Telus is giving Canadian small businesses the chance to scoop up $100,000 for their startup—a huge boost for early-stage companies.
Telus Pitch is a new annual contest open to entrepreneurs who enter by sharing how winning the grand prize will help their startup meet their goals and continue to grow. There are also five $10,000 prizes up for grabs in cash prizes, tech hardware and mentoring.
Arlene Dickinson, CEO of District Ventures Capital and former Dragons’ Den judge, has partnered with Telus to head the judging panel.
“I’ve worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs over the course of my career and I know firsthand what it takes to build a successful business from the ground up; $100,000 when you’re a startup or an early-stage business is equivalent to winning the lottery. It means everything,” said Dickinson.
“But the TELUS Pitch is not only providing financial support, it’s providing mentorship and resources to help Canadian small business owners achieve the next step in their dream, and I’m excited to take part.”
To judge the top picks, Dickinson will be joined by notable entrepreneurs and startup veterans including G Adventures CEO Bruce Poon Tip and Sunil Sharma, the newly appointed managing director of Techstars Toronto.
Telus’s Suzanne Trusdale said the inaugural pitch contest will give the winning businesses national exposure and connect them with a talented business network for ongoing support.
“Entrepreneurs are the heart of Canada’s economy, and we want to accelerate their success. These unique experiences are invaluable, and to have a shot at winning, entrepreneurs need only do what they do every day; pitch their business,” said Trusdale, Telus’s vice-president of small business.
To mark Telus Pitch, a life-size elevator is travelling across Canada to give small business owners a chance to deliver a 60-second elevator pitch in real time.
Entrepreneurs can apply online until October 29, after which three semi-finalists will pitch all six judges in Toronto on November 13 before a winner is chosen.