April 9, 2019 7:27 pm
Updated: April 10, 2019 7:53 am

Sask. entrepreneurs pitch for Canadian spot at international competition

WATCH: Local entrepreneurs pitch business ideas to compete in international competition.

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Fifteen entrepreneurs from across Saskatchewan had the chance to pitch their business ideas to an elite panel of judges on Tuesday as part of a first-of-its-kind competition in Canada.

Pitch@Palace is an international pitching competition that helps entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses connect with local investors, mentors and community leaders.

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The event which was founded by Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, in 2014 and takes place in 59 countries around the world, but this marks the first year of the event in Canada.

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“The Duke of York wanted to find a way to leverage his connections to support entrepreneurship around the world,” said Barbara Gibbon of the Rideau Hall Foundation, who helped bring the event to Saskatchewan. “It’s about introductions to potential customers which can often be more valuable than an investor.”

The businesses were given three minutes to pitch their ideas to a panel of judges which included former governor general of Canada David Johnston.

“The culture of innovation is so important because innovation is simply doing things better,” Johnston said.

Participant Andrew Gottselig, the founder of HoopLife Basketball Inc., says the program also gives local entrepreneurs an opportunity to connect and learn from one another.

“It’s a really great opportunity for anyone aspiring to do big things to be able to pitch their idea, get feedback and spend a day around like-minded people,”  Gottselig said.

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The event is open to a wide variety of companies focused on tech and innovation.

Other stops in Canada include Halifax, Waterloo, Vancouver, Whitehorse and Montreal.

Winners from each location will move onto the finals in Toronto in May.

The Canadian winner will be invited to pitch their business at St. James’s Palace in London, England, next December as part of the global competition.

Winners from Saskatchewan heading off to the Canadian finals include Krugo App, Ora for You, Lumeca Health and Precision AI.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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