The 2021 RBC EPIC Founders Program wrapped up on August 19th, 2021. Since May, seven new startups had the opportunity to attend multifaceted workshops and virtual learning opportunities, as well exclusive access to 1:1 mentorship and advisory services. The 2021 Founders Program welcomed 12 Founders to this year’s cohort of entrepreneurs, representing 4 of the 7 faculties at the University of Windsor. This cohort also included students and graduates from St. Clair College and Wilfrid Laurier University.
We kicked off the Final Pitch Day with our exclusive Judging Demo Event, where each of the Founders were required to provide a Demo of their product & service to our panel of judges. The two teams with the highest scores walked away with a $500 cash prize, sponsored by the RBC Foundation. Shortly after the judge’s event, we headed over to Remo for our Founders Demo & Networking Day, powered by WEtech Alliance. Here, the Founders pitched their business to fellow entrepreneurs, ecosystem partners, and community members.
Later that day, we welcomed everyone to our RBC Founders Final Pitch Competition. Here, each startup pitched their business idea to a panel of judges and LIVE audience. Each of the teams were competing for the Top Pitch Award, a cash prize totalling $3,500, also sponsored by the RBC Foundation. Our Final Pitch Day Judging Panel welcomed:
- Jaydee Tarpeh & Nyasha Kapfumvuti, Co-Founders of Xenia Education, and 2020 RBC EPIC Founders Final Pitch Winners
- Keith Henry, President of Windsor Mold Group
- Lauren Makaric, Business Account Manager, Royal Bank of Canada
- Myrtle Donnipad, Youth & Entrepreneurship Advisor, Small Business & Entrepreneurship Centre
Congratulations to Jacqueline Verellen, Founder of Verellen Music Academy for winning the Top Pitch Award, as well as the Demo Prize. Verellen Music Academy is a music school, through which students in Windsor build connection and gain confidence through music. The families they work with are drawn in by their motto “learning should be fun!”. Jacqueline is a current Psychology student at the University of Windsor. Jacqueline will continue her journey in our 4-month women entrepreneurship program this Fall.
The second Demo Prize was awarded to Penny & Leo Cardelli, Co-Founders of Snow Peak Cold Brew; a cold brew company that uses local ingredients while being environmentally conscious. They are looking to be your modern milk man by delivering fresh cold brew right to your door every Sunday morning. Penny Cardelli is a current Mathematics student at the University of Windsor, and Leo Cardelli is a graduate of St. Clair College for Architectural Technology. Snow Peak Cold Brew will also continue their journey in our 4-month women entrepreneurship program this Fall.
Congratulations to all 2021 Summer Founders for graduating the RBC EPIC Founders Program. To view the full Founders Pitch Competition, please click here.
Thank you to everyone who helped to make our 2021 RBC EPIC Founders Program such a great success. And thank you to the RBC Foundation for their generous support of this program.