Aiva Labs, Oneiric Hockey take top prizes at Lion’s Lair

Five startups were awarded prizes of up to $180,000 at the seventh annual Lion’s Lair Award Gala.

Hosted in Hamilton by the Innovation Factory and the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, this event aims to celebrate achievements in the local startup ecosystem. Finalists included Aiva Labs, BridesMade, Dash MD, Dolled Up Desserts, Gene Blueprint,, HiNT, Lumago, Nanophyll, and Oneiric Hockey.

In the end, only three startups were chosen for the top prizes. The winners for this year were

  • Sarosha Imtiaz and Adnan Somani from Aiva Labs for their marketing campaign builder for small business. They received  $79,020 in support including prizes from VA Partners, Adventus Research & Consulting, KPMG, Epiphany Coaches, Jan Kelley, and CoMotion, and $20,000 in cash.
  • Emily Rudow and Kayla Nezon at Oneiric Hockey and their protective base layer apparel for hockey. They were awarded a prize pack worth $59,000, including in-kind prizes from Albanese Branding, Communica, Orbital, Corus Radio Hamilton, CoMotion, and $15,000.
  • Lumago and their aquaponics systems for local greenhouses. They received a prize pool of $43,250 from Gowling WLG and KPMG.
  • Dolled Up Desserts, a wholesale bakery offering gluten-free and vegan treats and baking mixes. They won the Hamilton prize of $7,500.
  • BridesMade, which allows bridesmaids to rent size-adjustable dresses, got the people’s choice award.


Photo via LiON’s LAIR.



Aeman Ansari

Aeman Ansari is a freelance writer who has been published in many Toronto-based publications, including Hazlitt and Torontoist. When she’s not re-watching Hitchcock movies, she’s working on her collection of short fiction inspired by stories from her grandmother, one of the few women in India to receive post-secondary education in English literature at the time.

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