Press Release: Nine Rhyze Ventures Pitch Finalists Announced!

Jul 20, 2021 | Innovation Guelph Blogs & Stories, Media Releases

Rhyze and Shine Blog

Guelph, ON July 20, 2021 – Innovation Guelph’s second cohort of Rhyze Ventures programming culminates in a public pitch competition with nine companies competing on August 12, 2021, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The Rhyze & Shine pitch event also kicks off cohort three with opportunities to connect with new program participants, Rhyze Ventures alumni, program partners, volunteer mentors, industry specialists, facilitators and community leaders! The winners will have an opportunity to be interviewed on the Zonecast podcast that features entrepreneurs, professionals and academics.

Of the 56 Rhyze Ventures participants who started the program, the nine pitch finalists are:


Scalable Business

Tina Brisbin
Mambella’s Italian Kitchen

Le Luong
Nurture Growth Bio Fertilizer

Jennifer Prendergast
The Expert Talk

Social Enterprise

Nurjahan Begum

Malissa Bryan
Rainbow Diversity Institute

Sara Murphy
Sara Murphy Pyscotherapy

Small Business

Sheri Visakaly
Laura Rae’s Caramel Co.

Valerie Simpson
One Sixty One Artisan

Amanda Worr
Tiny Kind Toys


Esteemed qualifying pitch competition judges include:

  • Colleen James, Principal Consultant & CEO at Divonify
  • Debora Bielecki, Board Director, Bank of Canada and Canadian Light Source
  • Kavita Srivastava, Director at Duff & Phelps and SheEO Activator
  • Martha van Berkel, CEO & Co-Founder at Schema App
  • Sandra Hinojosa Verdin, Industrial Technology Advisor at the National Research Council Canada

Rhyze Ventures is a program that balances in-class learning, hands-on project work, mentorship, and peer networking to address women entrepreneurs’ biggest business challenges.  It is an eight-month program delivered in three streams with delivery partners: Business Centre Guelph-WellingtonGreenHouseWaterloo Region Small Business Centre10C and Pollinate. Rhyze Ventures received an investment of over $1.8 million through the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy, delivered by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario.

Register via Zoom:


Innovation Guelph is building prosperity for community well-being by providing mentorship and business support programs and services to help innovative enterprises start, grow and thrive.  Innovation Guelph’s business acceleration programs are designed for high-potential start-ups, small- to medium-sized enterprises and women-led businesses across southern Ontario. Innovation Guelph also serves as a one-stop point of access to business support programs and services across the province.

About FedDev Ontario

For nearly 12 years, FedDev Ontario has worked to advance and diversify the southern Ontario economy through funding opportunities and business services that support innovation and growth in Canada’s most populous region. Learn more about the impacts the Agency is having in southern Ontario by exploring our pivotal projects.

For more information:
Rama Walid, Program Manager, 519-265-4495