Wanted: High school students with great summer business ideas

Make Your Pitch contest back and open to Parry Sound-Muskoka entrepreneurs in two regions of competition

Posted March 10, 5:30pm: The Young Entrepreneur Make Your Pitch contest is back for a second year – and high school students in Parry Sound-Muskoka can submit short videos for a chance at a start-up business grant.

Young Entrepreneur, Make Your Pitch contest challenges students in grades 9 to 12 to pitch their business idea in a two-minute video submitted online at makeyourpitch.ca. In their videos, students need to address who their customers will be, the problems that their business will need to solve, and why their business will succeed. Submissions must be entered into one of six categories: service, arts/culture/tourism, retail goods, social enterprise, environment and technology.

“This contest is a great way for high school students to pitch their business idea through a creative visual outlet,” says Vivian Ho, small business consultant with Muskoka Small Business Centre in Bracebridge. Ho adds: “This is a great opportunity for students across Muskoka to explore the possibility of entrepreneurship.”

Eighteen finalists will be chosen from six high school regions designated by the Ministry of Education from across the province.  For example, students from Gravenhurst High School, Bracebridge and Muskoka Lakes Secondary School and from the Simcoe uskoka Catholic School Board compete in the Barrie region, while Parry Sound high school students compete in the North Bay-Sudbury region. The finalists will pitch their ideas in front of a live audience and judging panel in Toronto at the Ontario Centre of Excellence’s Discovery Conference at Metro Toronto Convention Centre on May 12-13, 2014. From the 18 finalists, six winners will be chosen, earning them reserved entry into the Summer Company program, which includes hands-on training, mentorship and a grant of up to $3,000 to help turn their idea into a business.

The deadline for online video submissions is March 28, 2014. Video Judging begins on April 1 through a combination of online public voting and expert judges. For more information, please contact Muskoka Small Business Centre at (705) 646-9021 or visit www.makeyourpitch.ca.

As part of Ontario’s Youth Jobs Strategy, the contest is presented by the Ministry of Economic Development Trade and Employment and the Ontario Centre of Excellence.

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