Student entrepreneurs will compete for their share of over $20,000 in grants, cash prizes and mentorship at the Medicine Hat College (MHC) Start Up Company Pitch Competition on May 24.
This annual event will run from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Eresman Theatre.
Christie Wilson, entrepreneur outreach coordinator with the Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC), explains that this year’s competition has an interesting addition – the Community Impact Award.
“There is a heightened consciousness around the impact a business can have on its community. Entrepreneurs are thinking of ways they can demonstrate an environmental benefit, create local jobs, increase the tax base, or integrate giving into their plan – whether that is of an in-kind or monetary value. It’s a trend that we are seeing, and definitely support.”
Wilson mentions that keynote speaker and MHC alumna, Roxanne Doerksen, is a great example of the success and impact student entrepreneurs are having.
Doerksen is the founder of TRAD Worm Industries, a company that uses worm castings to create organic fertilizer.
“If you look at TRAD Worm Industries you can see the impact it’s having not only on the agriculture community, but locally,” says Wilson. “Roxanne has built her business to a level where she can afford to employ others and has created jobs. She is using waste to feed the worms, so is helping reduce the impact on landfills, and is finding ways to teach and empower others in vermiculture.”
The EDC is solidifying the final pitchers and Wilson notes there are some interesting ideas being brought forward.
“We’ve been working with our students all year and these entrepreneurs are deciding whether they are ready for this competition. The businesses we are working with range from a regional art studio and apparel company to Indigenous jewelry and vinyl advertising. We can’t wait to see who takes on this challenge.”
Prizes include: grants up to $20,000 from RBC; $2,000 to the winner of the Community Impact Award sponsored by Medicine Hat Brewing Company; and $500, as well as a free year membership, from the Medicine Hat & District Chamber of Commerce. The panel of judges includes various professionals from the community.
The event is open to the public and is free to attend.
“We want to fill the seats to show our students that our community is here to support them. Whether you are interested in connecting on a professional level, as a mentor, fellow entrepreneur, or just want to be there for a fun and entertaining afternoon, we invite you to attend.”
Also presenting will be student entrepreneurs from Medicine Hat High School.
To view an agenda and register, visit www.eventbrite.ca.