Pitch Competition Opens Doors And Creates Opportunities For Energy Entrepreneurs
By Melanie McDonald, Office of the Vice-President (Research), University of Calgary
“A very valuable experience,” says 2018 concept stream winner Vicki Knott, CEO, of Crux OCM, about her involvement in the Energy New Venture Competition (ENV). “Winning ENV’s concept stream enabled us to attract some excellent advisers to our company and was an excellent jumping off point.”
Held on June 4, 2019, in Calgary and hosted by the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking, ENV is a one-day pitch competition open to emerging concept and technology companies and is dedicated to the advancement of energy sector innovation.
“ENV is so much more than a pitch competition,” says Joelle Foster, executive director of the Hunter Hub. “It provides access to a tremendous community of like-minded entrepreneurs, investors, mentors, and industry experts that can help these emerging ventures navigate a tricky landscape in an industry that has seen some challenging years.”
The 2018 competition saw 98 applications from 14 countries, and 10 finalists went through 70 hours of pitch coaching before having their shot at 109K in awarded cash and in-kind prizes. “As a group of engineers, ENV taught us to better communicate our message to a broad audience, which had been a challenge for us,” says Knott. “Most people won’t understand what you do, and participating in ENV will help you to deliver your message in a clear and impactful way.”
The competition is guided from an advisory board drawn from the Calgary investment, academic, and entrepreneurial communities and is meant to empower the next generation of energy entrepreneurs. “This city has an impressive innovation ecosystem, and a rich history of entrepreneurship,” says Foster on why Calgary is the perfect location to host the ENV competition. “As a global hub for the energy industry, it’s important that we continue to provide a platform for advancing emerging concepts and technology companies, and give them the tools necessary to begin a track record of success in the energy sector.”
ENV was open to seed-stage companies, budding entrepreneurs, researchers, and students from around the globe. Application deadline was Wednesday, March 27, 2019.