VIU students are pitching their business ideas in a Dragon’s Den style Business Plan Competition on Friday, Dec. 4.
Six students and alumni finalists are pitching their ideas to a panel of judges with a wide range of business suggestions that include online services, technological apps, gardening and beauty products.
The winning business plans will compete to win cash prizes and in kind donations of up to $16,000.
Three alumni and three students were chosen as finalists, competing for a top prize in each category. The winner of the top business plan in both categories will win a grand prize of $2,500 cash, with a package of donated business services valued at $7,000.
The event is open to the public for the second annual competition and runs from 4 to 7:30 pm in Building 200 wrapping up with a presentation to winners.
“Our finalists have been working very hard to hone their presentations, and have benefited from the support of volunteer mentors from the business community,” said John Predyk, professor in VIU’s Faculty of Management and chair of the 2015 competition.
“Every participant in the competition benefited from the experience of putting together a business plan with the help of a mentor, and the finalists will get the added experience of ‘pitching’ their business concept to the panel of judges.”
Predyk said when the finalists go on stage to make their pitches he would like to see people from the community in the audience.
“We have business professionals from the region who have volunteered their time to judge the competition,” he said. “We think the judges will be impressed with the calibre of the pitches, and the public will enjoy the chance to see up-and-coming entrepreneurs from a number of different academic programs at VIU present their ideas.”
The judges panel will be a mixed group of VIU instructors, professional coaches and business mentors.
VIU has partnered in the competition with lead sponsor the Pieter de Reuver Foundation, the Nanaimo Economic Development Corporation, Coastal Community Credit Union, MNP, Johnson Franklin Bishop, Young Professionals of Nanaimo, Gio Creative, StartUp Nanaimo and SquareOne, along with regional business partners contributing business services as part of the prize package.