Social Enterprise Zone and Pitch Competition

Social Innovation Showcase


Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), in partnership with the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG), will host the third Social Enterprise Zone and Pitch Competition at Discovery 2017 on May 15 and 16.

Twenty-four Ontario-based companies will be invited to exhibit their social innovation on the Discovery show floor. This will build broader awareness of the companies that exist in this niche market, provide exposure to potential private investors, and engage the entire innovation ecosystem.

Successful applicants will receive a complimentary 6x8 foot booth, two attendee passes, and travel costs covered if outside the GTA.  This exclusive opportunity gives you access to experts, industry, government funders, investors, engaging keynote speakers, fascinating panel discussions,  networking opportunities and an opportunity for face-to-face meetings with sector experts.

As well, the Pitch Competition will provide a platform for five- eight of the showcase companies to pitch during Discovery for a $25,000 award, including a $10,000 award from MEDG, a $5,000 award from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and a $10,000 legal-services package from Norton Rose Fulbright to assist with the further development of their business. Participation in the Pitch Competition is completely optional. However, we encourage any business applying for the Social Enterprise Zone to consider this incredible opportunity to further expand the development of your company.



Application steps

May 15, 2017

Pitch Finalists pitch at Social Enterprise Showcase

May 15 and 16, 2017

Showcase companies exhibit at Discovery

May 16, 2017

Pitch Competition Winner is announced at the Discovery luncheon


For Pitch Competition Applicants Only

Pitch Competition – May 15, 2017

Five to eight finalists will participate in a live pitch competition on May 15, 2017 at Discovery.

Finalists will have a maximum of 6 minutes to pitch their innovative product or service of interest to the social enterprise community and panel of judges, followed by a 3-minute question and answer period.

How Funding Works

One winner will be selected and receive an award package valued at $25,000, including $10,000 from MEDG, a $5,000 award from the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and a $10,000 legal-services package from Norton Rose Fulbright to assist with further development of their social innovation. The winning company must be willing to sign a contract confirming that they will put the award toward business development.

Panel Discussion: New Frontiers of Impact Investing


  • Balinder Rai – Senior Business Development Manager, Ontario Centres of Excellence


  • Joanna Reynolds – Centre for Social Impact, Smith School of Business


  • Craig Ryan – Director, Social Entrepreneurship, BDC

  • Narinder Dhami – Managing Director, LEAP Centre for Social Impact

  • Gavin Armstrong, Ph. D. – President & CEO, Lucky Iron Fish

  • Trish Nixon – Investment Director, CoPower

Pitch Competition

Pitch Finalist Companies