Frequently Asked Questions

What is Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch?

Who can enter the competition?

What must my entry include?

How do I submit my entry?

Do I have to register?

Do I have to use Facebook?

Why are you collecting my personal information? What will you do with it?

I am under the age of 18. Do I need permission to enter this competition?

Do I have to submit my entry online?

I can’t access the Internet to upload a video. What can I do?

Why can’t I see my video right away?

Where can I access equipment to make my video?

Where can I access information on innovation and entrepreneurship?

Do I have to be in my video?

When do I have to submit my video entry?

I am having problems completing the registration or uploading the video. What can I do?

How will the videos be judged?

When does voting start?

How often can I vote?

Who can vote for my video?

Can I share my video?

When do I know if I am a finalist?

What is Discovery?

What will I have to do at the pitch?

What can I win?

Who can I contact if I have other questions?

What is Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch?

Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch is a high school entrepreneurship competition presented by Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth as part of the Youth Jobs Strategy. The competition challenges students in Grades 9-12 to pitch their business ideas in a two-minute video that will be voted on by the public and expert judges. Finalists will present their ideas in front of a judging panel in Toronto at Discovery for a chance to receive reserved entry into the Summer Company program.

Who can enter the competition?

  • You are eligible for this competition if you are a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant enrolled full-time in an Ontario high school in Grades 9-12.
  • Immediate family members of employees of the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth, Ministry of Research and Innovation or Ontario Centres of Excellence are not eligible to enter this competition.
  • If you are under the age of 18 at the time of entry, you must have the entry form signed by a parent or legal guardian.
  • To qualify for funding through Summer Company, winners must meet all of the Summer Company Program Guidelines.
  • Competition entries can be done on an individual or team basis. Teams may include up to four (4) students and will be required to name a team representative, who will be responsible for submitting the entry form and serving as the team’s primary contact for the competition.
  • If a team is selected as a winner, the team representative will be presented the award.

What must my entry include?

A video no longer than two (2) minutes in length, including credits, that presents your entrepreneurship or innovation idea.

All videos exceeding two (2) minutes will not be considered. If your video submission exceeds two (2) minutes, you are able to edit and re-submit your entry with no penalty so long as the entry is re-submitted prior to the submission deadline.

Videos must address the following questions:

  • Who will your customers be?
  • What problems will it solve?
  • Why will your business succeed?

In order to be eligible for the competition, you must submit a written transcription of your video along with your video upload. Please double-check your video transcript for grammar, spelling and punctuation as it will be posted as part of your competition entry on the website. This is an important element because it helps in the goal of making Ontario accessible for all Ontarians. By creating accessible communications, we’re helping ensure Ontario’s
1.85 million citizens living with a disability have opportunities to participate fully in everyday life.

Here is an example of a video transcript for Quinsea McKenna’s winning pitch for FUNDJA. Click here to watch the video.

FUNDJA – Quinsea McKenna – Video Transcript for Accessibility

Hi, I’m Quinsea McKenna and this is my pitch.

My business idea is Fundja. Helping fund young entrepreneurs.

Fundja is a website that gives young people a space to pitch their business ideas to their community and other interested parties asking for money to help kick-start their business.

Anyone under the age of 18 is welcome to post a video and pitch their amazing idea online to the public explaining things like: what their business is, what they’ll use the money for, and what problems their business will solve.

Their goal is to collect enough micro-donations from viewers to eventually reach their funding target.

By uploading a video to Fundja people can show their personality and dedication to their business.

What’s the incentive to make a micro-donation to a person’s business? Well, every business pitch on Fundja will give back a small gift to the donator.

Let’s have a look at Fundja. Here you can find out all about how Fundja works. And here will be a list of all the projects. Then over here, is how to make a donation to the projects you are interested in. And lastly, here is where you get started with uploading your business idea.

Now let's take a look at an example business pitch. Hi, I’m Sally and I want to start my own lawn care business but I need $400 for a lawnmower and some other equipment. I’ve been lawn mowing for about three years now but it’s time to expand my business and I need your help.

If you’re tired of mowing your own lawn, then I’m your girl. For every donation I get on Fundja, I’ll be giving a 30 per cent off my service or one of my very unique t-shirts. Thank you for all your donations and helping me mow my business off the ground.

When the young entrepreneur’s target is fully reached, Fundja will collect a five per cent commission. This money will be used for marketing to help increase traffic to the website.This is a new, easy and fun way to raise capital for budding entrepreneurs. Make your viewers wanna Fundja.

For more information on the importance of accessibility, visit the Understanding Accessibility page of the Ministry of Economic Development and Growth website.

