A sell-out crowd of 140 entrepreneurs packed The Prime Chophouse September 28. They were there as part of the second annual PitchFest and #WeAreYQQ Party, hosted by LIFT Comox Valley.
Keynote Luke Aulin, CEO of Vancouver’s RTown, an online social media marketing business, talked about the importance of pitching. Aulin then joined on the judges’ panel, with Mina Haghighi of Futurpreneur, a youth-focused entrepreneur development program, and the owner Canada’s top Hyundai dealership in 2016, Sue Finneron.
PitchFest2 was sponsored by Duncan & Company CPAs and Pacific Coastal Airlines. Generous prizes were supplied by Douglas magazine, 98.9 The GOAT, Trio Magazine and the LIFT organization. It’s the culmination of a year’s worth of businesses pitching at LIFT’s twice-monthly BizOnDeck workshops. LIFT’s Hans Peter Meyer calls these entrepreneurs the “new face of business in the region, the talent that’s changing everything.”
Kicking things off was Pieter Vorster, setting a high bar with an enthusiastic description of the online magazine and community calendar at TideChange.ca. Jabin Postal had mouths watering as he garnered support for his already successful BBQ YouTube channel. Danielle Farrant wowed with her tight and cheeky pitch for organic, locally-produced menstrual pads. Julian Rendell impressed with his description of Make it Zone as education and training for the workforce of 2020 and beyond. The growing health sector importance of cannabis and related services by Grow Wise Health was Denise Ropp’s pitch. Jordan Savard and Matthias Hansen, winners of the Teen Entrepreneur Club “Tycoon Challenge” in June, reprised with an even tighter pitch for their Age-Sex-Location fashion line. Andrea Postal made a powerful pitch for doula services and In Bloom Births.
The ASL team of Savard and Hansen, and Andra Postal’s In Bloom Births shared second place media advertising prizes. The grand prize, a $3600 package by LIFT that includes branding and photography by McKinnon Photography, digital marketing support by Mastermynde Strategy, PR services by 50th Parallel PR, print services by Sure Copy Courtenay, and content marketing by LIFT, went to Danielle Farrant and Bluebird Pads.
“I’m excited to be working with Danielle and Bluebird Pads,” says Karen McKinnon. “They’re the kind of positive, earth-friendly business that I think is representative of the values of our community here in the Comox Valley.”
As with all of LIFT’s five annual special events, PitchFest2 featured a #WeAreYQQ Party. The focus is on fun – and social media games with over $4000 in prizes, contributed by LIFT member businesses. One of these is The Waverley Hotel, a LIFT Community Partner.
“These kinds of events are an important part of building an entrepreneur culture in our community,” says Don McClellan, owner of The Waverley Hotel. “We need to encourage young entrepreneurs. The Waverley is proud to be part of a welcoming culture, through what we do as a venue for entertainment, and our our support of LIFT and it’s activities.”
For more information about upcoming LIFT events, including the annual Festive Cheer “entrepreneur holiday party” and fundraiser on November 24, see the online listings at liftcomoxvalley.ca.