More than 1400 startups attended Collision this year, and a number of them were recognized as winners and funding recipients at the tech conference.
PITCH winner: Syzl
Toronto-based kitchen rental startup Syzl was crowned the winner of this year’s PITCH competition at Collision.
PITCH is open to any early-stage startups at Collision that have received less than $5 million in funding to date and have not had a discernible change in their business models in the last three years.
Collision said over 1,700 startups participated this year, representing 30 industries and 76 countries.
Syzl was among 70 global startups that were shortlisted, which included 49 companies from Canada. Some of the other Canadian startups that were shortlisted for PITCH this year were Bidmii, MoveMate, Ulula, and Billsy.
Congratulations to Syzl on winning PITCH 2023 👏
The team is revolutionizing the food industry space by connecting food makers with underutilized commercial kitchen spaces. pic.twitter.com/XeJ8qdSg8A
— Collision Conf (@CollisionHQ) June 29, 2023
Founded in 2021 by Azrah Manji-Savin, Syzl’s platform connects foodmakers with commercial kitchen spaces that would have been underused. The startup said its app currently has more than 1,000 users and has 70 kitchens available through its platform.
Manji-Savin said the “easiest and quickest way” for immigrant communities to make money is to sell food.
“The problem is that they’re stuck because they cannot scale, and because they’re all working from home,” Manji-Savin said. “We were so passionate about finding something to support these communities so that they’re able to scale and grow, because this is the economy’s backbone, especially for women and people of colour.”
Though the startup is based in Toronto, Manji-Savin is based in Calgary.
Last year’s PITCH winner was DOT Mind Unlocked, which offers tech-enabled solutions for improving mental health.
The DMZ’s Insiders Event: Chexy, Formaloo
There were also several events coinciding with Collision that awarded startups with funding. One of them is an “Insiders Event” held by The DMZ, Toronto Metropolitan University’s business incubator.
Toronto-based Chexy, which offers a rewards platform for renters, won The DMZ’s grand prize of $50,000. This follows the startup’s $1.3 million CAD pre-seed raise announced just the week prior.
Another startup that secured cash at the Insiders Event was Formaloo, which was the runner-up and won $15,000. Formaloo is another Toronto company, offering a platform that collects and organizes data from online forms.
With files from Charles Mandel.
Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Collision via Sportsfile<.em>