A selection of budding high tech entrepreneurs have been selected to pitch their business ideas as part of Ontario Centres of Excellence’s Discovery 2014 event being held in Toronto today.
The 19 are the finalists in the second edition of Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch a high school entrepreneurship competition presented by the Ministry of Economic Development Trade and Employment and Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) as part of the $295 million Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy.
The contest invited high school students across Ontario to pitch their business idea in a two-minute video. Finalists, chosen from among 123 entries, were determined through a combination of on-line public voting and expert judges. Their companies represent a range of ideas in such sectors as technology, social innovation, services and the environment.
They will now appear in front of a judging panel in Toronto at Discovery at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.. Six winners will receive reserved entry into Ontario’s Summer Company program, which includes a grant of up to $3,000 to help launch their business.
“The quality of these business proposals is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive and well in Ontario,” says Dr. Tom Corr, president and CEO of OCE.
Among this year’s finalists are:
Brendan Marentette, a Grade 11 student at A. Y. Jackson Secondary School in Kanata, for Auricle, a mobile application for Android and iOS that utilizes Google Glass and speech recognition technologies to allow a person who has hearing loss to understand what people around them are saying without the use of sign language.
Calin Ranger, a Grade 8 student at École Secondaire Macdonald-Cartier in Sudbury, for BluePhone, a new technology that allows users to connect multiple phones to their cell phone through Bluetooth technology. This allows you to get rid of your home phone bill without getting rid of your home phone.
Kaleb Sauve, a Grade 11 student at LaSalle Secondary School in Sudbury, for Vision3D, a service for constructing and customizing spaces in a 3D environment that will allow customers to visualize how small or large renovations will appear when completed, the 3D constructions are formatted to be exact replicas of the property or space the customer is renovating.
Taha Hossain, a Grade 10 student at Milliken Mills High School in Unionville, for Cronovo, an app development company that uses source codes provided by application developers. The usage of source codes saves time and reduces production costs drastically.
Matt Blair, a Grade 11 student at Oakridge Secondary School in London, for Foundation Tools, a company which offers used tools that have been refurbished to manufacturer’s standards that can be either rented or bought. Foundation tools also offers to fix your broken down tools or equipment. What makes the company different is that they will pick up and drop off your equipment. It also makes donations towards Habitat for Humanity.
In addition to attending Discovery, finalists will attend a young entrepreneurs training boot camp and networking session at oneeleven, a big data accelerator in Toronto.
The pitches are open and will take place at OCE’s Discovery on May 12 from 4-6 p.m. in the NEXT Theatre on the Discovery show floor. The judging panel consists of Alex Levy, CEO & Lead Designer, MyVoice Inc., Katherine Hague, Co-Founder, ShopLocket,Ella Mar, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Invest Ottawa, Bilal Khan, Managing Director, oneeleven and Donovan Dill, Manager, YES Entrepreneurial Programs.