By Chris Avery
The November 15, 2020 deadline for the Pitch it to Me! student competition offered by the Mawji Centre at NAIT is fast approaching.
Students are required to submit a 2 to 3 minute video outlining their business idea. The winning applicant(s) will receive $4,000, and the second and third place entrants will be awarded $2,500 and $1,500 respectively.
Videos are due at 11:59 the night of the registration deadline. The top five submissions will be selected by a panel of judges. The aim is to have the top candidates pitch their ideas on November 24, 2020 to a panel of judges. The pitch should last no more than five minutes.
“The Mawji Centre Pitch Competition is an ideal setting to receive candid feedback from judges, network with the business community, and polish your ability to galvanize stakeholders around your vision,” said the Mawji Centre in a news release.
The competition is only available to current NAIT students. For competing students and recent NAIT alumni, the entrants must have a minimum of 50% combined ownership in the company or idea.
Individual entrants, or a maximum of four in a group, are eligible to submit a video and application.
Cecile Wendlandt, a Mawji Centre Coordinator, encourages students to reach out for help with applications.
“I would say the number one recommendation is to reach out to us because we will help out with what’s required; help to get that inside scoop of what is expected,” said Wendlandt.
She also outlined that the judging process is performed by a totally independent group of people.
“[The results are] ranked according to what the judges believe to be to be top one, two, three and what not. The results are input by computer to reduce error. Top 5 will pitch live,” said Wendlandt.
One key area for consideration when applying into the competition is to create an idea that focuses on disruption. More specifically, if a business idea seeks to disrupt existing and traditional business-as-usual, the likelihood of success for that idea increases.
“It’s at the advantage of the business,” said Wendlandt. “If one of you is different, if you have a different approach, you open up a new market [and] you are not competing with an existing market.”
Wendlandt recommends that students ask themselves a central question to help with focusing on disruption of current business practices.
“What makes someone want to come to my business? What is going to make it so that I am disrupting a bit [and] being innovative? Even a restaurant, even a photographer can have something innovative,” said Wendlandt.