Press releases

LevelUP’s First Cohort Concludes with Maman Biomedical Inc. Winning a $10,000 Pitch

PETERBOROUGH, ON – April 30, 2024—The Innovation Cluster is thrilled to announce the successful conclusion of the first LevelUP pitch competition. Latchmi Raghunanan, co-founder of Maman Biomedical Inc., emerged as the standout victor among 7 other competing companies, claiming the $10,000 prize sponsored by Invest Kawartha, LAUNCH Kawartha, and Prima IP. This event marked the finale of a 13-week program aimed at propelling regional startups from concept to market readiness.


About the Event

Held downtown Peterborough at the Innovation Cluster, this exclusive competition showcased the top startups from our first LevelUP cohort. Entrepreneurs pitched their innovative solutions to a panel of expert judges, including renowned strategists Christine Crandell, Gail Moorhouse, and venture capitalist Amit Bhanot, engaging a room full of investors and regional business leaders.


Victorious Pitch and Program Success

With her co-founder and husband, Roop, in the wings, Latchmi blew the judges away with Maman Biomedical’s trailblazing products that are disrupting the in vitro fertilization (IVF) sector. Offering products in patch and gel form, their cutting-edge products eliminate pain and reduce costs for women facing infertility, both major barriers to accessing traditional needle-injected IVF treatments. 

“Winning this competition means we can accelerate and move forward,” said Latchmi. “We loved the LevelUP program, and we’ve made a lot of progress in a very short period of time. I am extremely proud of where we are.”


A Word from Judge and Innovation Cluster Vice Chair Christine Crandell 

“Our first cohort has set a high benchmark for success,” expressed Christine Crandell, LevelUP judge and Vice Chair of the Innovation Cluster’s Board of Directors. “Seeing these entrepreneurs evolve over the past weeks has been profoundly inspiring. This program, and today’s prize for Maman Biomedical Inc., highlights the vibrant potential of Peterborough’s innovation ecosystem. A huge thank you to our sponsors Invest Kawartha, LAUNCH Kawartha, and Prima IP for making the $10,000 prize possible.”


Impact on Regional Economy

LevelUP aims to boost economic growth by nurturing startup ventures capable of contributing innovative solutions and jobs. This program is a cornerstone of our strategic initiative to transform Peterborough and the Kawarthas into a thriving hub for business innovation.


Call to Action for Future Innovators

With the successful launch of our inaugural cohort, we are now eagerly looking forward to welcoming new applicants for the next LevelUP cycle beginning on August 6, 2024. We encourage all ambitious entrepreneurs from the region to apply and take their business ideas to the next level.

Applications Open: April 30, 2024
Application Deadline: July 1, 2024

For more details and to apply to the next LevelUP cohort, please visit: 


Join Us in Celebrating Innovation

We invite the community and media to continue supporting these rising stars by sharing their stories and successes. The next cohort promises even more breakthroughs as we continue to foster a robust platform for entrepreneurial growth.

About Our Sponsors

Invest Kawartha – Invest Kawartha drives innovation through its comprehensive support for entrepreneurs. Offering everything from funding and business advisory to incubation services, they are a pillar in the City of Kawartha Lakes’ economic and entrepreneurial ecosystem. Learn More: 


LAUNCH Kawartha – Eastern Ontario’s hub for innovation, Launch Kawartha, is the newest centre dedicated to fostering entrepreneurial success. As a vibrant part of the local economic development scene, they provide essential services and a collaborative space for innovators. Learn More: 


Prima IP – With a global network and decades of expertise, Prima IP specializes in all aspects of intellectual property, from patents to trademarks and beyond. Led by Marcelo Sarkis, their work ensures that innovators can protect and maximize their intellectual creations effectively. Learn More: 


About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs in launching, growing, and scaling their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

Startup Incubator – a full-service startup incubator program

LevelUP – a full-service accelerator program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Slingshot – Student Entrepreneurship Program

LAUNCH Kawartha – The Innovation Cluster operates across multiple locations, one of which includes LAUNCH Kawartha, a dedicated space for incubation programming situated in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes. For additional information, please visit

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, LAUNCH Kawartha ,and OMAFRA.


Media Contact

Christine Crandell, Vice Chair of the Board 


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