TORONTO, April 19, 2016 — Twenty teenage entrepreneurs will vie for up to $3,000 in start-up funds and entrepreneurial mentorship through the Ontario Summer Company program and other awards, in the fourth year of the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition.
Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch is an annual Ontario-wide high-school entrepreneurship contest presented by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure.
“OCE is pleased to deliver the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch program on behalf of the province once again,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence. “Ontario’s young people continue to demonstrate their engagement, creativity and business savvy in their submissions.”
Selected from 204 two-minute video pitches, finalists will compete in a pitch contest at OCE’s Discovery, Canada’s premier innovation and entrepreneurship showcase, on May 9 at Metro Toronto Convention Centre.
“The Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch finalists show the talent and innovative thinking that will create the jobs of the future and make Ontario more prosperous and more attractive to investment,” says Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. “I want to congratulate the finalists, as future leaders and job creators who will grow our economy in the 21st century.”
The finalists are:
Betty Pu and team from Bayview Secondary School in Richmond Hill for the company Proxi-Meet
Rose Shao from St. Aloysius Gonzaga Secondary School in Mississauga for her company Vibe Venture
Afif Bhimani from White Oaks Secondary School in Oakville for his company Fixa
Rafiu Anand and team from Woburn Collegiate Institute in Scarborough for the company Foodicted: Your Food Your Way
Samantha Ling from Martingrove Collegiate Institute in Etobicoke for her company SOCIETEES: Clothing that Gives Back
Justin Shapiro and team from Forest Hill Collegiate in Toronto for the company Reech
Ananthan Narendran from Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute in Scarborough for his company Express Breakfast
Kailyn Seo from North Park Secondary School in Brampton for her company Bookshopop
Eric Sheppard from Etobicoke School of the Arts in Etobicoke for his company Study Cop
Abby Taggart from Nipigon-Red Rock District High School in Red Rock for her company News in a Flash
Alicia Kejick from Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora for her company Manitou Massage
Laura Alb and team from Ashbury College in Ottawa for the company Gamiori
Alyssa Chow from Ashbury College in Ottawa for her company Calorie Crisis
Steffie Lam and team from St. Brother Andre Catholic High School in Markham for the company Time’s Up
Matthew Piercey and team from Heritage Christian Academy in Barrie for the company Changing the World- One Box at a Time
Sean Cornelius from St. André Bassette Catholic Secondary in London for his company Geco
Jacob Schwab and team from Assumption College Catholic High School in Windsor for the company Virtual Reality Exploration (Windsor)
Raymond Tran from Honourable W.C. Kennedy Collegiate in Windsor for his company WayPoint (Windsor)
Sally Potter from Temiskaming District Secondary School in New Liskeard for her company Feed the Future
Chris Piquette and team from Lasalle Secondary School in Sudbury for the company Pitch for Bingo Coffee House
Six winners will be awarded a reserve place in the Ontario Summer Company program, a Nymi Band (a wearable bio-metric, multi-factor authenticator) and a Muse (a brain-sensing band from InteraXon).
Judges for the live pitches are innovators, Nicole Verkindt (OMX founder and Dragon on CBC’s “Next Gen” Dragons’ Den); Heather Payne (HackerYou CEO and Ladies Learning Code founder), Sohaib Zahid (Vanhawks Inc. CEO and co-founder), Karl Martin (Nymi founder and CTO) and Narbe Alexandrian (OMERS Ventures associate).
Finalists’ two-minute video pitches can be seen at www.makeyourpitch.ca
Winning pitches in 2015 include a waste-sorting bin that groups paper waste, landfill and compost post-disposal through a “one-opening design” (Urbin Solutions) and a free online tutoring academy for high-school students (C2TF-Academy).
Named Canada’s Best Trade Show 2010 and 2011 and now in its eleventh year, 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, the environment, advanced health, digital media, information and communication technologies and advanced manufacturing. The annual conference and showcase attracts more than 3,200 attendees and 500 exhibitors.