It takes a trained eye and a skilled hand to assess both the idea and the talent in a 2-minute pitch. Our Pitch’Day judges do just that and provide insightful feedback to the competitors to boot. Audience members also like the exchanges between judges and presenters. They tell us they learn a lot from listening to what questions judges ask, and presenters distinguish themselves, or not, from their responses.

So, who is willing to take on this unenviable task of judging the pitches? Seasoned entrepreneurs and investors, wanting to give back. Read more about our Pitch’day judges.

This year we have two returning judges:  Barb Gamey, Founder and CEO of PayWorks, which launched in Winnipeg in 2001 and quickly became one of North America’s fastest growing and best managed companies; and Mike Fata, Founder and CEO of Manitoba Harvest  Hemp Foods, which he launched in 1998 and grew into an industry leader. Mike sold a majority interest in the business to a strategic investor in 2015, and remains CEO.

New to Pitch’Day judging in 2016 is former Winnipegger Matt Golden, founder and managing partner of Toronto’s Golden Ventures. Golden Ventures is a seed and early stage VC whose investments include Wattpad, Yesware, Joist and Navdy. Matt was a co-founder of Tira Wireless, and started his investment career as a partner with the BalckBerry Partners Fund. 

Also new to Pitch’Day judging is Innovate Manitoba Board member Mark Evans, a leader of Winnipeg’s first wave of technology startups. A PhD in computer engineering, Mark co-founded Emerging Information Systems Inc. in 1990 and built the company into the largest supplier of financial planning software in the world. He sold the business to Zywave in 2011 in a deal that made many of its nearly 200 employee shareholders very well off.