Pitch Party aims to connect creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs from across different backgrounds, showcase local startups, and get attendees thinking creatively and building ideas.
The event is billed as Saskatchewan’s largest celebration of entrepreneurship with more than 6000 people having attended over the last 10 years. Countless ideas have been generated through 80-plus pitches delivered to W. Brett Wilson and more than 70 businesses have been established through the support of the Wilson Centre.
The main draw of this event is the live pitching competition featuring entrepreneur and philanthropist W. Brett Wilson. This year nine finalists were selected by a group of independent judges in a pre-qualifying competition in October. One wildcard pitch was also added to the mix from the audience.
While there is no formula for how to pitch, understanding the marketability of the product or service is the name of the game. Pitchers get precisely one minute to present their idea followed by two minutes of questions from Wilson and his judges.
The results of the 2017 pitch competition were as follows:
Best Pitch Award – güd eats inc. (Chris Cole)
- “Crave-Worthy Plant-Based Eats” sums up güd eats inc’s approach to fast food that will tempt even the most diehard steak and potatoes fan.
2nd place – Tailfins Sporting Goods Inc. (Lee Price)
- Getting in and out of the water has never been easier. TailFins are swim fins (flippers) that children can safely swim, walk and climb with.
3rd place – Vett Apparel Ltd. (Andrew Ardell and Kris MacNeil)
- Lifestyle and athletic apparel with a story. 10 per cent of every sale made is donated to a veteran society to support and fund veteran initiatives.
4th place – Neeched Up Games (Janelle Pewapsconias)
- Indigenous knowledge board games, card games, apps, and educational resources to empower people in Indigenous culture.
5th place – Project Beetle (Rahat Yasir)
- An AI-driven crop diagnostic platform capable of diagnosing, tracking, and predicting crop disease.
Another highlight of the evening included a keynote address from dynamic speaker W. Brett Wilson, along with a foreword from special guest Rachel Mielke of Hillberg & Berk.
Following the formal program, the celebrations continued with booths showcasing emerging startups, and opportunities to network and build relationships with hundreds of local entrepreneurs, investors, and members of the business community.
Major sponsors of the event included Innovation Place, Ernst & Young, North Ridge Development Corporation, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Affinity Credit Union, Edwards School of Business, Lux Events, Rawlco Radio, Saskatoon StarPhoenix, and SaskTel.