Twenty high school entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas at Discovery 2018 for up to $3,000 in start-up funds and entrepreneurial mentorship through Ontario's Summer Company program and other awards in the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition.
Now in its sixth year and presented by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG), the competition invites high-school entrepreneurs from across Ontario to pitch their innovative ideas online via a two-minute video.
“We are laser-focused on the future of our economy. Events like Discovery 2018 give us, and our partners, the great opportunity to nurture the next generation of business leaders through mentorship and support,” says Steven Del Duca, Minister of Economic Development and Growth. “I look forward to seeing the creative and inventive ideas that will help shape businesses in our province for years to come.”
The finalists were chosen through online voting and judges' scores from over 200 video submissions. On April 30, the finalists will pitch their ideas to a live audience and a panel of judges at Discovery 2018.
Six winners will be chosen, with each receiving reserved entry in Ontario's Summer Company program, a $750 education voucher, and InteraXon's brain-sensing Muse headband.
This year's judging panel includes:
- Yvonne Pilon, President, CEO, WEtech Alliance – Moderator
- Elizabeth Audette-Bourdeau, Co-Founder, CEO, Welbi
- Kristian Borghesan, Co-Founder, Head of Growth & Marketing, Brüha
- Moufeed Kaddoura, Co-Founder, CEO, ExVivo
- Ami Shah, Co-Founder, CEO, Peekapak
Before pitching live at Discovery, the finalists will receive training and the opportunity to hone their presentation skills at a one-day boot camp at Ontario Centres of Excellence in Toronto on April 29.
“Through the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition, we are seeing the immense business potential, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit of high-school students in this province,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, OCE. “Once again, it is exciting and humbling to inspire, foster, and support the next generation of Ontario-based entrepreneurs and innovators.”
Named Canada's Best Trade Show in 2010, 2011, 2016, and 2017 and celebrating 13 years of bold, new ideas, OCE's Discovery is Canada's premier innovation showcase. It brings together the best and brightest minds in industry, academia, investment and government to showcase leading-edge technologies, best practices and research in the areas of energy, fintech, cleantech, the environment, advanced health, digital media, information and communication technologies and advanced manufacturing. The annual conference and showcase attracts more than 3,600 attendees and over 500 exhibitors.
For more information on the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch 2018 finalists, their two-minute video pitch videos can be viewed at www.makeyourpitch.ca.
For more on Discovery, please visit www.ocediscovery.com.
The 2018 Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch finalists are:
- Austin Chan of Markham for the company The Wydlis Course (Markville Secondary School)
- Luke Edward of Markham for the company BookSmart (St. Robert Catholic High School)
- Yumnah Hussain of Pickering for the company UniVisor (Dunbarton High School)
- Pratham Parashar of Vaughan for the company CarCan (Maple High School)
- Molly Collier of Harrow for the company Hockey Stick Holder (Kingsville District High School)
- Brandon Defausses of Windsor for the company CoreFix (Assumption College Catholic High School)
- Anthony Galassi of Niagara Falls for the company Anthony's Computer Tutoring (St. Paul Catholic High School)
- Mackenzie Huckvale of Ottawa for the company Mighty Molecules (Bell High School)
- Mackenzie McGuire of Belleville for the company Imagine That (Moira Secondary School)
- Mohamed Salem of Ottawa for the company INSPIRE (Merivale High School)
- Georgia Borton of Sudbury for the company Photo Bomb Café (Lasalle Secondary School)
- Avery Liao of Sudbury for the company Eco-Composting (Lasalle Secondary School)
- Leigha Nault of Kenora for the company Buruwang Tours (Beaver Brae Secondary School)
- Leah Snow of Kenora for the company The Cleansing Kit (Beaver Brae Secondary School)
- Diya Ahmad of Oakville for the company Jeena (White Oaks Secondary School)
- Raquel Goka of Brampton for the company R.A.C.K.S. (St. Roch Catholic Secondary School)
- Haris Kamal of Brampton for the company GameFind (North Park Secondary School)
- Aaliyan Khan of Brampton for the company The Positivity Project (Brampton Centennial Secondary School)
- Victoria Moscone of Vaughan for the company Better Me (Holy Cross Catholic Academy)
- Prayag Shah of Brampton for the company Mealeaf (North Park Secondary School)
SOURCE Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc.