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18 student startups from across Ontario compete for $23,000 in prizes

Group shot of winning teams

On November 17-18, 2017, eighteen student startups from across Ontario competed in the second annual RBC EPIC Business Model Canvas Competition (BMCC), a pitch competition hosted by the University of Windsor and the Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre).

The main goal of the RBC EPIC Business Model Canvas Competition is to educate entrepreneurs and provide them with the tools to help launch more successful ventures. The BMCC invites student entrepreneurs from across Ontario to learn about business models, business model validation, and the business model canvas and then demonstrate their understanding through a pitch presentation of their own entrepreneurial experiences that exhibit these concepts.

In order to make this event successful, a large number of students and volunteers from the local and Ontario business community graciously donated their time and expertise to serve as mentors and judges.

Eighteen teams of students and recent graduates from across Ontario, including five teams from the University of Windsor, participated in this year’s high-stakes competition. There were also teams representing Ryerson University, University of Toronto, University of Waterloo, University of Ottawa and Fanshawe College.

The participants arrived for the competition on Friday, November 17th and were given the opportunity to network with other teams and business professionals at a dinner which took place at the Ambassador Auditorium in the CAW Student Centre. Following dinner, teams were paired with business mentors from the community to help the participants refine their pitches.

The semi-finals took place the following day, Saturday, November 18th, and five teams were ultimately selected for the finals. It was a difficult decision for the judges, but from the 18 semi-finalists, the teams which moved forward were: Liscena (University of Toronto), SWTCH (Ryerson University), Tabnex (University of Waterloo), Hair By Lassa (University of Waterloo) and HanDIY (University of Windsor).

The final round of the competition took place at the Centre for Engineering Innovation where the final five teams polished their pitches and gave it their all. Ultimately, Liscena, a smart parking management company that automates every aspect of the parking experience using license plate recognition and AI, took home the $10,000 grand prize, courtesy of RBC. Liscena also receives 6 months of dedicated desk space at EPICentre, consulting services from KPMG (valued at $3,000) and the team is automatically qualified for the national Canada Business Model Competition in Halifax.

Both the runner-up prize and Postmedia’s People’s Choice Award went to Tabnex, a student startup out of Waterloo that provides an AI-powered recruitment suite of products and data APIs to streamline and scale the recruitment process for organizations. As runner-up, they received $2,500 cash, consulting services from KPMG (valued at $1,500) and 6 months of dedicated desk space at EPICentre. As the winner of the Postmedia People’s Choice award, they will be provided with $2,000 of in-kind Postmedia advertising.

For a full list of participants and descriptions of each company, please visit the official RBC EPIC BMC Competition website here: https://www.epicbmc.ca/2017-results/

EPICentre and the University of Windsor would also like to thank all participating teams, volunteers, staff, mentors, and judges for their time and effort on a truly successful competition!


EPICentre encompasses all of the entrepreneurial activities on campus. From in-class education, to extra-curricular events and activities, we are giving students and recent graduates the opportunity to start and grow a business with all of the resources required to successfully do so. If you are interested in getting involved with EPICentre, please visit our website at www.epicentreuwindsor.ca for more information.