Most of us have either seen or heard of popular TV series, Dragon’s Den, where hopeful entrepreneur’s stand before a panel of venture capitalists to pitch their ideas, in the hopes that they may secure financial investing for their startups.
While not all of us can be guaranteed a spot on the show, on a much smaller scale, venture capitalists, angel investors and others around the world look for opportunities to help entrepreneurs grow and develop their businesses.
More universities and colleges have incorporated entrepreneurial education into their curriculum to promote the undertaking of starting your own company. Mount Royal University’s (MRU) Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship recently had their annual JMH $70,000 LaunchPad Pitch Competition.
Founded to support those MRU students who are ambitious enough to pursue their own ventures, the initiative is funded largely by donations from JMH&CO. According to the website, over the past five years alone, there has been a total of $250,000 donated to support the program.
For this year’s competition, JMH&CO. put forth $40,000 along with $10,000 each from LaBarge Weinstein, Trout + Taylor and the Busy Foundation. Six students had the opportunity to win up to $70,000 for their endeavour should they impress the judging panel, which consisted people of note, including Alice Reimer, serial entrepreneur, Andrew Browne, co-founder and CEO of TikTiks, and Patrick Lor, serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist.
After hours preparing, each student went up and put forth their best pitch and showcase to sway the crowd. For a further look into the speakers and their companies, click on their profile links below:
The sixth, and final company, CommunityKit, did not provide us with any additional information, and therefore were unable to be featured.
MRU put on a great showcase of their students and what the Institute has to offer for future entrepreneurs. Yes, the odds are generally stacked against most startups, but with universities like MRU trying to create an environment for growth, there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.
Congrats to all the winners and we wish all the success to those brave enough to pursue their ambitions.