Pitch contestants win big at Discovery

May 29, 2014

Dominic Toselli of PetroPredict took home the top prizes for both the Elevator Pitch competition and The David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge.

Every year, Discovery hosts live pitch competitions where Ontario's most promising entrepreneurs compete for funding and support services to help scale their start-up or bring their business concept to life. This year there were four: Investor Pitch, Elevator Pitch, the David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge and Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch.

The winner of the 2014 Investor Pitch Competition was Voltera Inc., a company that uses conductive ink and inkjet technology to print circuit boards within minutes. Voltera received $10,000 cash plus $15,000 in professional services from Dentons Canada LLP and KPMG LLP to assist in scaling their company.

Winner of the 2014 Elevator Pitch Competition was PetroPredict. The company uses historic production and geological data collected from seismic charts, well logs and other sources and uses machine learning and data mining techniques to predict casing integrity issues in conventional oil wells and quantify the risk of their occurrences. The company was awarded $5,000 in cash to help validate their business concept.

PetroPredict also won the 2014 David McFadden Energy Entrepreneur Challenge which earned the company $25,000 and a suite of business services to assist in advancing their business concept.

The theme for next year’s challenge, announced at Discovery, is finding solutions to the challenge of energy delivery in remote communities in Canada and around the world.

The Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition is run in partnership with the Government of Ontario and offers high school students across the province a chance to advance their business ideas through a reserved spot in Ontario’s Summer Company program. This was the competition’s second year.

In total, 19 students pitched at Discovery. This year’s winners were:

  • Joshua Karbi, a Grade 9 student at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute in Toronto, for NotesShare, a website on which high school students can post and get classroom notes.
  • Kaleb Sauve, a Grade 11 student at LaSalle Secondary School in Sudbury, for Vision3D, a service for constructing and customizing spaces in a 3D environment that will allow customers to visualize how small or large renovations will appear when completed.
  • Brendan Marentette, a Grade 11 student at A.Y. Jackson Secondary School in Kanata, for Auricle, a mobile application for Android and iOS that utilizes Google Glass and speech recognition technologies to allow a person who has hearing loss to understand what people around them are saying without the use of sign language.
  • Andrew Williams, a Grade 11 student at Sandwich Secondary School in LaSalle, for Poseidon Pool Care, a pool cleaning company.
  • Rabiya Siddiqui, a Grade 11 student at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary School in London, for Doodle School, an online community that helps people learn to draw through online tutorials uploaded by the community.
  • Nathan Peregrine, a Grade 12 student at LaSalle Secondary School in Sudbury, for The Food Plan, which aims to eliminate hunger and food waste by collecting left over perishable food from different dining services in the community then getting the food supplies to people in need through organizations such as the Elgin Street Mission.

The winners were each awarded reserved entry into Summer Company, where students receive mentoring and up to $3,000 to start their own business.