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There may not have been any “Dragons” present, but top 12 teams of Haskayne School of Business Students pitched like their livelihoods depended on winning the 2017 RBC Fast Pitch Competition.
Held at the University of Calgary Downtown Campus Event Centre on April 8, 2017, the RBC Fast Pitch Competition showcased the top teams emerging from the required Bachelor of Commerce course in Entrepreneurial Thinking (ENTI 317) at the Haskayne School of Business.
The finalists’ ideas ran the gamut from an online platform that connects busy parents with real-time daycare solutions and a nitrogen-infused hot and cold on-tap coffee venture that promises to bring sustainability and innovation to Calgary’s coffee culture to a low-maintenance hormone monitoring system that notifies cattle farmers of imminent birth—to describe just a few of the entrepreneurial pitches.
MNP LLP, one of the major sponsors, made a five-year commitment to deliver a valuable business consulting services package to the top 3 winners each year. The winners will gain access to senior business advisors who know how to get entrepreneurs’ startups off the ground and into the marketplace.
“This competition encourages students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset by brainstorming possibilities, solving problems, and ultimately creating their own new venture concept aimed at capturing a market opportunity,” said Trevor Winkler CPA, CA, Regional Managing Partner of MNP’s Calgary office. “This is what entrepreneurship is about and why our firm was so excited to be a part of it.”
Although all the finalists made compelling pitches, the judges awarded CareFind, the online platform that connects parents with unpredictable schedules to real-time vacancies posted by childcare facilities, with first place. CropCure, the first natural based soil treatment to manage clubroot, took second place. Eco-Net, a biodegradable hemp fibre wrapping solution for straw bales, earned third place and the Student Choice Award.
“Thanks to the generous support of the RBC Foundation and our in-kind service providers — MNP LLP, McCarthy Tétrault, and Market Grade — we have created a unique competition to showcase and reward our budding entrepreneurs,” said Kimberley Neutens, Director of the Hunter Centre of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. “In this course, we inspire and guide students to launch new ventures by teaching them to identify real opportunities for product, process or social change.”
One hundred student teams competed to become one of 12 finalists who pitched their ideas in front of the panel of esteemed judges, including MNP business advisors for the semi-finals. MNP’s Regional Managing Partner, Trevor Winkler, acted as one of the four judges in the final competition. As with the show “Dragons Den,” participants delivered three-minute business pitches in hopes to win funding and expert advice to take their business to the next level.
“As an entrepreneurial firm built for entrepreneurs, this sponsorship is very much aligned with MNP’s desire to support up-and-coming business enterprises,” said Winkler. “The students who competed are the future. They think outside of the box and they’re not afraid to do things differently, a philosophy MNP was built upon. We’ll be seeing more of them and we’re honoured to be a part of such a dynamic, inspiring competition.”
Contact Trevor Winkler CPA, CA, Regional Managing Partner, Calgary at 403.263.3385 or
An online platform that connects busy parents with unpredictable schedules to real-time vacancies posted by childcare facilities.
The first natural based soil treatment to manage clubroot specifically. A solution you can’t beat - just treat.
Currently farmers are faced with bale wrapping options that are inefficient in application or removal, with the plastic options even posing harm to their livestock. Our biodegradable hemp fibre wrapping solution combines fast application and removal, along with being safe for livestock consumption. This product will put farmer’s minds at ease, time on their hands and money in their pockets.
GreenSink is a sustainable, innovative, and convenient solution to put an end to food waste in sewer systems. Without changing your routine of putting your scraps down the garburator, GreenSink will separate your food into a food waste compartment that is out of sight and out of mind, until a light indicates that it is full and needs to be composted.
Changing the way groups of friends and collaborative artists share, and interact with music. Novamix is a fun, simple way to personalize a song, album or playlist to fit your unique taste in music. Novamix allows you to edit out a part of a song you don’t want (like an annoying singer), or add / combine parts you think would sound better.
TAPPED Coffee is transforming the culture of coffee in Calgary, with a specific focus on collaboration, innovation and sustainability. TAPPED coffee is challenging the coffee industry with a variety of nitrogen infused hot and cold-brew coffee on-tap.
Experiential learning is vital to the development of our children but budget cuts, inaccessibility and short-staffing are quickly taking these opportunities away from students. DejaView offers a rental service that enables in-class field trips using 3D virtual reality tours to significant historical time periods. Our interactive tours feature comprehensive, immersive, curriculum-based objectives, and assess student performance in real-time.
An intelligently designed, battery powered, office chair heating pad that will help many women stay warm in open office environments.
An automatic pill dispenser that will assist seniors in taking their prescription medication at the correct time and in the correct dosage.
A reusable compression sock, offering the advantages of both traditional athletic tape and braces in an easy to apply, reusable joint support system.
Using super-hydrophobic plastic packaging that will allow end users to remove liquid contents without struggle, making recycling that much easier.
A low-maintenance, hormone monitoring system that will notify cattle farmers of imminent calf birth accurately and promptly.
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