Student Cleantech Startup Simulation and Pitch Contest at Venture13
On April 6th, NCFDC held a Cleantech-themed student startup simulation and pitch competition at Venture13 with Molly Klintworth’s Grade 9/10 business class from Port Hope High School. It was an INCREDIBLE day. The students brought huge energy, enthusiasm, innovative ideas and compelling presentations which they presented to a panel of serial tech entrepreneurs who judged and scored their pitches. The companies simulating disrupted innovations were:
- Field Shield (agtech – crop monitoring and protection)
- Aqua Art (converting marine waste into scalable consumer products and art installations)
- EDRA (dronetech forestfire prevention and interception platform with predictive analytics)
- Panda Flooring (sustainable bamboo construction materials to futurize the flooring industry)
- Rice Engine (next gen agricultural and hybrid power generation platform)
- AlgaeCycle (marine bio-remediation and bio-fuel production system)
- CYBERPRISM (comprehensive digital edtech platform for cybersecurity awareness and training).
The Winner of the competition held in the Innovation Commons Lecture Hall at V13 was AlgaeCycle! The team won a prize pack of V13 and NCFDC-CPS Policetech Accelerator swag along with a $50 Starbucks Gift Certificate so the team could celebrate their win. Tied for runner up was EDRA and Aqua Art.
Our judges were: Joe Miller (Biotech entrepreneur, and V13 Policetech Accelerator lead at NCFDC), Bolis Ibrahim (Founder & CEO of multi-award-winning cleantech startup, Argentum), and serial entreprenur and lawyer Ben Su (Co-Founder and COO of AIH Technology). They provided feedback, support and encouragement to the student entrepreneur teams and overall were incredibly impressed with the quality, precision and detail of each of the presentations–including a dynamic and interactive Q&A with each team.
Also on hand was mechanical engineer Hunter Stubbs from the Microfactory Co-operative at Venture13, along with high school Co-op Student Brayden Seguin from St. Mary Catholic Secondary School, Cobourg, Ontario.
Just some of the highlights:
- AlgaeCycle’s CEO was incredibly well prepared and ready to impress us with her company’s concept for a dual/circular bio-remediation process that also produced a viable biofuel, helping to envision a net-zero carbon footprint and sustainable business model.
- EDRA’s presentation included a unique business model and ad revenue concept, as well as beautifully designed 3D visualizations of the proposed drone technology and company headquarters
- Panda Flooring’s CFO, when asked by the judges about certain details of their supply chain and production capacity, declined to answer, citing confidentiality/sensitivity of proprietary information
- The guys from Aqua Art gave a charismatic presentation full of personality with just two simple images in their slide deck to emphasize their vision for clean oceans and recycled art products, reminiscent of Steve Jobs
- Field Shield’s motto “Buy it: or else” should probably be trademarked
- CYBERPRISM boasted a monthly active user base of 450,000 and a monster 9-figure valuation
- MAJ Corporation’s detailed and rigorous presentation included a ‘Rice Engine’ technology that delightfully and unapologetically violated the laws of thermodynamics. And we loved it.
All of the presentations demonstrated the confidence, creativity and analytic thinking of the student teams who took these technology startup themes and ran with them in a true unlimited creative simulation including assigning roles (CEO, CFO, COO, etc.) as well as developing a full business case and go to market plan. The judges underscored the importance of a value proposition, thinking through the economics and sustainability of the business model, as well as the importance of brand, voice and messaging: making an impression. The students from Port Hope High School certainly made a great impression on all of us and we look forward to the next edition.
And special thanks to the team at Venture13 and the Town of Cobourg for supporting this experiential workshop to expose students to concepts in entrepreneurship and innovation, for providing lunch, prizes and more.