Brock University BioLinc and Niagara College ncTakeOff co-hosted the Niagara Young Entrepreneurship Kick-off Weekend during November 3-5, 2017. During this event, participants had the opportunity to gain entrepreneurship skills through experiential learning activities and to make great connections. Participants formed teams to build an idea and to pitch it to judges at the end of weekend for a chance to win a “Kick-off Weekend Prize Package” with an estimated value of $6,000 consisting of:
- $500 cash from the Brock Innovation Group (BIG)
- Legal starter from Fogler & Rubinoff LLP
- Video from Visual After Visual
- 5 coffees with 5 mentors arranged by BioLinc and Innovate Niagara
- Assisting with prototyping and design for 3D printing if applicable
- Automatic advance into the 2nd round of BIG’s Monster Pitch Competition.
The opening event on Friday night started with a networking reception followed by inspirational keynote speaker Talli Osborne. She shared her journey of becoming an entrepreneur who wanted to inspired and entertain people. Osborne encouraged participants to embrace who they are and to find what were they put on this earth to do without giving up during their journey. Following the keynote, the young entrepreneurs participated in a team building exercise. Then, they formed teams to create working startups and to collaborate with like-minded individuals during the rest of the weekend.
Between Saturday and Sunday, teams developed demos and pitch presentations, and received feedback from local entrepreneurs along the way. Participants had the opportunity to attend two training workshops—The Business Model Canvas and Pitching seminar. There were 6 teams from 2 to 6 passionate entrepreneurs that brainstormed business ideas to then select and work on the best idea with the guidance of mentors.
On Sunday, teams pitched their star-ups to our panel of judges which consisted of four industry leaders:
- Rob Belchior: Small business consultant at St. CatharinEs Enterprise Centre
- Hugh Scholaert: Industrial technical advisor from NRC-IRAP
- Mick Higgins: CMO Caddle
- Jessica Potts: President of Inspired Strategy
In the end, the team named League of Gamers won with their idea of creating and facilitating gaming events to bring the gamers community together. The entrepreneurs on the winning team are: Michelle A Spiller, Shavon White, Edward Burnip and Leela Pilli.
During this weekend event, participants connected with other entrepreneurs who had different skill sets and improve their business skills by testing ideas. Entrepreneur of the winning team, Michelle Spiller, said that she would highly recommend attending this event because you have the opportunity to think about the idea as a whole. Spiller added that sometimes we get hung up on the idea rather than the functionality of it.
If you are interested in participating in future events like this, check out our events page.