It’s Lion’s-Lair season here in Hamilton. This event is such a great showcase of entrepreneurial innovation here in our city. This annual competition – presented by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Innovation Factory, and Hamilton Economic Development – gives 10 businesses the chance to pitch their concepts to a panel of experts in hopes of winning some substantial cash prizes. For the rest of us, this is an opportunity to see how incredible business ideas are being brought to life. As far as events go, few are more inspiring.
Conversations that breed innovations.
I was lucky enough to attend last year’s Lion’s Lair with a few CoMotion coworkers. First, the venue of Liuna Station is, itself, really something to see. This place is a gem. The décor and presentation of the event is top shelf – setting the stage for the event perfectly. What I enjoyed most about attending the event was the conversations that surrounded each presentation. While it sounds like the format has been changed up a bit this year, each presentation provides a great background to what each business is about and some of the efforts they’ve made to bring their idea to market. And with each presentation came the discussions amongst the table; the natural evaluation of each idea and pondering ways to enhance their success.
Strength in diversity: expertise, perspectives, & ideas.
This is how innovation happens. An idea is presented and everyone builds on it. As someone who’s spent their career in the marketing and advertising world, this is what pumps me up. Each table becomes an informal brainstorming session – without the pressure, anxiety, and perplexed stares of a formal brainstorming session. It’s also a microcosm of coworking. A group of individuals with diverse expertise, occupations, and personalities offering their take on a given challenge or opportunity. For the entrepreneurs up on the stage, it highlights the opportunity they have to immerse themselves in an office environment where this diversity of expertise can be a resource. So, it comes as no surprised that more than a few businesses (such as 2018, 3rd place winner, Fotoflo) who’ve entered the Lion’s Lair have been residents here at CoMotion.
I’ve been lucky to have had the opportunity to work with a few innovative start-ups in during my tenure as a freelance copywriter. Few projects are as rewarding as helping a cool business concept come to life.