The second #PitchItTOCityHall session is happening at Toronto City Hall on Wednesday September 6, 2017.

The aim of the event is to foster community support and help entrepreneurs secure investments, attract talent, and polish their presentation skills. Startups that are actively seeking investment or ready to raise funds are welcome to register online to pitch at the event.

The event is free and open to the public. Those who are not looking to pitch are still encouraged to attend to hear presentations, ask questions, and network and chat with members of the community.

Each startup will be given 11 minutes to pitch their venture to a panel of angel investors as well as the crowd in attendance. The angels then have one minute to comment on the presentations followed by five minutes of audience questions. The event isn’t a competition and the angels in attendance are there to act as advisors, not judges.

The session is presented by Open People Network (OPN). OPN started in 2016 as a way to encourage discussion and networking between people in different industries. The online gatherings began as regular podcasts and then turned into more focused community sessions where entrepreneurs could pitch their businesses. This is where PitchItTO began.

The PitchItTO sessions have now run in Durham, York, Toronto, and other regions. There have since been 16 different PitchItTO events and more than 50 startups have pitched at the events.

“[In doing OPN] we found that there are a lot of different resources that help people groom and build their business, but they weren’t connected into helping businesses find money” says Jeffery Potvin, CEO, entrepreneur and host of Open People Network. “They were helping businesses build a company, which is fantastic because you need that, but there was this gap that existed to give businesses exposure to angels”

Potvin, founder and CEO of Hardboot Inc, a custom software development company in Toronto, believes that the PitchItTO events are a unique resource for entrepreneurs looking for funding and access to key people and resources.

“In the process, we’ve turned it into an accelerator program which allowed us to start helping the startups on a bigger scale,” says Potvin.

The accelerator is known as 555 Accelerator and is designed to give startups long-term access, build a strong community, and help entrepreneurs interact with key people that can help them build their businesses.

“We don’t want startups to feel that, after a period of time, they’re no longer welcome. The idea is that we want to want to help you build out your business and continue to grow and interact with other entrepreneurs and angels.”

#PitchItTO City Hall starts at 5:30 September 6, 2017. There will be a variety of food provided by the City of Toronto, wine will be provided by Hardboot, and water by Flow Water. More information is available at the Open People Network website.