History and Details
The Ontario Innovation Expo launched in 2018 as a joint initiative between Innovation Guelph and Bioenterprise to showcase the innovative and spectacular companies we supported together in a seed funding program funded by FedDev Ontario. What a year it was!
The Expo’s success in 2018 led to another Expo, and another, and yet another! Interrupted only by a global pandemic, this event became an annual tradition in Guelph – one many looked forward to each year.
Innovation Guelph took the organizational lead and grew this event into a well-known tradeshow strong with incredible connection-building opportunities and introductions. Celebrating innovative Innovation Guelph client companies and their products and services from across Ontario (and even beyond)!
Our first Innovation Expo – 2018
Our first year. Co-hosted with Bioenterprise, this event was a showcase of FedDev supported seed funding clients that our two organizations supported with funds and mentorship. An extension to our joint funding was announced and we garnered the attention of our Prime Minister and Minister of Innovation, both sent us congratulatory messages by video.
In addition to the tradeshow, a dynamic keynote speaker, a panel on women in manufacturing and many VIP guests, and free giveaways, made this day very memorable for many. Entrepreneurs with innovative new products and services from Agri-innovation, Agri-food & beverage, Manufacturing, Cleantech, Technologies, and more – showcased their companies and their creations to over 500+ people on the very first snowy day of the year! Check out our videos.
our second innovation expo – 2019
Our second year. Co-hosted with Bioenterprise again this year, this event was a showcase of FedDev supported seed funding clients that our two organizations supported with funds and mentorship.
Over 700+ people attended live and enjoyed a new selection of innovative and scalable companies on display. We introduced the Choice Awards, had door prizes, great giveaways, and had a “host du jour” named The Great Orbax who filmed amazing exhibitor highlights and had the crowd laughing. A VIP panel on the topic of the importance of innovation in business was enlightening.
Let us introduce some of our exhibitors from 2019.
our virtual innovation expo – 2021
After a global pandemic forced the cancelation of our third Innovation Expo in 2020, the looming lockdowns were still upon us for 2021. After completing extensive research into online platforms, our Expo team decided to invest in a women-led, Canadian company called TechAdaptiKa – and launched our third Innovation Expo, this time solo, 100% online and virtual for all.
Over 500+ attendees registered and 140 hours of video watched, this platform was a dynamic example of every startup’s keyword for Covid … PIVOT. Like many of the companies we support, we learned to pivot, too. This event was unlike any other virtual tradeshow we had attended and are proud of what we accomplished.
Being virtual allowed us to expand our reach a little, and had 2 amazing keynote addresses, one concert and a panel discussion on the grit and resiliency it takes to be an entrepreneur.
Watch the videos to see what it was like.
The Return to being in-person Expo – 2022
The crowd didn’t disappoint. With close to 600 attendees, the 2022 Ontario Innovation Expo was a showcase of innovation, collaboration and exciting conversation.
The event kicked off with a special panel conversation on the topic of “Show me the money” – a thorough look at scaling a company using investment in different ways. From bootstrapping to VC and everything in between, the conversation was open, engaging and enlightening. You can watch it here.
The tradeshow room was buzzing! Filled with Innovation Guelph’s clients on display, the crowd was a mix of investors, service providers, politicians, consumers and curious entrepreneurs.
“The Innovation Expo was great exposure for us locally with people in the industry, so that had a huge impact (on our business),” Rob Hannam, Farm Health Guardian.