For the purposes of this competition, finalists will be chosen from six (6) regions across Ontario based on the following high school regions designated by the Ministry of Education:

RegionSchool Boards
Barrie
  • Bluewater District School Board
  • Bruce-Grey Catholic District School Board
  • Durham Catholic District School Board
  • Durham District School Board
  • Kawartha Pine Ridge District School Board
  • Peterborough Victoria Northumberland Clarington Catholic District School Board
  • Simcoe County District School Board
  • Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board
  • Trillium Lakelands District School Board
  • York Catholic District School Board
  • York Region District School Board
  • Conseil scolaire Viamonde
  • Conseil scolaire catholique Centre-Sud
London
  • Avon Maitland District School Board
  • District School Board of Niagara
  • Grand Erie District School Board
  • Greater Essex County District School Board
  • Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board
  • Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board
  • Huron-Perth Catholic District School Board
  • Lambton Kent District School Board
  • London District Catholic School Board
  • Niagara Catholic District School Board
  • St. Clair Catholic District School Board
  • Thames Valley District School Board
  • Waterloo Catholic District School Board
  • Waterloo Region District School Board
  • Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board
  • Conseil scolaire catholique Providence
  • Conseil scolaire Viamonde
Ottawa
  • Algonquin and Lakeshore Catholic District School Board
  • Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario
  • Hastings & Prince Edward District School Board
  • Limestone District School Board
  • Ottawa Catholic District School Board
  • Ottawa-Carleton District School Board
  • Renfrew County Catholic District School Board
  • Renfrew County District School Board
  • Upper Canada District School Board
  • Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario
  • Conseil scolaire de district catholique de l'Est ontarien
  • Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Centre-Est de l'Ontario
Sudbury-North Bay
  • Algoma District School Board
  • District School Board Ontario North East
  • Huron-Superior Catholic District School Board
  • Near North District School Board
  • Nipissing-Parry Sound Catholic District School Board
  • Northeastern Catholic District School Board
  • Rainbow District School Board
  • Sudbury Catholic District School Board
  • Conseil scolaire de district du Grand Nord de l'Ontario
  • Conseil scolaire de district du Nord-Est de l'Ontario
  • Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Grandes Rivières
  • Conseil scolaire de district catholique du Nouvel-Ontario
  • Conseil scolaire de district catholique Franco-Nord
Thunder Bay
  • Keewatin-Patricia District School Board
  • Kenora Catholic District School Board
  • Lakehead District School Board
  • Northwest Catholic District School Board
  • Rainy River District School Board
  • Superior North Catholic District School Board
  • Superior-Greenstone District School Board
  • Thunder Bay Catholic District School Board
  • Conseil scolaire de district catholique des Aurores boréales
Toronto and Area
  • Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
  • Halton Catholic District School Board
  • Halton District School Board
  • Peel District School Board
  • Toronto Catholic District School Board
  • Toronto District School Board
  • Upper Grand District School Board
  • Wellington Catholic District School Board
  • Conseil scolaire Viamonde
  • Conseil scolaire catholique Providence
  • Conseil scolaire de district catholique Centre-Sud

The top videos in each region will become finalists with five (5) spots reserved for exceptional entries decided by the expert judges:

Regions and Finalists
RegionFinalists
Barrie Region2
London Region3
Ottawa Region2
Sudbury-North Bay Region 2
Thunder Bay Region2
Toronto and Area Region4
Judges’ Choice5
Total20

For the purposes of this competition, the following six (6) categories have been created as a guide for framing your business pitch:

  1. Arts, Culture and Tourism
  2. Services
  3. Retail Goods
  4. Social Enterprise
  5. Environment
  6. Technology

Finalists will be notified by telephone and/or email by Monday, April 24, 2017.

Finalists will be awarded a trip to Toronto to pitch their ideas live in front of an expert panel at Discovery at Metro Toronto Convention Centre for a chance to receive awards.

Please see the Rules Tab for full details.

How do I submit my entry?

Go to the Enter Tab . You must create a competition account before you can submit your entry. Complete the steps to upload your video.

Do I have to register?

Yes, a competition account is required to submit your entry.

Do I have to use Facebook?

No. You can submit your entry by using the entry form on the competition website.

Why are you collecting my personal information? What will you do with it?

The information collected is used to contact entrants for competition purposes only. It will be used primarily to notify students who have won. Your location information will be used to update the competition map, which shows where entries have been received. All personal information is collected and stored securely.

I am under the age of 18. Do I need permission to enter this competition?

If you are under the age of 18 at the time of entry, you must have the entry form signed by a parent or legal guardian prior to submission.

Do I have to submit my entry online?

We encourage that all entries be submitted through the competition website.

I can’t access the Internet to upload a video. What can I do?

If a technology access barrier prevents you from using the competition website, please call 416-861-1092 ext. 1023 or email support@makeyourpitch.ca to have an entry form sent to you. Send your video and entry form by mail to the following address and the competition organizers will upload the video on your behalf:

Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch
c/o Ontario Centres of Excellence
156 Front Street West, Suite 200
Toronto, Ontario M5J 2L6

The competition organizers will not be responsible for damaged or lost videos resulting from shipping or handling.

