Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition winners announced at Discovery 2017

May 24, 2017

 Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of OCE, Michael J. Nobrega, Chair of the OCE Board, Make Your Pitch 2017 Winners, Minister Reza Moridi (far right) (CNW Group/Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc.)

TORONTO, May 16, 2017 /CNW/ - Six high-school entrepreneurs were announced as winners of the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition at this year's Discovery, hosted by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). 

The annual competition, which is presented by OCE and the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth (MEDG), is celebrating five years of support for aspiring high-school entrepreneurs from across Ontario. Over 200 students applied to Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch by pitching their business ideas in a two-minute video, and 20 students were chosen as finalists from online voting and judges scores.

Each finalist was awarded a trip to Toronto to pitch their ideas live at OCE's Discovery 2017 conference and showcase, May 15-16, in front of a panel of judges from the entrepreneur community.

From those 20 finalists, the following six have emerged as the winners;

  • Alessandra Kempson and team of Sudbury for the company Stitch It MMA (Marymount Academy)
  • Raymond Tran of Windsor for the company LITLYTE (Hon. W.C. Kennedy Collegiate Institute)
  • Jeremy Chevalley of Ottawa for the company Moo Call and Clip (Académie de la Seigneurie)
  • Ben Jacobs and team of Mississauga for the company Travale (St. Marcellinus Secondary School)
  • Alice Chen and team of Oakville for the company Advena (White Oaks Secondary School)
  • Anjana Somasundaram and team of Scarborough for the company Müla (Don Mills Collegiate Institute)

"Congratulations to our winners and all the finalists who participated in the Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition this year," says Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Growth. "It was wonderful to meet the finalists and hear all about their incredible ideas. I'm confident they will develop into tomorrow's next generation of business leaders."

Each of the winners receives up to $3,000 in start-up funds, reserved entry into the Ontario Summer Company program, entrepreneurial mentorship and other awards.

"At OCE, we are committed to supporting the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs and thought leaders in Ontario, and I would like to congratulate all of this year's entrants, finalists and winners," says ­Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO, OCE. "The Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch competition consistently impresses me as our province's high-school students demonstrate a high level of creativity, knowledge and ingenuity year after year."

For more on Discovery, visit

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.

OCE drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and governments. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, digital media and information communications, advanced manufacturing and materials, and cleantech including energy, environment and water. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs rapidly grow their company and create jobs.

SOURCE: Ontario Centres of Excellence Inc.  

For further information: Media Contact: Andrew Robertson, Manager, Media Relations, t: 416.861.1092 x 1092,