News Release

REF NO.: 92

SUBJECT: Students and entrepreneurs pitch business concepts at Pitch 101

DATE: December 5, 2014

Young and seasoned entrepreneurs will today pitch their business concepts to a panel of investment professionals at Pitch 101, a jointly hosted event offered by Memorial University’s Genesis Centre and Jameson Consulting Group.

Pitch 101 provides students and entrepreneurs with an opportunity to learn from the pitching process when seeking investment. Pitchers are provided with feedback from a panel of judges; the audience votes on the winners via text message. The winner will receive a cash prize and be invited to pitch at Invest Atlantic in September 2015. Prizes are $500 for first place, $300 for second place and $200 for third place.

Pitch 101 is one of a series of events being held throughout Atlantic Canada to raise awareness of the issue of accessing capital and to educate current and prospective entrepreneurs on how to secure investment, David Brazil, minister, Transportation and Works, will bring greetings on behalf of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, the event’s main sponsor.

This year’s event included a student edition that was held on Thursday, Dec. 4. Eight student businesses participated; the top three moved on to participate in the Friday, Dec. 5, event. The second annual event brought together investors and venture capital funders as well as entrepreneurs and students. 

A fireside chat, themed Becoming Investment Ready – What Does It Mean?, served as a warmup to the pitching session. The discussion allowed audience members, entrepreneurs and investors to discuss the landscape for startups seeking investment, the challenges they face and what today’s investors are looking for in a startup pitch.

 “It's exhilarating to hear these high calibre pitches come from such early startups, and they are so passionate about their idea,” said Bob Williamson, facilitator, Pitch101. “The number of quality pitchers indicates that Newfoundland and Labrador’s startup community is pulling together to support the province’s entrepreneurial spirit.”

"The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is pleased to support the Genesis Centre and Pitch101 as we continue to foster a healthy climate for business, investment and innovation," said Darin King, minister, Business, Tourism, Culture and Rural Development. "Our government is investing $20 million in venture capital funds, as one way we continue to support business growth and expansion. In recent years this province's entrepreneurs have prospered across a variety of sectors, and I wish the best of success to all of today's participants."

 “Pitch101 is a great opportunity for early-stage entrepreneurs to share their business ideas with the community and gain constructive feedback from investor-type individuals,” said Michelle Simms, manager, incubation services, Genesis Group.

Genesis Centre, Memorial University’s support network for high-growth, technology-based businesses, hosted the second annual Pitch 101 event at Memorial’s Bruneau Centre for Research and Innovation on the St. John’s campus. The judges’ panel included Tim Fahey, Grant Thornton; Chris Moyer, Growthworks Atlantic; Rob Barbara, Build Ventures; Bernard Greene, New Venture Gateway; and Carol Bartlett, 150 Years of Mentoring.

Pitch 101 is supported by the Department of Innovation, Business and Rural Development, the Springboard Atlantic, Futurpreneur Canada, Entrepreneurs Forum, Innovacorp, Build Ventures, Startup NL, College of the North Atlantic and the St. John’s Board of Trade.

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