By Dennis Smith – Special to Burlington Post
Burlington student Mark Suan energized the Pythons’ Pit with his Cyclo-Charger proposal last Saturday (April 26).
“It’s the first contactless, reliable and robust bicycle generator for charging one’s mobile phone,” he said.
“I’ve come too far to stop now. I’ll prove it’s a notable prototype.”
The Corpus Christi S.S. student earned $2,500 for first place in the Pythons’ Pit youth category.
As with CBC’s popular program Dragons’ Den, entrepreneurs in the Pythons’ Pit sought funding from an investors’ panel for their entrepreneurial ideas.
Suan said his product, which converts kinetic energy, will attract mountain bikers and others who are off the grid.
“Not only do you have a bicycle generator, you have a survival tool,” he said.
Python panelists liked his proposal.
Oakville, Georgetown students place second, third
“That was exciting,” said Randy Pilon of Virox Technologies Inc. “If you prove it works, I’ll pay for the right-to-use search.”
Jessy Kang of Abbey Park H.S. in Oakville was awarded second prize of $1,500 for Smart Tap.
She feels her mobile application for storing and organizing retail receipts will make those tasks easier.
“The process of organizing and collecting receipts is tedious for many,” noted Kang.
Nita Stranaghan and Katie Henderson of Georgetown District H.S. earned third prize of $1,000 for Fashion on Wheels.
In the open category, panelists took a wait-and-see approach.
“There are some business groups that we may or may not pursue,” said panelist George Minakakis of Inception Retail Group.
He noted there’s only a short time to consider pitches and more due diligence is required.
Four of the five open category finalists were offered a follow-up meeting, but none received immediate funding.
Burlington’s Ted and Lisa West of Country Basics made the only live pitch, seeking $60,000 for 20 per cent of their firm.
They proposed having a depot of proprietary green bulk cleaning supplies, as well as selling franchises.
Panelists suggested they’d be spread too thinly.
“I think you’re trying to do too much,” said Don Dalicandro of Azertech Inc. “There are lots of pieces there and I don’t know what piece will make money.”
Afterwards, Ted West said he appreciated the panelists’ advice and was looking forward to the follow-up meeting.
“It’s all about their knowledge and I think it’s priceless,” he said.
Other open category proposals were shown on video.
Vincent Marchese of Burlington (VM Enterprises) drew interest with a shovel-style push rake.
Bruce Robinson and Thurkathipana Navaneethan from Smithville and Hamilton (Tetra Biologicals Inc.) pitched a product to control cockroaches.
Noha Abdelaziz of Burlington and McMaster University student Peter Basl pitched Ranggo, a social marketing feedback platform serving the restaurant industry.
The rejected proposal was for GymChum, a social fitness network pitched by Aydin Betez of Milton.
Other Pythons’ panelists were John Romano of Nickel Brook Brewery and David Woolford from the Miller Thomson law firm.
Pythons’ Pit was organized by Halton Rotary Clubs and McMaster’s DeGroote School of Business, which hosted it at the Ron Joyce Centre.