In an effort to encourage Canadian student entrepreneurs to seriously pursue their ideas, the Queen’s Venture Capital Club at Queen’s University is hosting a competition seeking the Best Canadian Student Startup of the Year.
The competition, which is open to Canadian students from across the country, invites five select student startups to Queen’s University on March 5 to pitch for 15 minutes in front of judges and venture capitalists. The judges include Alex Shee, an analyst at Real Ventures, and Lauren Di Pede, an analyst from Relay Ventures.
The judges will evaluate startups mostly based on the viability of business plans, and the winners will receive an interview with FounderFuel, a Montreal-based accelerator for web, mobile, and SaaS startups, along with prizes from sponsors.
The QVCC decided to host the contest — which will be attended by VCs like KJ Singh, senior associate at iGan Partners, and Matt Roberts, associate director at BDC Capital — as they felt that the Canadian student startup ecosystem is fragmented, and many students don’t know about the resources available to help them pursue entrepreneurship.
“We’ve noticed that the student startup ecosystem is decentralized, with competitions not bringing fruition to many successes,” said Mark Skinner, president and founder of QVCC. “For students to pursue entrepreneurship, you have to have a strong support system. It’s hard to start a company when you have tons of student debt, or don’t know where to go for support. That’s why we started this club to begin this new support system and help students know the professionals they can reach out to in their community.”
Applications for the competition are due February 19, with the top five being selected by February 22.