May 26, 2016 – In front of an extremely engaged audience of Halton’s MPs, MPPs and local councilors, plus hundreds of local business owners, the entrepreneurial spirit was alive and well as the 4th annual Pythons’ Pit Finale took place last night at the beautiful Burlington Performing Arts Centre. Pythons’ Pit provides an avenue for creative, entrepreneurial residents, post secondary and high school students of Halton Region to pitch their business concepts and product ideas in front of a live audience and a panel of five real business moguls from the community. The event was taped and will debut in HD during the fall 2016 on Cogeco TV.
It was a wonderful evening beginning with a special VIP Reception on behalf of the events’ presenting sponsors, RBC & MNP, that included greetings from Mayor Goldring, MP’s Pam Damoff and John Oliver, MPP Eleanor McMahon and representatives from RBC & MNP. Halton Regional Chair Gary Carr was also present. A gift presentation from MNP & RBC to all contest finalists took place in addition to a celebration for another successful year of encouraging entrepreneurship across the entire Halton region.
Following the reception was the live finale where the theatre was filled with guests as the top finalists performed their final pitches on stage to the 2016 Pythons. It was a thrilling conclusion to yet another extremely successful season of mentoring applicants and finalists of this innovative competition, which was first established by members of Halton based Rotary Clubs some 5 years ago.
Nicole Mortimer of Laifa Baby took home first prize in the Open Category winning $15,000 to help take her business to the next level, and Hangry taking home $5,000 for second place. Laifa Baby is a reinvention of the baby sleeper that allows babies to stay warm, covered and in a sleep state during diaper changes. “The funding is very helpful, but I’m especially looking forward to the mentoring from the Pythons. Throughout the competition, the Pythons provided great feedback and suggestions to improve my business model and I’m excited for what comes next.” Mortimer said after the show.
Kush Yegnaswami of Vape Alarm won first place in the High School Category and was awarded $2,500. Second and third place winners received $1,500 and $1,000. Vape Alarm is a special electronic device that can detect vapor from the newly popular eCigarettes and Vaporizers that can create an unsafe indoor environment. He is excited to use his winnings to perfect his prototype so that he can reach the next milestone in his journey.
Although as exciting as the final event is, Pythons’ Pit provides more than just an opportunity to pitch business ideas in front of a live audience and an opportunity to win cash. “My favourite part of Pythons’ Pit has been all of the training that I have received from the pitch camp sessions and the mentors. The knowledge I have gained has been invaluable and gives a different perspective from what I learn at school”, high school finalist Ann Mathulla said, who attends Bishop Reding High School in Milton.
Explore all Pythons’ Pit finalists here:
Hangry – Mark Scottolon and Fabian Raso – HAMILTON AND BURLINGTON, ON
Hangry is a mobile app that connects students with the fastest and easiest way to order and pay for food and beverage across campus using their pre-paid student meal plan or credit card, earning rewards each purchase.
Laifa Baby – Nicole Mortimer – OAKVILLE, ON
Laifa Baby is a new apparel company providing innovative, high-quality and user-friendly infant clothing, featuring a patent-pending ankle-to-ankle zipper combination with a front neck-to-ankle zipper.
High School Category
Vape Alarm – Kush Yegnaswami – Grade 12 at Garth Webb Secondary School – OAKVILLE,ON
HELPrewards – Ann Mathulla – Grade 12 at Bishop Reding Catholic Secondary School – MILTON, ON
The Multicase – Amy Felton – Grade 12 at Georgetown District High School – GEORGETOWN, ON
Have the next big idea? It’s never too early to start planning for next year. Applications for 2017 Pythons’ Pit Competition will be opening this December. All contest information can be found on our website and you can stay up-to-date by following Pythons’ Pit on Facebook and Twitter.
Pythons’ Pit Communications Committee
In it’s 4th season, Pythons’ Pit is Halton Region’s most successful competition to promote entrepreneurship. An initiative from Rotary Clubs of Halton, Pythons’ Pit is made possible by a number of sponsors including presenting sponsors RBC & MNP, passionate mentors and volunteers, and the whole community.