GTA entrepreneurs get a chance to start

The entrepreneurial competition that is providing students the opportunity to give their plans a start

Photo by Dora Liu

Photo by Dora Liu

At George Brown College (GBC), students and entrepreneurs alike have been invited to take their businesses to the next level at the It’s A Start competition. It’s A Start is an annual pitch competition hosted by Digifest open for designers, professionals and entrepreneurs in the Greater Toronto Area, who have a constructed business and need opportunity and space.

On May 7, this third annual entrepreneur competition will present passionate business people with the opportunity to prove their project’s worth in front of a panel for a chance to win some serious cash and a space to work.

The judging panel will consist of esteemed experts from industry, academia and finance, who will judge based on seven different points including the marketability, originality, feasibility and probability of success, according to the Digifest website.

Mimicking a Dragon’s Den session, finalists will have to pitch their project plans in detail to the panel, covering all aspects of their plans and ideas in three minutes.

GBC marketing student Jerry Gou is one of the founders of REACH, a mobile app that aids in job hunting, and is putting his project to the three-minute pitch test. After a rigorous application and waiting time, REACH is just one of 30 semi-finalists that have been chosen for this chance of a lifetime.

REACH is more than just an aid in job hunting, it gives cash incentives for successful referrals as well as to the user who is able to keep their job through their probation period. With business partners already on board such as TD Bank, Bank of Montreal and approximately 28 others, the newly founded app is yours to discover.

“Many of the companies are willing to spend money for a valuable employee,” said David He, one of the two founders of REACH. “Even if you post a recruitment ad on Monster, no matter if you hire your staff or not, you have to pay $300.”

REACH also provides a feature that allows feedback from employers whether or not they get the job. As seen in a way of constructive criticism, this feedback will allow the interviewee to reflect on interview skills.

The interactive app has a crucial feature that allows the user to be informed every step of the application process, such as knowing when your application was disregarded and when. While also allowing you to create a resume directly on your mobile, this detailed app is available on all smart phone devices and has nearly 1,000 users as of this past February.

Along with REACH, the 29 other semi-finalists will be able to show off their hard work at It’s A Start held at Waterfront’s Corus Quay. The grand-prize winner will receive $10,000, incubator space and a mentorship for support.

These hard working and determined businessmen and women have tackled the necessities to improve everyday life and attack the social needs and issues of a daily technology-friendly environment.

Being innovative and taking the initiative to contribute to a society that is constantly growing and increasing the dependency on technology takes perseverance and creative minds.

Being the starting point for newly discovered entrepreneurial talent including Think Dirty, Giveffect and Apartmint, It’s A Start is supplying creative minds with the tools they need to succeed in their business.

With files from Dora Liu

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GTA entrepreneurs get a chance to start