TiE QUEST

// COMPETITION

TiEQuest is an annual business venture competition for all North American startups that offers:

1. Over $100,000 in prizes, among other in-kind and service (legal, financial) prizes
2. Extensive Mentoring  from successful entrepreneurs and business leaders
3. Exposure to and Networking opportunities with fund managers, angel investors and venture capitalists
4. Multi-stage competition which encourages them to challenge their business model and success factors 

5. Top competitors receive a sponsored trip to TiECON in California!

6. GreenSky advisory services valued at $15,000, and new to TiEQuest

NEW for TieQuest 2016: Finalists have an opportunity to pitch to the GreenSky Accelerator Fund for an investment of up to $500,000.

TiEQuest contestants have gone on to raise Angel & Venture Capital financing worth over $40 million, grown their businesses significantly and have been acquired by leading international organizations.

Before getting acquired, last years winners 1DocWay (2015) raised $1.7 million from investors in digital health, expanded from 7 to 11 states, and has grown from 15,000 to 25,000 patients treated – with revenue up about 80%. TrendMD (2015) now generates articles to 10 million readers across a network of 1,300 sites, published by 7 out of 10 of the largest publishers in the world. Their network size is growing by 11% per week, and revenue by 23% per week.

In recent years, our winners MyndTec Inc  (formerly Simple Systems) (2012), Rna Diagnostics (2011)  have each raised $2 million in funding since their participation in the competition.  Along with them, Post Beyond (2015), SeamlessMD (2014) and Unhaggle (2013) have seen their ventures expand significantly since winning the competition.

The panel of judges of TiEQuest largely comprise of angel investors, venture capitalists and fund managers. The contestants get an opportunity to present their ventures to professionals who can actually fund these businesses.

There is a $125 entry fee for a venture to participate in the competition, which also entitles the contestant to one regular membership for a period of one year in TiE Toronto.  The top team receives substantial prizes in cash as well as professional services (In-Kind).

Various other benefits to contestants include:

– Membership of TiE Toronto: TiE is a global organization comprising of 11,000 members with 61 chapters and is dedicated to the promotion of entrepreneurship (one-year membership for one team members, a $100 value)
– Networking Opportunities with leading entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, and senior business leaders
– Recognition with investment, legal and accounting firms
– Mentoring by leading business leaders to fine tune business plan and , seek advise and benefit from their contacts and experience
– Association with a premier business venture competition in Canada
– Opportunity to turn an innovative idea into a real business
– Opportunity to practice the process of pitching new venture to investors

In addition, top teams receive:

– Opportunity to speak at future TiE Toronto event
– Opportunity for continued financing
– Recognition with qualified entrepreneurs
– Ability to source various business services from organizations sponsoring TiE
– Invitation to the TiEQuest Awards Dinner

Substantial prize money given out in TiEQuest has been possible due to the generous contributions and support of our sponsors, who are supporters of entrepreneurship. TiE Toronto gratefully acknowledges the support of all sponsors. The composition and distribution of cash and/or in-kind prizes are subject to change every year and is at the full discretion of TiE Toronto to adjust as they see fit.

TiEQuest 2015 provided following prizes:


1. TiEQuest Winner Prize

  • $50,000 in cash
  • $7,000 of in-kind services from various sponsors allocated as follows:
    • $2,000 of services as part of Fasken Martineau’s Startup Program
    • $5,000 worth of services from MaRS Discovery District

1docway

 

teabot

1DocWay and teaBOT were the winners of this prize in 2015. 


2. TiEQuest Third to Fifth Place

  • $2,000 of services as part of Fasken Martineau’s Startup Program

kaimaging

For TiEQuest 2015 the 3rd place prize was awarded to KA Imaging.

trendmd

The 4th place was carried by TrendMD Inc.

myhealthsphere

5th place was awarded to myHealthSphere (now named Optimity) to round out the top 5 finalists.

The contestants make a number of submissions as per the following schedule:

EVENT DATE
Launch of TiEQuest Business Venture Competition November 17, 2015
Intention to Participate – Entry Deadline
(Online application through IncMind, along with $125 entry fee)
January 29, 2016
(11:55 pm EST)
Round 1: Project Profile + Lean Canvas – Submission Deadline
(Online submission through IncMind)
February 5, 2016
(11:55 pm EST)
Round 1: Project Profile – Judges Only
(Judging)
February 10, 2016
Mentoring Workshop February 24, 2016
Round 2: Elevator Pitch
Live Presentations (in-person or online)
March 12, 2016
Round 3: Investor Deck Submission
Live Presentations (in-person only)
April 2, 2016
Round 4: TiEQuest Finals + Awards Gala April 21, 2016

// LAUNCH EVENT & INFO SESSION | (November 17, 2015)

The Launch Event is an introduction to TiEQuest. For TiEQuest 2016 the launch event will be held at CIX.


