Twenty budding entrepreneurs to make their pitch at Discovery 2015

TORONTO, April 21, 2015 /CNW/ - Twenty budding entrepreneurs have been selected to pitch their business ideas as part of Ontario Centres of Excellence's Discovery 2015.

The 20 are the finalists in the third edition of Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch, a high school entrepreneurship competition presented by the Ministry of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure and Ontario Centres of Excellence.

The contest invited high school students across Ontario to pitch their business idea in a two-minute video. Finalists, chosen from among 209 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, design and the environment.

"The Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition offers further evidence that Ontario's young people are truly among the most talented, innovative and hardworking in the world," says Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development, Employment and Infrastructure. "I want to thank the hundreds of students who entered and the thousands more who voted, and congratulate this group of 20 finalists. The business skills they are learning and putting to use today will help them become the leaders and job creators of tomorrow that will make Ontario more prosperous."

They will now appear in front of a judging panel in Toronto at Discovery on April 27, with six winners to be announced at the Discovery Luncheon on April 28. Winners will receive a $750 education voucher from Desire2Learn, a Nymi Band from Nymi, a Muse brain-sensing headband by InteraXon, as well as reserved entry into Ontario's Summer Company program, which includes a grant of up to $3,000 to help launch their business.

"This is our third year delivering the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch contest on behalf of the Government of Ontario and every year the quality and quantity of the entries goes up," says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence. "Young people across the province clearly grasp the concepts of what it takes to start and run a successful business and all of the entries this year were reflective of that."

This year's finalists are:

  • Sam Fereidooni, a Grade 10 student at Anderson Collegiate in Whitby, for Gamr, Everyone Deserves to Play, a cross-platform gaming service which allows anyone to play classic games and new releases on any of their devices, in any location.
  • Ryan Yu, a Grade 9 student at Bayview Secondary School in Richmond Hill, for The OASS, an organization aiding in the growth of education by offering one-on-one complimentary tutoring and volunteering opportunities.
  • Pat Chong, a Grade 12 student at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School in Dundas, for LatchMyLanyard, a product aimed at university and college students to locate their lost lanyards through a unique barcode, that when scanned will show who the lanyard belongs to and offer contact information.
  • Zaheem Riberdy, a Grade 11 student at Assumption College School in Windsor, for Kustom Kicks, a service which applies high end custom designs on shoes, as well as shoe cleaning and refurbishing.
  • Raymond Tran, a Grade 10 student at Honourable W.C. Kennedy Collegiate Institute in Windsor, for TeaSchool, a new concept of revolutionizing the student menu with enjoyable tea beverages.
  • Monica Taing, a Grade 11 student at Ashbury College in Ottawa, for Caniversity, a website which allows students globally to get access to any Canadian university.
  • Jonathan Chow, a Grade 11 student at Ashbury College in Ottawa, for Charitable Wishlist, a website that connects volunteers and donors with charitable organizations, facilitate relationships and provide information on multiple charities in one central registry.
  • Owen Paradis, a Grade 12 student at École Secondaire Catholique Thériault in Timmins, for Bus Tracker Pro, a new technology helping students and parents locate their school bus with ease using their PC or smartphone.
  • Calin Ranger, a Grade 9 student at Collège Notre-Dame in Sudbury, for ExamSPam, an app that sends notifications to your smartphone with small quizzes throughout the day.
  • Michael Hodgkinson, a Grade 11 student at Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora, for I-Pressure Accu-Hook, a product that helps individuals do acupressure on themselves, relieving tension and tightness in the back.
  • Savannah Kejick, a Grade 12 student at Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora, for Fashion Design, a business that uses vintage clothing to create new, stylish and affordable clothing.
  • Malini Hu, a Grade 12 student at Richmond Hill High School in Richmond Hill, for Introducing the Urbin, a product which revolutionizes the waste disposal process and transforms the disposal experience into a one-step, convenient, and efficient process.
  • Adnan Saoud, a Grade 11 student at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute in Toronto, for Sweep n Swap, a service business that provides car washing, detailing and tire amenities for customers at their homes or workplaces.
  • Ashumi Doshi, a Grade 9 student at R. H. King Academy in Scarborough, for Classy Crafters, an exclusive jewelry company made from paper, with unique, handmade designs and has the ability to customize earrings.
  • Jake D'Gama, a Grade 12 student at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Secondary School in Mississauga, for Xcel Tutoring Co., an online student-to-student tutoring service.
  • Daniel Moll, a Grade 11 student at Iroquois Ridge High School in Oakville, for Excalibur, a service that collects e-waste from households.
  • Khansa Hasan, a Grade 10 student at Lester B. Pearson Collegiate Institute in Scarborough, for C2TF-Academy, a one-on-one, online tutoring website for Canadian high school students
  • Kate Vickery, a Grade 11 student at Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School in Toronto, for The Doggie Bowl, a website that provides a selection of recipes that are custom fit to your dog's dietary needs.
  • Sally Potter, a Grade 9 student at Temiskaming District Secondary School in Earlton, for URL What You Eat, an app that provides consumers with information about products before buying them, simply by scanning the barcode.
  • Vibhuti Agnihotri, a Grade 9 student at North Park Secondary School in Brampton, for C.A.R.E. Band, a wearable tech-device which relieves arthritis pain through vibrations.

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, on April 26.

The pitches are open and will take place at OCE's Discovery on April 27 from 4-6 p.m. in the NEXT Theatre on the Discovery show floor. The judging panel consists of Ariel Garten, Co-Founder and CEO of InteraXon, Karl Martin, Co-Founder and CEO of Nymi, Noura Sakkijha, Founder and CEO of Mejuri, Sylvain Boyer, CEO of Nuvollo and Alex Deans, a 17 year old innovative scientist, artist, and inventor.

Named Canada's Best Trade Show 2010 and 2011 and now in its tenth 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 2,600 attendees and 450 exhibitors.

For more on Discovery, visit www.ocediscovery.com

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.
Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. For more information visit www.onebusiness.ca

SOURCE Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc.

For further information: Media contact: Stuart Green, Manager, Media Relations, 416-861-1092 x 1022, stuart.green@oce-ontario.org

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http://www.oce-ontario.org/

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