TELUS Pitch returns with judge and business expert Arlene Dickinson
TELUS announced the return of TELUS Pitch – Canada’s largest small business contest that will award more than $150,000 in total prizing. From now until June 23, small business owners can enter to win much-needed capital funding to help reach their business goals and contribute to their community.
Small businesses account for nearly 98% of all companies in Canada with upwards of 100,000 new businesses emerging each year. According to a new report commissioned by TELUS, 66% of Canadians surveyed cited access to funding as the biggest hurdle in getting a small business off the ground.
Arlene Dickinson, general partner of District Ventures Capital and judge on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, continues her partnership with TELUS as lead judge and contest mentor working with finalists to refine their pitches in the lead up to the TELUS Pitch Live Finale Summit event on July 30, where finalists will pitch live for the $100,000 grand prize.
“Pitching is the foundation of business. Entrepreneurs are pitching constantly—for money, for customers, for support. And it’s not easy. When TELUS asked, 2 out of 3 Canadians said they would be nervous pitching venture capitalists. That’s where programs like TELUS Pitch can help—in providing access to funding and exposure to a group of like-minded, leading Canadian business people who are willing to share their experiences in an effort to guide small business owners in refining their pitches.”
TELUS Pitch 2019 will also be supported by Samsung, Facebook and more.
“Small businesses are an integral part of the Canadian economy, and have long been core to TELUS’ culture of giving back,” said Roi Ross, vice president, Small Business Solutions, TELUS. “Nearly a third of Canadians believe that as a country we can be doing more to support small businesses, which is why TELUS has created a robust support system for entrepreneurs through initiatives like TELUS Pitch which also provides essential funding and mentorship – no strings attached.”
TELUS Pitch prizes include:
- $100,000 cash to be awarded at the TELUS Pitch Live Summit, July 30
- In addition to the $100,000, $10,000 will be donated on behalf of the winner to TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, which gives vulnerable kids a brighter future in a challenging world by providing better access to health and education opportunities, powered by technology
- The remaining finalists for the grand prize will each receive a cash prize of $10,000.
- There is also a Community Impact Award, one for Most Promising Startup, and Multicultural Business of the Year Award.
“It’s been incredibly rewarding to see small businesses like Vancouver Island Salt Co., Aquamobile, and our inaugural TELUS Pitch winner, iMerciv, flourish over the last few years by putting their $100,000 TELUS Pitch prize money to good use,” said Suzanne Trusdale, vice president, Small Business Solutions, TELUS. “TELUS Pitch is a testament to the impact that funding and expert mentorship can have on business owners and we’re excited to bring it back for another year.”
Throughout the contest period, TELUS will tour a life-sized elevator to small business events across the country, giving entrepreneurs the chance to step inside and record their 60-second “elevator pitch” live. Tour locations include Markham, Brampton, Toronto, Waterloo, Calgary, and Vancouver.
Joining Arlene Dickinson as judges of TELUS Pitch 2019 are:
- Suzanne Trusdale, vice president, Small Business Solutions, TELUS
- Jennifer Safruk, vice president, Sales and Product Management, Mobile, Samsung Canada
- Richard Osborn, managing partner, TELUS Ventures
- Kevin Au-Yeung, president, InnoVision
- Garrick Tiplady, managing director, Facebook and Instagram Canada
Videos produced by Now Creative Group featuring these judges and companies will be released during the campaign, including executives from Samsung and Facebook:
To enter TELUS Pitch or for full contest details, visit telus.com/pitch.