// INTENTION TO PARTICIPATE | (Deadline: January 29, 2016; 11:55 pm EST)

Intention to participate (Form found here) in TiEQuest is submitted online through IncMind. The entry fee of $125 per team should accompany all submission. The entry fee entitles the contestant (only one) to a one-year membership in TiE Toronto. The contestants are added to the TiE Toronto mailing lists and receive all TiE Toronto events and mentoring information. We reserve the right to limit the competition to the first 200 applicants. It is advisable to complete all formalities as early as possible. All submissions and communications are done through electronic means only (email and/or IncMind.)

Entry FeePlease read these guidelines carefully:

  • In addition to participation in the competition, all paid entities will receive one 1-year annual regular membership in TiE Toronto for any one member of the team.
  • The payment of the entry fee does not guarantee any project/contestant the right to progress through any stage, after the initial entry round, of the competition.
  • All progress from Project Profile round to next rounds will be solely based on project evaluation by panel of judges and by the contest organizers. Each stage starting with Project Profile round is an elimination stage – this means only some projects will be moved forward and some will be eliminated.
  • Payment of entry fee and non-completion of other mandatory stage requirements, by the mentioned deadlines, can disqualify paid projects by default.
  • Projects which withdraw after the close of the entry application deadline (Jan 29) are not eligible for any fee refunds under any circumstances.
  • Projects who have paid the entry fee but do not show up for any competition stage forfeit the right to be moved to the next stage of the competition. There are no fee refunds or stage do-overs due to no-shows at the competition.

Any contestant who has any specific concern relating to confidentiality of their venture will be provided an opportunity to discuss the matter with a legal advisor. Contestants should request this to the Chair, TiEQuest, after submission of the Entry Form and payment of entry fee. TiEQuest has enrolled services of senior legal counsel who have agreed to volunteer time to discuss any specific situation. After discussion with a legal counsel, contestants may withdraw their entry within two business days without penalty and full refund their entry fee. Contestants will submit the names of all their participating entrepreneurs and also the name of their advisor. All team members and advisors must sign the Entry Form.


// PROJECT PROFILE | (Deadline: February 5, 2016)

(Completed project profiles & lean canvas document)
Contestants will submit a project profile as well as a lean canvas outlining their business ventures as per the format posted. (Outlines are found here & here) The project profile will be submitted electronically through IncMind.

The Project Profile will briefly cover:

  • Company profile: URL, Industry, employees, year founded
  • Contact information
  • Background of entrepreneurs, management team and advisors
  • Brief Financial information: revenue run rate, previous capital, monthly burn, pre-money valuation, and capital sought
  • Business Summary
  • Customer problem addressed
  • Product/service offered
  • Target market size and characteristics
  • Customers and selling strategy
  • Business model
  • Competitors and Competitive advantage
  • Top and bottom line projections.

Since 2014, all ventures also have to submit a Lean Canvas form about their venture. This form is available along with the project profile form in individual accounts. Submission of both forms is mandatory; failure to complete either one can result in the elimination of Ventures as judges will not be able to carry out a proper evaluation of projects.

This is an elimination stage of the competition; some projects will not be moved onto the next stage of the competition. All contestants will receive a confirmation electronically if they are successful in proceeding to the next stage of the competition.


// MENTORING WORKSHOP | (February 24, 2016)

All successful contestants will be invited to a mentoring workshop at a downtown Toronto venue. Sometimes, the workshop is carried out online solely – we reserve the right to cancel any in-person workshops. The purpose of this workshop is to guide the contestants to improve on their venture. Many judges of the competition will be participating in the workshop. The mentoring workshop will include:

  • Discussions regarding the progress of your venture with mentors
  • Obtain guidance for any questions you may have
  • Opportunity to speak with Judges

This stage is optional for applicants.


// ELEVATOR PITCH | (March 12, 2016)

Supporting videos/presentations has to be uploaded by March 9, 2016 

Contestants will prepare an Elevator Pitch relating to their business venture. They will have an option to present the Elevator Pitch in person or electronically. In case of an electronic submission, the contestants will upload relevant video file into their accounts by March 9, 2016. We strongly advise teams to pitch in-person – you need just 1 person from the team to be available to pitch.