Note that mail submissions must be received and uploaded prior to the voting period. Please ensure you provide sufficient time for your video to arrive before the deadline. If you are planning to mail your submission, please contact a competition coordinator at support@makeyourpitch.ca or 416-861-1092 ext. 1023 to discuss details.

Mailed entries will not be accepted for upload after 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 28, 2017.

Why can’t I see my video right away?

Once uploaded, videos are reviewed for appropriate content. While we endeavour to do this as quickly as possible, there may be a delay of up to 24 hours before your video is available on the competition website. Videos will not be processed outside of regular business hours (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.).

Where can I access equipment to make my video?

If you do not have a computer, digital camera or smartphone technology to make your video, please contact one of the Small Business Enterprise Centres to help you locate resources. Click this link to find a list of local offices nearest you.

If you do not have an enterprise centre in your community, we encourage you to talk to your school or library about available resources.

Where can I access information on innovation and entrepreneurship?

The Ministry of Economic Development and Growth offers services for entrepreneurs and programs geared to youth. You can find out more at: www.ontario.ca/youngentrepreneurs.

Information and support is also available through Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE) members across Ontario. Please see the Resources Tab for more details.

Do I have to be in my video?

No. Your video is a creation of your imagination. Different types of video content may include:

  • Live action
  • Screen casts
  • Motion graphics/animation
  • Slideshows with voiceover

If you are filming other students for your video, please review the Rules about team entries and submissions by students under 18.

When do I have to submit my video entry?

Video submissions will be accepted between Monday, September 26, 2016 at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, 2017 Eastern Daylight Savings Time.

I am having problems completing the registration or uploading the video. What can I do?

If you have technical problems, please call 416-861-1092 x 1023 or email support@makeyourpitch.ca during business hours (Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.). Unfortunately, technical support will not be available during the evenings or weekends.

How will the videos be judged?

Videos will be judged through a combination of online public voting and a panel of expert judges from the business and innovation community chosen by the competition organizers. Online public votes will make up 40 per cent, while review by the expert judging panel will make up 60 per cent of the total score.

Judges will score videos based on the following:

  • 30% Viability of Product, Service or Invention
  • 30% Creativity
  • 30% Persuasiveness
  • 10% Marketing

See the Rules tab for more information on judging.

When does voting start?

Public voting begins at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, April 4, 2017 and will close at 1 p.m. on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

How often can I vote?

Each person can vote for a video once a day while the voting period is open. You can vote for more than one video.

Who can vote for my video?

Anyone and everyone! Voting is open to the public. We encourage students to tell their family, friends, classmates and community about their submission and ask them to vote.

Can I share my video?

Yes. We encourage students to share a link to their video and the competition on their social networks.

When do I know if I am a finalist?

We expect to notify finalists Monday, April 24, 2017.

What is Discovery?

Discovery is Canada's leading innovation-to-commercialization conference. Hosted by the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Discovery brings together key players from industry, academia, government, the investment community as well as entrepreneurs and students to pursue collaboration opportunities.

Attracting 3,400 attendees and 500 exhibits in 2016, Discovery is a showcase of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research from sectors such as health, manufacturing, digital media and cleantech, including energy, environment and water.

Renowned keynote speakers and panels ignite discussion, knowledge-sharing and new perspectives. Networking opportunities feature key influencers from government, academia, industry and leading sectors.

Discovery facilitates the exchange of ideas and encourages new ways to collaborate and push the boundaries of research and innovation through to demonstration and development. Creating a strong innovation economy is key to Ontario's future.

What will I have to do at the pitch?

The pitch is a personal presentation of the idea in the video. Finalists will receive additional information on this process when they are selected. Support will be provided to prepare students in advance of this part of the competition.

It is important to remember that the submissions will be judged on the quality of the pitch and not the quality of the video.

The competition organizers ensure that bilingual judges are included in the judging panel for both the online phase of the competition and the live pitching event at Discovery. Participants are encouraged to present their idea in either English or French, whichever is most comfortable for them.

What can I win?

Business training, networking opportunities, and a chance to start your business!

If a winner does not qualify for the Summer Company program, an equivalent in support will be provided (i.e., Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), Regional Innovation Centre (RIC) or Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) services).

Please see the About Tab for full details.

Who can I contact if I have other questions?

Please contact Ontario Centres of Excellence: 416-861-1092 ext. 1023 or support@makeyourpitch.ca.



Presented by:
Logo: Ontario Centres of Excellence
Ontario Centres of Excellence is a member of Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE)
Logo: Ready.Set.Work.
Logo: Government of Ontario