News & Events



Meet Sam Battista, founder of PropertySpark, a startup at the Digital Media and Gaming Incubator that helps the real estate industry with social media advertising. Although he’s sitting in front of a poster emblazoned with the word “sorry,” Sam is anything but apologetic. Read the Queen’s University blog about how PropertySpark was born, the most memorable thing a mentor has said to him, and the best advice he’s gotten about being an entrepreneur.



The Digital Media and Gaming Incubator is excited to team up with the Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference (OTEC) to feature the first Canadian startup to pitch at the Global Final in Beijing, China. The Incubator has been successfully organizing the IT’S A START Pitch Competition for emerging startups in Toronto over the past five years. IT’S A START is an annual pitch competition for digital startups held during Digifest, the city’s leading three-day festival on digital innovation and creativity. The winning startup participated in a four-day international conference and global pitch competition in Beijing this August. Over twenty teams from ten countries took part in this event, making this a great opportunity to connect international entrepreneurs with investment and growth opportunities in China. This year’s IT’S A START winner Genecis Enviro Tech took part in this trip. Founded by Luna Yu, this startup is focused on recycling food scraps into value-added products such as bio-plastics, biofuels and food additives. The Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference (OTEC) is a government-sponsored event in Beijing that aims to connect international entrepreneurs with investment and growth opportunities, and to help them launch their startups in China.


Ten start-ups competed at the 2017 IT’S A START Pitch Competition held at Digifest in the Corus Quay buidling. Congratulations to all of this year’s winners: Flashfood (1st place), Genecis EnviroTech Inc. (2nd place), Trip Swell Inc.- Jauntin (3rd place), and HelpWear (People’s Choice)! Flashfood and Genecis will be representing Canada at the Overseas Talent + Entrepreneurship Conference being held this August in Beijing.

See video of 2017 IT’S A START Pitch Competition.


IT’S A START Final Pitch Competition will be held at Digifest 2017 on April 28! Grand Prize winner will represent Canada at the Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference (OTEC) in Beijing this August! They will attend OTEC for 4 days, join a start-up tour in China, get wide media coverage, meet with VC or local partners and more. The first place IT’S A START winner will be one of ten countries pitching for the $1M RMB (approx. CDN $200K) prize. Meet the finalists and register here to attend the final IT’S A START Pitch Competition at Corus Quay.
Final IT’S A START Pitch Competition:
Friday, April 28, 2017 (3 pm – 6 pm) at Corus Quay, 25 Dockside Drive, Toronto, Canada
A representative from each start-up will have 5 minutes to pitch their business idea + 2 minutes for Q&A.  Start-ups will be assessed on originality, clarity of presentation, creativity and design, feasibility, market readiness, user friendliness and probability of success.
Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference (OTEC):
August 18-19, 2017, Beijing, China
Global Final competition of the 5th OTEC will be held on August 19th (flight and accommodation covered for top two IT’S A START winners).


Digifest 2017

Attend the city’s largest event on digital creativity. The conference and exhibition includes inspiring talks, Interactive Zone, Student Showcase, IT’S A START Pitch Competition, Digital Pioneer Award (Don Tapscott), Career Forum and more! 2017 Speakers include Corey Timpson (Canadian Museum for Human Rights), Nik Nieuwenhuijs (Code D’Azur), Jake Hirsh-Allen (LinkedIn), Eran Chen (ODA New York), Andrew Low Ah Kee (GoDaddy), Satish Kanwar (Shopify), Grant Owens (Critical Mass New York), Kate Edwards (Igda) and more – see the full program and tickets at

Date: April 27 – April 29, 2017
Location: Corus Quay (51 Dockside Drive), Toronto

IABL 2017

The IABL2017 Conference, the 2nd World Conference on Blended Learning is hosted by the International Association for Blended Learning (IABL) and George Brown College (GBC). The conference organizers cordially invite researchers, teachers, professors, administrators, trainers and technology experts to present the latest blended learning solutions as well as to discuss and exchange the latest findings and new ideas based on the ongoing research, practice, and experience. We would like to invite contributions from across the globe, from all educational sectors and a broad variety of industries. Submissions online at

Date: April 26 – April 28, 2017
Location: George Brown College – Waterfront campus (25 Dockside Drive), Toronto