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Sep 18, 2016   |   Aayush Goel and Ganesha Thirumurthi
The Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition is Canada’s largest and oldest undergraduate start-up competition. With a 29-year history, we have invited start-ups that have ultimately been acquired by Google, pitched on Dragon’s Den, and raised a substantial amount of money from angel investors and VCs.
The competition has three rounds, with the first round requiring teams to submit a maximum 10-page business plan and a 3-minute pitch video. The level of difficulty becomes more rigorous with each round, as the pool of start-ups becomes better and the panel of judges becomes more experienced. In the second round, the top 15 start-ups are divided into three pools of five teams each. Each pool pitches to a panel of judges, and the top two teams from each pool are selected to comprise of the top 6 teams that advance to the final round. In the final round, the teams pitch to new, larger panel of judges that include successful entrepreneurs, sponsors, and alumni. The top three start-ups are awarded prize money along with a wealth of industry contacts and sponsored in-kind prizes to help them improve their businesses. This year, the competition’s grand prize will be $50,000 with a second place prize of $25,000.
The QEC has invited many successful entrepreneurs to judge and speak at the competition. Last year’s competition invited John Ruffolo, CEO of OMERS Ventures, one of Canada’s largest venture capital fund. Other guests included Michael Hyatt, a dragon on CBC’s Next Gen Den, and Ryan Holmes, CEO of Hootsuite, a unicorn start-up based out of Vancouver valued at over $1 billion.
We, as the directors of this competition, want to take this opportunity to welcome you to our blog. We’ve caught up with past QEC participants and winners, and we are very excited to share with you their tips and journeys following the QEC. We hope that the QEC blog is one that you will follow frequently as we share content with you on how to hone your business and achieve continuous growth.