Every August, the University of Windsor EPICentre hosts our annual RBC EPIC Founders Pitch Competition, a culmination of the 12-week accelerator program which helps startups validate their businesses by attending workshops, events, receiving mentorship and coaching all the while working on their businesses full-time. This year, 7 teams comprised of 12 eager founders joined our 2020 cohort. What made their experience even more unique was that the program pivoted to an entirely virtual platform.
Lead by Program Lead, Sydney Thompson. Our founders rose to the challenge of validating their businesses while taking the proper precautions set in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On August 6th, our teams took place in our first-ever virtual final pitch competition. Hosted on zoom and Livestreamed through the EPIC Facebook page, all 7 teams presented their final pitch to a panel of judges for their chance to win one of two prizes; $3,500 cash to the top Founder(s), courtesy of RBC Foundation, and $1,000 cash to the runner-up, sponsored by the Lucas Imagine Fund sponsored by Maureen Lucas.
Each Founder was judged on their demonstration of their MVP, progress in the Founders program, market research, future projections, business model, feasibility, and quality of their pitch. Our judging panel consisted of four business professionals from the community:
- Connor Holowachuk, Electronics Engineer & past EPIC Founder participant
- Faris Alami, Founder and CEO of International Strategic Management
- Lauren Makaric, Business Account Manager, Royal Bank of Canada
- Nicole Anderson, Program Director, Women Entrepreneurship Strategy
The RBC EPIC Founders top prize was awarded to Jaydee Tarpeh & Nyasha Kapfumvuti, Founders of Xenia Education.
Our second-place prize was awarded to Braunte Petric, Adam Dunn and Oliver Balmokune, Founders of Vectorgaze.
We’d like to congratulate all of our 2020 RBC EPIC Founders on a successful term. And thank you to the Royal Bank of Canada for their continued support of this program.