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 Government of Ontario . 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 permanent resident 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, Innovation and Science 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 be cut off at the 2-minute mark without exception. 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.
  • 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. You can check out the full Regional Breakdown by School Board here to find your region.
  • 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 Tuesday, April 10, 2018.
  • 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. 1121 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
325 Front Street West, Suite 300
Toronto, Ontario M5V 2Y1

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. 1121 to discuss details.

Mailed entries will not be accepted for upload after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, 2018.

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 Tuesday,September 29, 2017 at 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. on Monday, March 26, 2018 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 1121 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 Monday, March 26, 2018 and will close at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 6, 2018.

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 Tuesday, April 10, 2018.

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 3,500 attendees and 500 exhibits in 2017, 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. 1121 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