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Twenty Ontario high school entrepreneurs will "Make their Pitch" at Discovery 2019

May 2, 2019

TORONTO, May 2, 2019 – Twenty high school entrepreneurs will pitch their ideas live at Discovery 2019 for start-up support and entrepreneurial mentorship through Ontario’s Summer Company program and other awards in the Young Entrepreneurs, Make your Pitch competition.

Now in its seventh year and presented by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) and the Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade (MEDJCT), the competition invites high school entrepreneurs from across Ontario to pitch their innovative ideas online via a two-minute video.

The finalists were chosen through online voting and judges’ scores. The competition gets underway on May 13, where the finalists will pitch their ideas in front of a live audience and a panel of judges.

The 2019 Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch finalists are:

  • Bentley Chen of Markham for the company The Shop - Youth Auto Sourcing (Markville Secondary School)
  • Tina Ge of Markham for the company Oppedia- The Encyclopedia for Opportunities (Pierre Elliott Trudeau HS)
  • Kyle Hayhoe of Loretto for the company MedDelivery (Banting Memorial High School)
  • Tabitha Wong of Waterloo for the company Perfect Pair (Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School – Waterloo)
  • Anthony Galassi of Niagara Falls for the company Critical Minds (Saint Paul High School)
  • Joshua Varkey of Windsor for the company Geogen (Assumption Catholic High School)
  • Jessica Rindlisbacher of Windsor for the company ROUND2 (Assumption Catholic High School)
  • Noémie Chabot of L’Orignal for the company Pour Faire Une Difference (École Secondaire Catholique Régionale de Hawkesbury)
  • Zoe Wojtas of Ottawa for the company Zearrings (Canterbury High School)
  • Brock Babin of Kapuskasing for the company Northern Edge (Conseil Scolaire de District du Nord-Est de l'Ontario)
  • Dillon Anderson of Callander for the company D Target Hockey School (West Ferris Secondary School)
  • Ishman Mann of Brampton for the company AidSmart - The Smart First Aid Kit (Chinguacousy Secondary School)
  • Jack Lyon of Etobicoke for the company Reuse, Shampoo, Recycle (Richview Collegiate Institute)
  • Kathleen Sun of Scarborough for the company PlushMarks (Dr. Norman Bethune Collegiate Institute)
  • Chloe Marchack of North York for the company Health Priorities (York Mills Collegiate Institute)
  • Seth Vahra of Brampton for the company Ascension Smart Delivery Drone (Chinguacousy Secondary School)
  • Emalie Santos of Mississauga for the company Elements of Fun (St. Joseph Secondary School)
  • Diya Sood of Brampton for the company Lite Case (Chinguacousy Secondary School)
  • Funmi Oyapero of Etobicoke for the company Goddess Girl Cosmetics (Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School)
  • Grace Gong of Mississauga for the company Green Earth, Green Shirt (Erindale Secondary School)

Six winners will be chosen, with each receiving reserved entry in Ontario’s Summer Company program, a $750 education voucher, InteraXon’s brain-sensing Muse headband, and HEXA’s Eclipse projector tablet.

This year’s judging panel includes:

  • Gwen Elliot, Senior Course Producer at Shopify 
  • Marc Fiume, CEO, DNAstack
  • Mario Lavorato, Creative Director, NOGU / Daniel Christian Tang
  • Trevor Coleman, Founder, InteraXon and Design Thinking Consultant
  • Christian Gravel, CEO, Intellect Dynamics
  • Yvonne Pilon, President & CEO, WEtech Alliance (moderator)

Prior to pitching live at Discovery, the finalists will receive training and the opportunity to hone their presentation skills at a one-day boot camp at Ontario Centres of Excellence in Toronto on May 12.

“The annual Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition is the best example of just how innovative, business-minded, and inspiring Ontario high school students really are,” says Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, OCE. “We’re extremely excited to see their ideas come to life as they work to create the businesses and jobs of the future.”

Named Canada’s Best Trade Show in 2010, 2011, 2016, 2017 and 2018 and celebrating 14 years of bold, new ideas, OCE’s Discovery is Canada’s premier innovation conference and trade show. It brings together the best and brightest minds in industry, entrepreneurship, academia, investment and government to showcase leading-edge technologies, best practices and research across multiple sectors, including advanced health, energy, fintech, cleantech, automotive, advanced manufacturing, digital media, information and communication technologies, mining and agtech/foodtech. In 2018, Discovery attracted more than 3,600 attendees and over 550 exhibitors.

For more information on the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch 2019 finalists, you can view their two-minute pitch videos at www.makeyourpitch.ca.

For more on Discovery, please visit www.ocediscovery.com.

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Media Contact: 
Jean-Adrien Delicano
Coordinator, Media Relations
t: 416.861.1092 x 1030
Jean-Adrien.Delicano@oce-ontario.org