Twenty high-school entrepreneurs ready to make their pitch at Discovery 2017

TORONTO, April 28, 2017 /CNW/ - Twenty budding entrepreneurs will pitch live at Discovery for up to $3,000 in start-up funds and entrepreneurial mentorship through the Ontario Summer Company program and other awards in the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition.

Now in its fifth year, the competition invites aspiring high-school entrepreneurs from across Ontario to pitch their business ideas in a two-minute video. The annual competition is presented by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG).

"We are pleased to continue our partnership with Ontario Centres of Excellence to inspire future innovators through the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch program," says Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth. "It's a great way to introduce our young people to entrepreneurship and help them to consider it as a viable career option so that they can become the next generation of job creators."

The 20 finalists, listed in the backgrounder below, were chosen from over 200 video submissions through a combination of public and expert voting. On May 15, finalists will pitch their business ideas at Discovery to a live audience and panel of expert judges, with the opportunity to respond to judges' questions. The competition will be moderated by Abdullah Snobar, Executive Director of the DMZ at Ryerson University. Six winners will receive reserved entry in the Ontario Summer Company program and other awards.

This year's judging panel is comprised of some of Ontario's most successful young entrepreneurs and members of the business community, including:

  • Karl Martin, Founder and CTO, Nymi Inc.
  • Maayan Ziv, Founder and CEO, AccessNow
  • Jane Wang, CEO, Optimity

Prior to Discovery, the finalists will be honing their pitching skills and receive entrepreneurial mentorship and networking advice at a one-day boot camp at the OneEleven accelerator in Toronto on May 14.

"We are always impressed by the calibre of entries to the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition, which demonstrate the exceptional creativity, business intuition and entrepreneurial spirit of Ontario's high-school students," says Dr. Tom Corr, OCE's President and CEO. "It's incredibly rewarding to once again inspire and support the next generation of entrepreneurs through this initiative."

Named Canada's Best Trade Show in 2010, 2011, and 2016, and celebrating 12 years of bold, new ideas, 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, fintech, cleantech, the environment, advanced health, digital media, information and communication technologies and advanced manufacturing. The annual conference and showcase attracts more than 3,500 attendees and 500 exhibitors.

For more information on the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch 2017 finalists, their two-minute video pitch videos can be viewed at

For more on Discovery, please visit

BACKGROUNDER – Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch Finalists

The 2017 Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch finalists are:

  • Sara Daly of Cookstown for the company MuttNutt (Thornton Secondary Academy)
  • Audrey Zheng of Richmond Hill for the company MedAZ (Thornton Secondary Academy)
  • Liam Gleason and team of Windsor for the company Printable Canada (Assumption College Catholic High School)
  • Lucas Gordon of Ancaster for the company SaleWizard (Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School)
  • Jaggar Klein and team of Windsor for the company  Push For Knowledge (Assumption College Catholic High School)
  • Hannah Ruuth of Tecumseh for the company Youth Inspire Canada (Tecumseh Vista Academy) 
  • Raymond Tran of Windsor for the company LITLYTE (Hon. W.C. Kennedy Collegiate Institute)
  • Jeremy Chevalley of Ottawa for the company Moo Call and Clip (Académie de la Seigneurie)
  • Victoria Gillan of Ottawa for the company  St8ment Media (Canterbury High School)
  • Alessandra Kempson and team of Sudbury for the company Stitch It MMA (Marymount Academy) 
  • Brian Nelson of Sudbury for the company Ice Cap (LaSalle Secondary School)
  • Brianna Whitson of Garson for the company Cargo Belt (LaSalle Secondary School)
  • Seanna Geary of Kenora for the company Seanna's Little Blues (Beaver Brae Secondary School)
  • Trace Pinesse of Kenora for the company IndiView  (Beaver Brae Secondary School)
  • Ethan Blumberg and team of Toronto for the company Chameleon Sleeve (Forest Hill Collegiate)
  • YanLing Chen and team of Toronto for the company Müla (Don Mills Collegiate Institute)
  • Robert Foster and team of Toronto for the company Audabode (Humberside Collegiate Institute)
  • Kyle Hentschel of Brampton for the company Ground Films (Unionville High School)
  • Ben Jacobs and team of Mississauga for the company Travale (St. Marcellinus Secondary School)
  • Alice Chen and team of Oakville for the company Advena (White Oaks Secondary School)

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.

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 governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. 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 rapidly grow their company and create jobs.

SOURCE Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc.

For further information: Media Contact: Andrew Robertson, Manager, Media Relations, t: 416.861.1092 x 1092,


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