The Contest

Pythons’ Pit provides an avenue for creative, entrepreneurial residents and students of Halton Region to pitch their business concepts and product ideas in front of a live audience and a panel of real business moguls from the community. Open Category applicants can win up to $20,000 cash in start-up capital and a package of in-kind professional services to help launch the business. The goal of Pythons’ Pit is to foster innovation, creativity and an entrepreneurial spirit in Halton Region by:

  • Offering an opportunity for Halton entrepreneurs to secure investment capital and business advice from business professionals
  • Providing an opportunity for high school students to further develop their business planning skills
  • Raising funds to support Rotary’s Camp Enterprise

There are two categories of entries:

  • High school students
  • Open to all (including post-secondary students)

Rules & Regulations

Applications – High School Category

  • Students attending any high school or equivalent in Halton Region at the time the application is submitted are eligible.
  • Entries can be made by individuals or teams, with a maximum of 3 team members.
  • Cash prizes will be awarded to the winning team(s).
  • Awards of in kind services will be awarded at the sole discretion of the Pythons.
  • Prizes awarded will be split equally among all members of the winning team(s).
  • Free to apply.
  • Multiple entries are allowed i.e., a person or team may submit an entry in both the High School and Open categories, but each entry must be unique.
  • The Top 10 entries will be asked to appear in front of a panel during March 2016. The Top 10 will be screened down to the Top 5.
    Incomplete applications will be disqualified.
  • Applications containing any misrepresentations will be disqualified.

 

Presentations by Qualifiers – High School Category

  • Successful candidates will pitch in Cogeco Studios on April 30th, 2016 and at the live Show on May 25th, 2016 at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre
  • Qualifiers will be given 3 minutes to present and 5 minutes for questions from the Pythons.
  • Each Python will be given the opportunity to extend the question period by 2 minutes, for one presentation only.
  • Presentations may be accompanied by visual aids and props. Time will not be allowed for set up. No power point or any other presentation that includes the use of a screen is allowed.
  • The evaluation of a presentation will be based on presentation skills and the business case for the concept.
  • Top 5 successful candidates will pitch at the Cogeco filming session. The Pythons will select the top 3 after the Cogeco studio session. The Top 3 will move on to pitch at Burlington Performing Arts Centre on May 25 at our live event.

Applications – Open Category

  • Persons who are permanent residents of Halton Region at the time the application is submitted are eligible. Where the entrants are students, the permanent residency requirement is waived but the entrant must be attending any high school or post secondary institution or equivalent in Halton Region.
  • Students attending McMaster University, Mohawk College or Sheridan College (any campus) or any other post-secondary institution in Halton Region at the time the application is submitted are eligible and the permanent residency requirement is waived.
  • Entries can be made by individuals or teams with a maximum of 3 team members.
  • Awards of in kind services will be awarded at the sole discretion of the Pythons.
  • Entrants are demonstrating why they should win the $20,000, what they would do with the money, and why a Python should take interest in their business and partner with them.
  • Proposed businesses must have a direct impact in the Halton Region.
  • Free to apply.
  • Multiple entries are allowed i.e., a person or team may submit multiple entries, but each entry must be unique.
    Submissions will be accepted for a new venture, start-up or from an existing entity with cumulative gross sales of less than $250,000 per year in 2013 and 2014.
  • The top 10 entries will be asked to appear in front of a screening panel on March 2016 (subject to change). The top 5 entries will participate in the Pythons’ Pit.
  • Successful candidates will pitch in Cogeco Studios April 30th, 2016 and at the live Show on May 25th, 2016 at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre
  • Applications may be submitted beginning in October 2015 and applications will close January 15th, 2016. 
  • Incomplete applications will be disqualified.
  • Applications containing any misrepresentations will be disqualified.

Presentations – Open Category

  • Each presenter will have 3 minutes to present followed by a Q and A of up to 15 minutes.
  • Presentations may be accompanied by visual aids and props. No powerpoint or any other forms of presentation that include the use of a screen are allowed. Time will not be allowed for set up.
  • Top 5 successful candidates will pitch at the Cogeco filming session. The Pythons will select the top 2 after the Cogeco studio session. The Top2 will move on to pitch at Burlington Performing Arts Centre on May 25 at our live event.

Investments will be made at the sole discretion of the Pythons


Keep the Date

  • January 7th – Python’s Pit Application Deadline
  • January 27th – Mentors Meeting – Application Screening – 6pm to 9pm, Oakville Town Hall, Bronte/Palermo Rooms)
  • February 17th – MaRS workshop- “Pitching to Investors” Part 1- 5pm to 9pm-MEVIC (Top 10 and mentors)
  • February 24th – MaRS workshop – “Pitching to Investors” Part 2 – 5pm to 9pm-MEVIC (Top 10 and mentors)
  • March 30th – Pitch Practice – Town of Oakville for the Town Hall, 1225 Trafalgar Road, Oakville, ON L6H 0H3 – Trafalgar Room, 5pm to 8pm
  • April 4th and 5th – Screening to select Top 5 High School Contestants – Halton Region Small Business Centre
    Location: Halton Regional Administration Building, 1151 Bronte Road, Oakville
    4:30-6:pm ( candidates must book their own appointment)
  • April 4th – Screening to select Top 5 Open Contestants – Ron Joyce Centre
    Location: 4350 S Service Rd, Burlington, ON L7L 5R8
    Teaching boardroom (RJC 245)
    6pm-9pm ( candidates must book their own appointment)
  • April 30th – Live taping at Cogeco Studios (closed session) (Top 5 and Pythons)

  • May 25th – Award Show – Burlington Performing Arts Centre (Open to all – free tickets)