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Montreal entrepreneurs to compete in a Dragon’s Den-style competition

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Andy Nulman will host the Tech Shuk Lion's Den competition in Montreal on Nov. 28. JOSH HALLETT PHOTO

Up-and-coming local entrepreneurs will dare to enter “the lion’s den,” at the first ever Tech Shuk, presented by Jewish National Fund Future Montreal on Nov. 28.

Inspired by the long-running CBC reality show Dragon’s Den, five local startups will make pitches for prizes, and possible investment, before a panel of judges that includes cosmetics luminary Lise Watier and Alan MacIntosh, general partner at Real Ventures, one of Canada’s leading seed funds.

The other “lions” are: Marc Alloul, managing partner at W Investments and co-founder of Budgeto; Angelique Mannella, associate vice-principal of innovation and partnerships at McGill University; and Lenny Roth, venture partner at OurCrowd and founder of Yarotek.

Andy Nulman, co-founder of Just For Laughs, will moderate. He’s also co-founder and CEO of Play the Future.

They will be looking for innovative, promising business plans. The grand-prize winner will receive a “mentorship package” that includes professional services, such as coaching and legal advice, media exposure, and may even receive funding, if they make a strong enough impression on a lion.

“Not only are we bringing entrepreneurs together with top investors for priceless face time, but the Lion’s Den competition will be just like the TV show. I like to think of Tech Shuk as entertainment meeting opportunity,” said event chair Karen Aflalo.

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In addition to the competition, Tech Shuk will feature a Demo Pit, a mini trade show, where new companies can display and demonstrate their products and services (shuk means “marketplace” in Hebrew).

Five companies will be competing in the Lion’s Den: LineIQ, which makes an app that allows users to avoid waiting in a queue; Onist, a virtual financial record-keeping system for families; RetiSpec, which is marketing a low-cost, hand-held scanner that purports to detect the genesis of Alzheimer’s disease years before symptoms appear; C2RO, which claims to be the first robotics platform that uses real-time data processing; and Ben&Alex, which prepares and delivers gourmet meals to employees of tech companies, ordered through a smartphone.

All proceeds from Tech Shuk will go towards Herzog Hospital’s new posttraumatic stress disorder centre in Jerusalem, which treats adults and children.

JNF Future is the organization’s young leadership division, for those aged 25 to 45.

Tech Shuk, which is open to the public, will be held at EVO, 777 Robert Bourassa Blvd. A VIP reception and networking opportunity will begin at 6 p.m., followed by the Demo Pit at 6:30 p.m. and the Lion’s Den at 8 p.m. Several financial and professional institutions are among Tech Shuk’s sponsors and a number of “angel” investors are expected to attend.

For tickets, visit jnfmontreal.ca, or contact Naomi Mazer at 514-934-0313 ext. 240 or Naomi.mazer@jnf.ca.

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