Halton’s best and brightest vie for cash prizes & professional services at Pythons’ Pit
There was no shortage of suspense and excitement as the winners were chosen at the 3rd annual Pythons’ Pit competition in Burlington last night. Developed by the Rotary Clubs of Halton, it is the region’s most exciting entrepreneurial event. Finalists in the Open and High School categories had the opportunity to pitch their business concepts and product ideas in front of a live audience and “The Pythons”, a panel of business moguls from the community. At stake: cash awards and range of in-kind professional services and mentoring to help them launch their businesses.
A large crowd of supporters was on the edge of their seats at The Burlington Performing Arts Centre as the Pythons made their difficult decisions in the annual competition, which is supported by presenting sponsors RBC Royal Bank and MNP LLP along with several groups and community partners.
In the Open Category, Oakville’s Cory Hudson, a 5th year Biology student at the Wilfrid Laurier University took home a $20,000 cheque for his handmade and engineered Bluetooth speakers with unique lighting features. Hudson believes his Ambient Audio Canada initiative “will help people create a deeper connection with their music” and the Pythons agreed. A surprise 3-month $7,000-worth free lease offer from RioCan sweetened the winning pot! Hudson was one of five finalists in the Open Category.
First Place in the High School Category went to a group of bright and energetic Grade 12 students from Burlington’s Nelson High School. David Vanderberg, Ben Mallory, Jassim Moslim and Megan Long impressed the Pythons with ‘Coffee Run’, a unique app that facilitates a more organized and systematic way to ease the ordering experience. They’ll share $2,500 in prize money.
Other cash prizes in the six-finalist high school category went to Jennifer Palfi, a Grade 11 student at Bishop P.F. Reding High School in Milton for ‘PeraCards’, a unique app for sending handwritten cards from a mobile device and Kush Yegnaswami, a Grade 12 student at Garth Webb Secondary School in Oakville whose ‘Aquaponics’ food production invention captured the imagination of the Pythons.
In the spirit of Dragons’ Den and Shark Tank, Pythons’ Pit attracts the best and brightest of Halton’s budding entrepreneurs. The event, emceed by veteran broadcaster Connie Smith was recorded live by TVCogeco and will be the subject of a multi-part mini-series in the fall of this year.
Kayla van Zon
Pythons’ Pit Communications Committee Chair
For more information, please visit https://www.pythonspit.ca