1. Did the team utilize their financial resources wisely in making their MVP (prototype)?
  2. Did the team present a sound revenue model?
  3. Did the team able to demonstrate a sustainable financial model that can take the business to the next level?

Postmedia People’s Choice Award
All teams are eligible for this award

  1. Did the team demonstrate excellent presentation skills?
  2. Did the team effectively use and illustrate the business model canvas?
  3. Did the team demonstrate a general tenacity, drive and commitment to their venture?

KPMG Financial Competency Award
All teams are eligible for this award

  1. Did the team utilize their financial resources wisely in making their MVP (prototype)?
  2. Did the team present a sound revenue model?
  3. Did the team able to demonstrate a sustainable financial model that can take the business to the next level?

2021 Judges

The President and CEO of WEtech Alliance, Yvonne has over 10 years experience in the tech sector with a core focus on growing companies and building a thriving entrepreneurial community.

Yvonne Pilon

The President and CEO of WEtech Alliance, Yvonne has over 10 years experience in the tech sector with a core focus on growing companies and building a thriving entrepreneurial community.
Startup Program Developer and Growth Coach | Entrepreneur | Economic Developer | Mental Health Ambassador | Lover of Good Books, Art in All Forms, and Canada’s South Coast!

Adam Castle

Startup Program Developer and Growth Coach | Entrepreneur | Economic Developer | Mental Health Ambassador | Lover of Good Books, Art in All Forms, and Canada’s South Coast!
Scott is the Founder and CEO of Venture for Canada (VFC), a national charity that fosters the development of entrepreneurial skills and mindset in young Canadians.

Scott Stirrett

Scott is the Founder and CEO of Venture for Canada (VFC), a national charity that fosters the development of entrepreneurial skills and mindset in young Canadians.
Dr. Jill Urbanic is an Engineering Professor. Her research focuses on manufacturing technologies. She has received research and teaching awards, and is a co-founder of CAMufacturing Solutions, Inc.

Jill Urbanic

Dr. Jill Urbanic is an Engineering Professor. Her research focuses on manufacturing technologies. She has received research and teaching awards, and is a co-founder of CAMufacturing Solutions, Inc.
Kate joined AIO while completing her Master of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.

Kate Tomen

Kate joined AIO while completing her Master of Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.
TING LI is a PhD Candidate in Digital Technology Group at Queen’s University, Canada. Her dissertation looks into how digital technologies can be harnessed effectively to entrepreneurship.

Ting Li

TING LI is a PhD Candidate in Digital Technology Group at Queen’s University, Canada. Her dissertation looks into how digital technologies can be harnessed effectively to entrepreneurship.
For over 15 years, Duane has helped businesses of varying sizes and industries across Ontario overcome their marketing challenges by planning and executing performance-driven advertising campaigns.

Duana Acorn

For over 15 years, Duane has helped businesses of varying sizes and industries across Ontario overcome their marketing challenges by planning and executing performance-driven advertising campaigns.
Nicole is the Co-Founder of Ignite Health and currently works in Corporate Initiatives at ENWIN. Nicole is one of four co-founders of the EPICentre and works in strategy and innovation.

Nicole Anderson

Nicole is the Co-Founder of Ignite Health and currently works in Corporate Initiatives at ENWIN. Nicole is one of four co-founders of the EPICentre and works in strategy and innovation.
Amr (BASc '16 and MBET '17) is the 2016 Ontario Student Entrepreneur of the Year, the 2017 Canada Student Entrepreneur of the Year, and a 2017 TEDxUW speaker.

Amr Abdelgawad

Amr (BASc ’16 and MBET ’17) is the 2016 Ontario Student Entrepreneur of the Year, the 2017 Canada Student Entrepreneur of the Year, and a 2017 TEDxUW speaker.
David founded the RH Accelerator with 20 years of experience with running technology companies, while helping hundreds of clients and successfully helping to launch several VC funded initiatives.

David Billson

David founded the RH Accelerator with 20 years of experience with running technology companies, while helping hundreds of clients and successfully helping to launch several VC funded initiatives.
Gaurav works as Director of Finance at Ekagrata Inc (a VC Firm), he works with Startups and businesses for M

Gaurav Gupta

Gaurav works as Director of Finance at Ekagrata Inc (a VC Firm), he works with Startups and businesses for M&A and investing. He leads Soar Innovation and supports Kingbridge Innovation Hub. Previously, he was with McKinsey & Company.
Chris is a passionate and energetic entrepreneur. He is an advisor

Chris Giantsopoulos

Chris is a passionate and energetic entrepreneur. He is an advisor & facilitator at MaRS. He has coached & taught thousands of entrepreneurs in a variety of markets. Quote It’s a marathon, not a race.
Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Mary Kilfoil

Canadian Council for Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Head of Operational Success at Georgian, a growth equity firm investing in software companies that are disrupting and changing industries through a focus on applied and conversational AI and in security-based trust.

Debbie Landers

Head of Operational Success at Georgian, a growth equity firm investing in software companies that are disrupting and changing industries through a focus on applied and conversational AI and in security-based trust.
Business Account Manager at RBC

Lauren Makaric

Business Account Manager at RBC
Entrepreneurship

Thomas Kenworthy

Entrepreneurship & Social Responsibility Professor. My professional interests lie in start-ups and growth. My academic interests lie in what is known about Entrepreneurship, how it is known and the efficacy of entrepreneurship education.