Foodtech startup Syzl wins first prize at Collision PITCH

 Foodtech startup Syzl wins first prize at Collision PITCH

Image courtesy: Collision Conference

Foodtech startup Syzl, a platform that connects food makers with under-utilized commercial kitchens, has won the PITCH competition at Collision 2023. PITCH is a startup battle at Collision Conference that showcases the most promising early-stage startups from around the world. Over 1,700 startups applied for Collision PITCH this year, representing 30 industries and 76 countries. The event, held in Toronto for the fifth time, shortlisted only 70 startups of those, including 49 from Canada.

Syzl was among the finalists that pitched their businesses to a panel of expert judges, including Wesley Chan of FPV Ventures, Mary D’Onofrio of Bessemer, and John Ruffolo of Maverix. The founder and CEO of Syzl, Azrah Manji-Savin, presented her pitch about connecting food entrepreneurs with kitchen spaces at the event.

While Syzl is Toronto based, Manji-Savin is based out of Calgary. She said that she was proud to represent Western Canada and showcase its vibrant tech ecosystem. Her love of food and her own personal background drew her to the hospitality sector.

“This is amazing! I’m living my dream job. I am a second generation immigrant, my parents came to this country. My co-founder’s parents are immigrants too. And the easiest and quickest way for immigrant communities to make money is to sell food. The problem is that they’re stuck because they cannot scale, and because they’re all working from home. We were so passionate about finding something to support these communities so that they’re able to scale and grow, because this is the economy’s backbone, especially for women and people of colour.”

Azrah Manji-Savin, Founder and CEO of Syzl

Also read: Truly Financial brings the “Non-Stop Founders” Lounge as Collision Conference returns

Foodtech startup Syzl launched a year ago as “AirBnB for the kitchen”

Syzl launched nearly a year ago in Toronto, claiming to be the “AirBnB for the kitchen”. The company aims to empower culinary entrepreneurs with accessible, cost-effective kitchen solutions that meet their needs and preferences. At the same time, it also will benefit kitchen owners by providing them with additional revenue.

The company had launched with 35 kitchens and 400 food makers last year, and now claims to have 1,000 users and 70 kitchens across the Greater Toronto Area. Syzl is backed by Restaurants Canada and plans to expand to other cities in Canada and beyond.

Despite the emergence of ghost kitchens and gig economy services, the Syzl team understood that it was difficult for chefs or food entrepreneurs to find an on-demand or temporary professional, certified kitchen. At the same time, kitchen operators missed revenue opportunities due to closed hours, delays, and empty stations. To solve these problems together, Syzl teamed up with both kitchens and food makers.

On the Syzl app, owners of commercial kitchens can post information about their facility, including availability, equipment lists, and rental costs. In turn, chefs can search for kitchens by equipment availability, location, and availability. Syzl insures and verifies users with food-handling certificates and background checks. At the same time, it makes sure that all listed kitchens are certified for health and safety too.

The win at Collision should help Syzl with visibility and capital. Voosh from Y Combinator’s W21 batch was another similar startup solving this problem in India. However, it has since pivoted to data science & visualization for restaurants.


Also read: Canadian foodtech startups secure US$500K in latest funding

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