  • Maximum time for the Elevator Pitch will be 5 minutes followed by a 3 minute Q&A from judges (10 minute total per team, includes setup)
  • Contestants may use product samples, pictures or other visual or video aids for the support
  • The pitch should be directed to convince investors to read the detailed business plan.
  • It should address the following key evaluation points: value proposition of the business, the viability/feasibility of the business, traction to date (what has been achieved by the business), strength of management team and the competitive advantage of the business (IP, first mover advantage, etc.).
  • We recommend you follow Startup Nation’s Elevator Pitch Guidelines, by visiting:
    CLICK HERE.

This is an elimination stage of the competition; some projects will not be moved onto the next stage of the competition. All contestants will receive an electronic confirmation if they are successful in proceeding to the next stage of the competition.


// INVESTOR DECK – Live Presentations | (April 2, 2016)

TiEQuest has decided that the written business plan will no longer be a requirement – instead, you must ensure that you have a thorough, well-thought out investor deck in PDF or PowerPoint format.

Contestants will make a 10-minute private presentation to a panel of three or more judges. The judges will have already read the investor deck submission and/or written business plan submitted on March 25, 2016. The focus of the presentation will be to pitch their idea to convince judges to invest in their venture. The presentation will be followed by 10 minutes of a question and answer session. The objective of this round will be to reduce the pool of contestants to a smaller number.

We strongly recommend you follow Guy Kawasaki’s pitch-deck framework:
CLICK HERE.

Please also review the following for tips on building a strong presentation:
CLICK HERE.

All presentations will be scheduled on Saturday, April 2, 2016, and it is mandatory for at least 1 person from each venture to present this to the investors, in-person. 

This is an elimination stage of the competition; some projects will not be moved onto the next stage of the competition. All contestants will receive an electronic confirmation if they are successful in proceeding to the next stage of the competition.


// TiEQuest Finals + Awards Gala | (April 21, 2016 in Toronto)

The finals stage will be combined with an awards gala on the same day. Finalists will make a 5-10 minute public presentation to a panel of judges and a general audience. They can use the investor deck presentation from the previous round. It is expected that this presentation will answer issues that were raised in earlier rounds. The presentation will also be followed by 5-10 minutes of question and answer session. The Winners will then be announced during the TiEQuest Awards Gala later on that evening.


 

 

 

 

TiEQuest Contestants must meet the following qualifications:

  • The competition is open to all types of entities (corporation, partnership, proprietorship, etc.)
  • Entities must be registered either in Canada or the United States of America
  • Total third-party funding raised in the business as of date of entry should not exceed $2,000,000
  • Contesting entrepreneurs may not be directors or officers of TiE Toronto
  • Contesting entrepreneurs who have family relations with any competition judges must disclose such relations so that any potential conflicts can be appropriately managed
  • Contesting entrepreneurs may not be members of more than one entity entering the competition; each entity may only make one submission
  • The business initiative must be the entrepreneur’s original idea – proof of origination should be available
  • The business idea may be new or already implemented
  • Preferance will be given to companies who are already in the market or have expectations of going to market within 1-3 years
  • Entrepreneurs/entities must have exclusive, unencumbered right to commercialize any related intellectual property

It is strongly recommended that each team select one or more Mentors to guide them in developing a quality business venture. We expect mentors to hold at least 2 feedback sessions with each contesting entity. The following will qualify as an mentor:

  • A faculty member at a Canadian or US University
  • A professional in the industry where business venture is focused
  • A manager of an entrepreneurial assistance program
  • Upon request, TiE Toronto will provide services of one of its Charter Members, who have agreed to volunteer their time for this.

Working with mentors does improve the chances of success.

The only individuals who have access to contestants’ business plans are the judges who are assigned to read the plans. The judges sign a confidentiality agreement before they are privy to the business plan and Intellectual Property documents.

The judges are largely professional venture capital investors or other business leaders who regularly deal with confidential information in the normal course of their work. We ask them to treat all materials submitted with the same care and respect for confidentiality as they would their own business documents. We also ask them to remove themselves from judging, if they have a real conflict of interest.

Confidential Information does not include information independently developed by a recipient, received from or disclosed by a third party not in breach of obligations of confidentiality, information publicly disclosed by contestant, information disclosed pursuant to a Court Order, or information retained in the unaided memory of a party which was not disclosed in a tangible media. The contestants should feel free to mark their submissions confidential.