$100K Black Entrepreneurship Investment Prize

Prize Details

This prize is presented by Rep Matters in partnership with FACE, Groupe 3737, and Tribe Network.

The $100k Black Entrepreneurship Investment Prize is an investment from up to 10 angel investors. Our default terms are based on an industry-standard SAFE agreement (for reference, please see this standard SAFE agreement). The winning startup will sign the SAFE agreement with each of the investors individually. The investors are willing to create a voting trust, if and when the SAFE agreement converts to equity.

Think these terms shouldn’t apply to you? Need a tweak? We can discuss that. While we adopt industry standard agreements for the sake of simplicity, the judges are willing to discuss alternate terms proposed by shortlisted Startups during their meeting on Friday, July 14.


Eligibility Criteria

The $100k Black Entrepreneurship Investment Prize is open to any Black-led startup in attendance. For the purposes of this prize, we define a Black-led startup as a startup with the most senior member of the executive team being a Black leader.

There’s no application process, no form to fill out, and no video to prepare. You just need to register, get onsite, and be ready to wow our Black Entrepreneurship Investor Judges with a superb pitch that makes the cut.


The Process

Startups have until 5PM on Thursday, July 13th—the second day of Startupfest—to deliver their pitch. They can do so in the language of their choice, but please be aware that since Startupfest attracts investors from across the country and around the world, many of them only speak English.


How do I pitch?

Your goal over the first two days is to get at least one of the judges to shortlist your Startup:

  • Judges will be roaming the Tent Village and can be found at the $100K Black Entrepreneurship prize tent. Be sure to visit the Village so you connect with as many judges as possible—after all, it just takes one judge for you to make the shortlist.
  • Our judges are wearing an Investor Judge badge and a green lanyard to make them easy to identify and pitch everywhere onsite. You probably want to avoid doing it in a bathroom, but everywhere else is fair game!


What happens next?

On Friday, July 14th–the final day of Startupfest—the Judges are based exclusively in the Tent Village listening to additional pitches and calling back shortlisted Startups for a Q&A meeting.

By 4PM the Investor Judges will have selected the winner to be announced during the closing ceremonies.

Meet the judges!

Melissa Allen

Melissa Allen 1


Melissa Allen began her career in digital marketing first interning at Foreign Affairs Canada in Paris, France, and then working with tech companies such as Torstar Digital and Google, before pivoting to an award-winning career in financial services at Desjardins.

Combining her passions for tech and finance, Melissa became an angel investor and Limited Partner in 2019 and after selling her financial practice in 2020, began lending her expertise in advisory and leadership roles at startups such as Alo Solutions and Bay Mills before joining the League of Innovators as the Executive Director and LOI Venture as a Venture Partner…all while st

Frank Baylis

Frank Baylis 1


Frank Baylis is presently the executive chairman of Baylis Medical Technologies. 

From October 2015 to October 2019 he was Liberal Member of Parliament for the federal riding of Pierrefonds-Dollard. Frank sat on the Industry Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the Ethics & Privacy Committee. He was the chair of the Canada-UK Parliamentary Association and a founding member of the Black Caucus. 

Prior to being elected Frank Baylis was President of Baylis Medical Company from 1989 to 2015. During that period Baylis Medical grew into a major Canadian developer and manufacturer of medical devices. The company sold in 2021 to Boston Scientific for $1.75 Billion USD. In 2011 he and his partner Kris Shah won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year – Life Sciences section. In 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 Baylis Medical was recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed Companies. 

In 2004 Frank launched the company charity For the Children (FTC) with the goal of improving access to education for children both in Canada and internationally. This has now grown into the Gloria Baylis Foundation. 

He is a Professional Engineer with a degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

Tania Clarke


Tania Clarke has over 25 years in senior financial positions, in a diverse range of sectors, including the food & beverage, manufacturing, retail and financial sectors. She has previously served as Senior Vice-President and CFO at publicly-traded multinational corporations, including New Look Vision group and Imvescor Restaurant Group Her experience covers enterprise risk, financial, reporting, governance, investor relations, legal, real estate, tax, mergers and acquisitions, and information technology.

Ms. Clarke presently sits on the boards of Jamieson Wellness (TSX: JWEL), Futurpreneur Canada, the BDC and the McGill University Health Centre Foundation. She has also been a member of various community groups, in Montreal, Quebec, and held board positions on the West Island Black Community Association and The Games for Hope Foundation.

Dax Dasilva

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Dax Dasilva is the creative mind behind Lightspeed’s suite of retail, hospitality and eCommerce tools. Founded in 2005, Lightspeed develops a cloud commerce platform used by customers in over 100 countries. The company’s mission is to bring cities and communities to life by powering independent business. Lightspeed is about much more than transactions; it helps entrepreneurs work smarter, make data-driven decisions, and create the best possible experience for their customers.

In 2015, Dax also founded Never Apart, a cultural non-profit determined to bring about positive social change and unity through original programming with global reach and impact. Housed in Lightspeed’s former offices, Never Apart cultivates a diverse following and has welcomed thousands into its 12,000 square foot space

Helping entrepreneurs become leaders in their communities through Lightspeed’s technology, and elevating artists through his work at Never Apart are fundamental to Dax’s philosophy. He fosters cultures of innovation, promotes diverse leadership, and values different viewpoints.

Dax’s book, Age of Union, made its debut in the Spring of 2019.

Jon Gosier

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Jon Gosier is a data scientist who develops artificial intelligence, data science, and machine learning solutions for various industries. He’s an investor and the Founder of Southbox, a Startup Studio and Venture Capital fund located in Philadelphia.
He is also the Founder of medical artificial intelligence company WoundMetrics and Founder of audience measurement and monetization company AuDigent. Other initiatives he’s been a part of helped build the tech ecosystem in Africa (Ushahidi, AfriLabs, and HiveColab).
Jon spent the past decade building a career in data science and international business. In that time he’s lead an array of data projects as a consultant and sub-contractor to Jefferson Health, EMC, Google, FEMA, InQTel, The World Bank, U.S. Department of State, Wounded Warriors, the Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin.

Michael Dennis


Michael Dennis is a senior executive specialized in financial systems implementations across a variety of industries. He has worked with clients across North America to improve their financial reporting and analysis through a combination of process changes and system improvements. Michael was the Founder and Managing Partner of ToMont Solutions, which was acquired by KPMG, where he continued as a partner. After four years at KPMG Michael retired, then came back from retirement only one year later to head up Canadian expansion for CompIntelligence Inc.

Alfred Burgesson


Alfred is the Founder and CEO of Tribe Ventures, which is committed to supporting historically marginalized groups and visible racial minorities. Through the fund, Alfred and his team aim to create economic opportunities, promote wealth creation, and contribute to the growth and development of businesses owned by racialized entrepreneurs. 


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