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Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship

Western network comes together to power start-ups and scale-ups

Nov 23, 2022

Western Angels' Demo Day Logo

Discover more about next week's Western Angels Demo Day on November 30th.


The story of the lone entrepreneur is an enticing myth.

One founder, fighting against the world, wearing multiple caps, and working 100 hours a week to move their business from some undisclosed basement to the heart of Silicon Valley.

There might be a few unicorns that fit some parts of that story, but entrepreneurial success regularly takes a community.

Just as “no man, or woman, is an island,” no entrepreneur makes it on their own.

This was the impetus that gave birth to Western Angels’ Demo Day in 2020; an opportunity to bring together rising entrepreneurs, experienced founders and investors from Western’s alumni network to power the next generation of great Canadian companies.

For Eric Morse, Executive Director of the Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship, this was a key initiative in supporting nascent entrepreneurs beyond the University.

Over the past five years, Western has built out a number of programs to bridge outgoing student founders and their full-time careers as entrepreneurs, and Western Angels’ Demo Day is an integral piece. It is great to see Western University affiliated investors and friends of Western come together to support these incredible entrepreneurs.

And it’s definitely a great time to support Western founders. Since 2018, Western-founded and Western led-companies have raised well over $4 billion in funding.

Five Western-alumni lead start-ups will be pitching at the 5th edition of the Western Angels' Demo Day on November 30, 2022. The hybrid event will be hosted at the Ivey Donald K. Johnson Centre at 130 King St W, Toronto, ON M5X 1A9.

Discover more about the five ventures and their founders who will be seeking mentorship and resources to become the next generation of great Canadian companies.



William Christodoulou and Sukhman Dulay are the co-founders of CYDER - a data collection engine based on the simple principle that users should control their data and be paid for it. 

Personal data is a valuable asset, which is often already being harvested by companies that profit from it. The collection and selling of data is expected to become a two-hundred-billion-dollar industry as companies continue to dive deeper in understanding what factors drive their end users.

Companies who subscribe to CYDER are able to go beyond surface data collection and are able to match their customer list with CYDER members who have given permission for their data to be used. Companies can also use the advanced analytics provided by CYDER to gain deeper insights. The data does not leave the protected CYDER platform and members earn royalties when their data is monetized.

Investment Ask: $405,000


JustMYX founded by Western student Richard Wang is pioneering a new drinking experience. JustMYX provides portable, pocket-sized cocktail mixes in three popular flavours (Lime Mojito, Sex on the Beach, and Pina Colada – more flavours to come!).

Their target market of younger adults clearly demonstrates they want to enjoy alcoholic beverages with great taste, no calories and zero sugar. Big brands are slowly responding to this trend but their offerings are expensive, hard to carry and simply don’t taste great.

JustMYX’s solution fits the market just right! The product is small and concentrated at 30 servings per bottle, easy to prepare and easy to carry. JustMYX has zero sugar and calories- making it the perfect guilt-free drinking companion.

Local bar owners agree that the product is a great way to simplify the preparation of complex cocktails in one easy step. This makes it a very cost-effective way to deliver “bar-worthy” drinks with a quick turnaround time.

Investment Ask: $50,000


Aaron Carr, founder and CEO of Qarrot, recognizes that low employee engagement is a costly global issue. US employers alone lose up to 500+ billion annually from poor employee engagement – and the post pandemic shift to a hybrid work model has exacerbated this problem.

Low engagement affects companies in many ways, ranging from poor productivity, lower revenues, high staff turnover and unsatisfied customers. Qarrot’s mission is to help employers improve engagement, strengthen work culture and boost performance using a cloud-based employee rewards and recognition software. 

Qarrot allows employers to recognize employee achievements and strengthen culture and motivate improved performance through challenges and contests. The software provides features such as points, gift cards, peer-to-peer recognition, award campaigns, and birthday and work anniversary awards. Since 2018 the company has grown from 1 customer to over 110 paying customers with an average of 75 employees.

Qarrot’s potential market for the product is significant. Most vendors currently in the market pursue larger enterprises. Qarrot targets smaller to mid-size companies. The estimated market spend on employee engagement solutions by segment in the smaller to mid-size space is significant - small business (1-499 employees): $6B; Mid-Market (500-2,499 employees): $11B.

Investment Ask: $750,000


Dr. Saumik Biswas, CEO and Co-Founder of Tenomix understands the need for accurate and fast cancer diagnostic tools. For him Tenomix is a deeply personal way of honouring his aunt who passed away at an early age from improper colon cancer staging.

The Tenomix mission is to develop novel technologies that target inefficiencies in the pathology workflow, optimize cancer care, and reduce healthcare costs. In 2020, 26,900 Canadians were diagnosed with colorectal cancer, which translated to 74 Canadians being diagnosed every day. Globally, almost 2 million people were diagnosed with colorectal cancer.

Pathology staff perform the search for lymph nodes by hand, which makes the process labour, time, and resource intensive. Crucially, given the limitations of human touch, smaller lymph nodes may be missed.

The Lymphonator is Tenomix’s novel solution to this problem.  A bench-top robotic scanning device that guides the hospital's pathology team in efficient and reliable lymph node identification in surgically removed colorectal cancer tissues. Through robotics and AI, the platform technology autonomously searches for LNs in surgically removed cancer tissues and replaces the existing tedious and unreliable manual search process, resulting in labour-savings, cost-savings, and increased cancer staging reliability, ultimately improving patient outcomes. 

Investment Ask: $500,000


Xonic Golf Inc

Eileen Jurczak, (Western Engineering) is the founder of Xonic Golf Inc. the first female-founded golf technology start-up in Canada (and one of the first two in North America).

Xonic creates and builds technology solutions for the golf industry. The company’s first product, the iTQ is best described as the best tool in your golf bag -- a quick tip caddie, giving golfers of all skill levels instant, customized PGA professional quick fixes and tips while on the golf course.  

The iTQ’s advanced, patent-pending AI system uses your unique swing signature to continuously identify the most effective fixes and tips for you – tips that are designed to work right away, without any practice.  The AI technology keeps learning so the more you use it, the better it gets at giving you advice.

Subsequent products to be launched soon will include the iTQ2 and iTQ MAX.  The company’s mission continues to be to improve the player experience for all golfers using technology. In November 2022, Xonic Golf Inc won the Consumer Tech category of Fast Company's annual Next Big Things in Tech awards, honoring technology breakthroughs that promise to shape the future of industries.

Investment Ask: $500,000