Your business could win $100,000 in the TELUS Pitch competition

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      What could your business do with $100,000?

      One of the biggest hurdles facing small businesses in Canada is access to funding. The country contains far fewer venture capitalists or angel investors willing to part with their cash than its neighbours to the south, and companies are unable to gather the money needed to scale up their operations.

      Telecom giant TELUS, however, is hoping to literally change the fortunes of a Canadian business.

      Hosting Canada’s largest small business contest—the TELUS Pitch competition—in partnership with Canadian investor and lead judge Arlene Dickinson, the organization is asking companies how $100,000 would transform their growth.

      In order to enter the contest, eligible companies—those with 1 to 50 employees and based in Canada—must fill in a simple online entry form. On it are four questions, asking individuals why they started their business, what their business goals are, how the $100,000 top prize will help them fulfill those ambitions, and how their company is making an impact in their community. In addition, TELUS plans to bring a life-sized elevator to small business events across the country so that entrepreneurs can step inside and record a 60-second, literal elevator pitch in person. The locations are set to include Markham, Brampton, Toronto, Waterloo, Calgary, and Metro Vancouver’s Surrey.

      The contest closes on June 23, when its judges will sift through the entries to select their nine favourites. The last semifinalist position will be chosen through a public vote held on TELUS’s website, before the top companies are announced on July 16. The six adjudicators will be picking companies for a number of categories on top of the grand prize, including best community impact, most promising startup, and multicultural and best female entrepreneur.

      The last businesses standing will be invited to a Dragons’ Den-style pitch contest in Toronto to determine the final winners.

      “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 of small business solutions at 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.”

      The total contest prizing includes:

      TELUS Pitch Grand Prize:

      • $100,000 cash to be awarded at the TELUS Pitch Live Summit on 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.

      Community Impact Award:

      • $5,000 in Samsung technology
      • $5,000 in marketing services from Eighty-Eight
      • Consulting hours with TELUS Ventures

      Most Promising Startup:

      • $5,000 in Facebook ad credits
      • One year membership to Workhaus (value = $4,200)
      • Bootcamp session with a Facebook expert

      Multicultural Business of the Year Award:

      • $5,000 in marketing services from Response Advertising Inc.
      • One year membership to Workhaus (value = $4,200)
      • Consulting hours with TELUS Ventures

      More information and the contest entry form can be found here.

      Kate Wilson is the Technology Editor at the Georgia Straight. Follow her on Twitter @KateWilsonSays