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The Innovation Cluster has launched a new high-energy speaker series that brings global disruptors to Peterborough and the Kawarthas, called Electric City Talks. The launch of this series kicked off on November 19, 2019 with a lineup of popular guests to host throughout 2020.
The launch featured a special talk by Robert H. Lane. Lane is a Canadian innovator, seasoned business executive formerly of Commodore International, General Electric, NORTEL and NEDCO. Commodore International was one of the world’s largest personal computer manufacturers, with the world’s best-selling desktop computer, the Commodore 64.
Lane spoke about his journey of entrepreneurship and everything he learned along the way, from mistakes to accomplishments, and his friendships with Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.
The Innovation Cluster has been known for bringing notable speakers to the region for sold out shows, including Michele Romanow, Johnny Cupcakes and Nicole Verkindt.
“As the region grows as an entrepreneurial hub, we have seen a clear need to bring in global disruptors,” says John Gillis, President and CEO of the Innovation Cluster. “Entrepreneurs and innovators are going to be blown away by the incredible talent and speakers that we’ve secured for this new series. It’s been designed to motivate attendees like they’ve never been before, and is set to be the most impactful innovation and tech events in Peterborough and the Kawarthas.”
The next confirmed speaker will be Jason Wight, Director of Engineering at OPG in January, followed by Craig Kielburger of WE Day and a surprise guest in the Fall to be announced!
The Innovation Cluster and Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) are excited to announce the winner of their partnered event, Cubs’ Lair Entrepreneurship Competition. On the night of November 21, six finalists competed to win the grand prize valued at over $7,000 for their innovative startup at the Gordon Best Theatre.
Vanessa Mathieu, Joao Borges, Alesha Colaco and Jo Ho took home the grand prize for their innovative business, Paper Plant Project. Started by the Enactus Fleming team, these students are leading the project which involves the production of paper planters from recycled paper waste as educative kits for schools to promote biodegradable practices.
🎉 Congratulations to Enactus Fleming for winning Cubs’ Lair! 🎉 We are so proud! ❤️ Cubs’ Lair is a pitch competition for young Peterborough entrepreneurs, and is hosted by @PtboEcDev and @InnovationPtbo. The winning team receives over $6, 500 in prizes to grow their business. pic.twitter.com/y2vsoqehzO
— Fleming College (@FlemingCollege) November 22, 2019
“It was a lot of work that we put into this project,” says Joao Borges of the winning team. “A lot of support from Fleming College, the whole team made this possible. It really speaks volumes to the fact that we are on the right track and starting to see value for the accomplishments that we’re doing on our product lines and all the impact that we could potentially create. We are looking forward to keep working hard and keep making wins like this one tonight.”
Joao says the grand prize will be valuable in making the project a success.
“With that package we are definitely going to be investing into some marketing research with teachers as well as other marketing niches,” he says. “We will also be updating our website of course with Shopify as well as investing a lot into the manufacturing process to make sure we are being as efficient and consistent as possible. We also are going to take advantage of being connected with the community and get into the minds of the people around us because by the end of the day, we want to help Fleming College as a whole but also ultimately help our community.”
— Fleming College (@FlemingCollege) November 22, 2019
Runners up included Shane Willis and Tanner Morrow with their business idea Eco Care, a property maintenance company focused on electric powered landscaping equipment, as well as Telsi Szanyi of Flow Codes, a subscription service for wellness resources, with a focus on promoting well-being for employees in the workplace.
Braden Clark, Innovation Specialist at the Innovation Cluster and Madeleine Hurrell, Entrepreneurship Officer at Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development hosted the event.
“This is a great stepping-stone for youth entrepreneurs to practice pitching their business ideas and receive feedback from professionals in the community,” says Clark. “Each participant comes out of Cubs’ Lair with valuable ideas and the confidence to move forward with their business.”
After deliberation, the three established judges decided the Paper Plant Project is an innovation that will be in demand for school systems for years to come.
Distinguished judges included Michael Konopaski, Managing Director of Inclusive Advisory; Nicole Stephenson, Founder of Stephenson Law Group and Dana Empey, Vice President of Carlson Wagonlit/ G. Stewart Travel Services Ltd.
Innovation Cluster: Incubation Program OR & Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Developments: Business Advisory Centre services – $2,500 value
WCKD Marketing: Digital marketing services – $1,500 value
Michelle Ferreri: Video interview – $1,200 value
Prima IP: $500 CASH
Peterborough Region Angel Network: $500 CASH
PTBO Canada: Social media package – $400 value
Shopify: Consultation and Development Site – $350 value
Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce: 3 star membership – $290 value
Total: $7,240 in prizes
The Innovation Cluster and Peterborough & the Kawarthas Economic Development (PKED) are excited to announce the top finalists who have entered Cubs’ Lair, the youth entrepreneurship competition of the year. On the night of the event, 7 finalists will compete to win the grand prize of over $7,000 for their innovative startup. Cubs’ Lair will be hosted on Thursday, Nov. 21st at the Gordon Best Theatre at 6 p.m.
With many applications from Peterborough’s aspiring startups, the preliminary judging committee chose 7 finalists for their innovative business ideas. The final competitors who will pitch their startup to a panel of established judges on the night of the event are:
SHANE WILLIS – Green Energy lawn care services.
TELSI SZANYI – Subscription service for wellness resources.
ANDREA RAMIREZ – Connecting local farmers to restaurants.
ATEESH MISHRA – Online marketplace for home repair services.
VANESSA MATHIEU – Educative kits for schools to promote biodegradable practices.
RAMAN VAUCHETSKI – Program to allow high school students to practice career paths.
JORDAN PORTER – Affordable online marketplace for content creation.
Each finalist will be bringing a different visionary to the table.
“This competition is a great way for aspiring youth entrepreneurs to take action on their business ideas,” says Braden Clark, Innovation Specialist at the Innovation Cluster. “We’ve supported them in their development with workshops including business planning, financial modeling and pitching, so they will be ready for the judges Thursday night.”
Our distinguished judges include Michael Konopaski, Managing Director of Inclusive Advisory; Nicole Stephenson, Founder of Stephenson Law Group and Dana Empey, Vice President of Carlson Wagonlit/ G. Stewart Travel Services Ltd.
Jeremy Brooks, the winner of last year’s Cubs’ Lair competition for his business AVROD, is still growing his business today out of the Innovation Cluster’s downtown incubator, The Cube.
“Cub’s Lair has been central in getting our name and product out to wider audiences and connecting with the resources that we need to get our product to market faster,” says Brooks. “It has allowed us to connect with partners and users on a global scale, which has helped legitimize and grow our business long before the release of our official VR platform. Much of our growth can be attributed to the marketing, financial, and professional support that we received from our winnings.”
The finalist to come out on top as the startup with most potential will win over $7,000 in prizes towards building their business, including incubator space at the Cluster or support from PKED Advisory Centre, coaching & mentoring from established startups and more!
- Electric City Talk Launches With Global Disruptor Robert H. Lane
- Paper Plant Project Wins Fifth Annual Cubs’ Lair Entrepreneurship Competition
- Announcing Top Aspiring Entrepreneur Finalists for Annual Cubs’ Lair Competition
- Innovation Cluster Launches “Electric City Talks”, a Speaker Series Featuring Global Disruptors in Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship
- Local Digital Startup Launches Mobile App to Help Users Explore Southern Ontario’s Environments