In recent years, Startupfest has become a launchpad for many successful startups. Many of the winners and finalists for our top prizes have achieved remarkable success in their respective industries. We’re proud that so many of these winners have emerged from the annual event, because it underscores that we put founders first. We launched Startupfest to grow entrepreneurship, innovation, and scalable new ventures.
Over a decade later, Startupfest’s unique programming—a combination of sought-after experts, unexpected activations, and hands-on mentorship— along with our vibrant community of founders from around the world, continues to inspire and empower entrepreneurs. Here’s just one example of a founder who’s turned her ideas into a successful business that has a positive impact on the world. We’re thrilled to be a part of Brittany’s journey.
Meet Brittany Charlton: 2022 winner of the Black Entrepreneur Investment Prize
Brittany Charlton couldn’t stop thinking about the ads she was seeing online. The Toronto-based entrepreneur took the plunge, grabbed a ticket, and made her way to Montreal in 2022 to attend Startupfest. The event was, as she put it, “serendipity.” The founder of Ohh! Foods took the event by storm, not only winning the coveted Startupfest Investment Prize, but also securing an additional $450K of funding from BDC Capital and LOI Ventures. As one of the first consumer goods founders to take the crown at Startupfest, Brittany's mission is to create vegan, gluten-free, and allergen-free snacks that make the world a little safer and sweeter.
Her victory was the result of a well-planned strategy, guided by her mantra of “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” She says you shouldn’t just walk into places and hope that things fall into place.
She also emphasizes the importance of building relationships with people and following up with them after the event. In her words, “Don’t just stand there, talk to people, add them on socials, and invest time in building real connections.” Her focus turned the connections she made onsite into real friends and supporters, providing her with tremendous value over time.
Since bringing home the prize, Brittany has also hired three new employees and has been introduced to key players in the ecosystem, thanks to her investors.