The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News

3rd Annual Youth 'Make Your Pitch' Contest Begins

Web posted on November 18, 2014

Ontario is giving young entrepreneurs the chance to pitch their business ideas to experts and the public through the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition. More than 20,000 job opportunities have been created under the Youth Jobs Strategy since programs were launched in the fall of 2013.

"Ontario Centres of Excellence is pleased to partner with the Government of Ontario for the third year to deliver the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch contest. Every year we see a terrific mix of enthusiasm and ideas from the students two of the keys to starting a successful business." Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, Ontario Centres of Excellence.

The competition challenges high school students to pitch their business idea in a two-minute video. The videos will be evaluated by judges from the business community and the public can vote for the best pitch online.

Youth wishing to enter the The Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch must submit their video on or before March 6, 2015. Voting for the best video pitch will take place from March 10 to April 2, 2015.

Twenty finalists will present their ideas to a judging panel at the Ontario Centres of Excellence's Discovery Conference in Toronto this April. The finalists will also receive business coaching.

Six winners will be selected and presented with reserved entry into Ontario's Summer Company program, which includes mentoring, training and a grant of up to $3,000 to help launch their business. Ontario's Summer Company program helped students launch 940 businesses in 2014. If a winner does not qualify for the Summer Company program, an equivalent in support will be provided.

"I learned that it is never too early or too late to start building a business. As one of the youngest Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch winners, I proved to myself and people around me that you can start at any age and anywhere, all you need is determination. I'm really happy that I participated in the Make Your Pitch competition. It is where my business idea came to life." Iman Jaffari, Founder of FoodPost, Winner of 2013 Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch.

Supporting entrepreneurship -- at any age -- is part of the government's economic plan for Ontario. Ontario is investing $295 million over two years in the Youth Jobs Strategy to help 30,000 young people from across the province connect with the tools, experiences and entrepreneurial support they need to find employment or start their own businesses.

The four-part plan is building Ontario up by investing in people's talents and skills, building new public infrastructure like roads and transit, creating a dynamic, supportive environment where business thrives and building a secure savings plan so everyone can afford to retire.