2019 ICUBE Student Pitch

Written By – Riko Hibino

ICUBE UTM Student Pitch Award was held on September 18th 11am at the Grand Hall of the Maanjiwe nendamowinan building at the University of Toronto Mississauga. I accompanied as an intern that day and actually it was my first time joining a pitch competition!

I was wondering whether it was a presentation or something different; however, the concept was a little bit different. You probably already know, but just in case, I’ll explain a little bit about it. The word “pitch” was born in the Silicon Valley in the United States and it is a brief presentation by entrepreneurs who aim to gain some funding for their startup. They can obtain a fund if they succeed in getting investors hooked.

In the Grand Hall, many students come in and out all at once, there was a stage in the middle for candidates and seats for listeners.

Since it was kind of like a competition, I thought the event would intense. However, in the beginning, it was being proceeded in a friendly manner and candidates were greeting each other and getting to know each other.

We all got some Monopoly money to use for the event at the reception desk.

The rule at the pitch was: all listeners give those currencies to a candidate who made the most impressive pitch and five startups with the most fund will get $1000 at the end of the session. I could see various types of audiences, such as university students, potential investors and people who are just curious about listening innovative ideas.

Everyone looked excited.

It was a unique experience for me to be an observer of the pitch competition. I never had the opportunity to be in a place where different entrepreneurs are sharing their idea to solve a wide variety of social problems by using technology, and it was totally like a new world for me!

All the business ideas, the entrepreneurs were talking about solving an existing problem with a solution that doesn’t exist in the current world yet. The contents were diverse and I got excited by all of them because I could see their passion and ideal world through the pitch and it will be very helpful for people.

The most impressive thing for me was candidates who decided to share their business. They were passionate, confident, and their ability to engage with the audience even though their were some challenges such as technical difficulty with their pitch deck and students leaving the classrooms. Though people can notice a social problem and have opinions, most of them do nothing to change it. All the entrepreneurs present that day, they are trying to come up with a solution to solve the problem. I was very glad that I could observe them firsthand and now I hope all the ideas come true.

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