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Entrepreneurs from Seneca and Indian college win top honours in Dragons’ Den style competition

Posted on 27 May 2016 by admin

Written by: Dimitri Perdicaris

Young entrepreneurs from Seneca College faced tough competition against students from India’s College of Engineering Pune (CoEP) during a Dragons Den style health care pitch challenge at Seneca’s Markham Campus last week.

CoEP’s Siddharth Telgote and Sufi Shahi’s Dreaming Leaf Co. earned second-place honours for their plan to purify drinking water in developing countries using banana and orange peels, tablets and kinetic energy.

“The experience provided us with networking opportunities and contacts who are willing to collaborate with us,” Telgote said.

Seneca entrepreneur Travis Clements-Khan took first-place honours for his pitch called Canary, a point-of-consumption device that allows users to detect potentially harmful allergens in food.

The competition placed three startups from Seneca’s Health Entrepreneurship and Lifestyle Innovation Xchange (HELIX) against two businesses founded by CoEP students. The competition was created following a Memorandum of Understanding that was signed by the City of Markham, Seneca and CoEP during the Premier’s February trade mission to India.

The goal of the competition was to support youth entrepreneurship while promoting a global view and exposure of the entrepreneurial ideas to potential venture capitalists and angel investors.

Each team presented a five-minute business pitch to a panel of judges, including representatives from ventureLAB, Ontario Centres of Excellence, control systems hardware company Quanser, and the City of Markham.

Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti, who attended the event, said he was impressed with each team’s aspirations to strengthen global health care.

“Our educational institutions and our cities have to work closely together, and in particular our youth have to work closely together,” Scarpitti said. “It’s great to witness moments like this when we can stare our future eye-to-eye and be inspired by what the future holds.”

All teams involved won a cash prize.

CoEP plans to host the next pitch competition in May 2017 in Pune, India.

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