Brock University collides with Dragons’ Den

On Wednesday, November 21, 2012 BUEC hosted their very own version of CBC’s hit television series Dragon’s Den. The event titled Monster Pitch was designed as a platform for aspiring as well as current Brock student entrepreneurs who are looking for an opportunity to pitch their business or their business ideas to a live audience, as well as famous Monsters. Monster Pitch connects student entrepreneurs with resources that they need to establish or expand their business and is an excellent way for students to have their collective voices and opinions heard.
Last year’s competition was held in Pond Inlet, where about 50 to 60 guests attended while competitors battled for $500. This year’s Monster Pitch was held at Amici’s Banquet Hall where approximately 160 people attended. It was a much greater success than the previous year, and the final prize was much more significant, featuring a start-up package worth $30,000 in correlation with the many resources and tools collected to make use of on the path to success. The package was generously sponsored by Brock University Entrepreneurship Club (BUE, Spara Capital, Caters Design Group, Business Link Media Group, Cognition LLP, Durward Jones Barkwell & Company LLP, Biolinc, nGen, Accounting Students Association, Brock University Marketing Association and Brock Business Badgers.
The Monsters judges consisted of Bruce Croxon from Dragon’s Den and co-founder of Lavalife, Jason Sparaga the President of Spara Capital, and David Anyon who is founder of The D. Stuart Co. Inc. Presentations were made during the day by Physis Outdoors, INDi Innovative Displays, Lumatronics and Career City Inc.
Physis Outdoors, founded by Kristopher Luey, Christian Di Vincenzo and Matthew Grootjen, was the winning pitch of the day. Their strategy takes a new approach to outdoor adventure, with a focus on Torontonians who have limited access to camping. Physis Outdoors provides customers with the ability to rent camping equipment, book a campsite, and rent a vehicle all within one web site. These entrepreneurs aim to make the great outdoors accessible to all Canadians through this integrated service structure.
The group had mentioned that they decided on an outdoor adventure company simply because they all really enjoy the outdoors, going on to say they basically wrote out a list of every outdoor activity that came to mind in search for an opportunity of a business idea. They then realized, after talking with several friends in Toronto, that many people fantasize about the idea of going camping, but have no easy way of doing so.
“It’s funny, we actually started off with a plan for a mountain biking glove company in Toronto, than we realized we knew nothing about biking gloves,” noted Luey when reflecting back on their journey in commencing the whole idea.
The group felt as though it was an exhilarating boost to win the Monster Pitch because they have now been given $30,000 for their business as well as all advice and expertise from various industry professionals to go along with this outstanding opportunity. In terms of the competition, Luey reported that the team had minimal amounts of sleep as they were scrambling to complete things in time, while tying together all loose ends. The students noted what wonderful job Naveen Khan, President of BUEC, had done in organizing such a successful event.
Croxon said that the event was absolutely perfect and that he wouldn’t have change anything about it. The judges of the competition praised how organized it was. Sean Moffett, Leader of The Excellence Movement, was the motivational speaker at the event who talked about the importance of entrepreneurship and was a primary asset to the day. He Tweeted saying that he was amazed by Brock’s talent, recognizing the young aptitude of all who came out for the event.
The runners up of the competition were David Turk, Glyn Holmess and Andriano Cammelli who collaborated to form INDi, the future of innovative display advertising. The combination of their content management system and unique advertising opportunity provides value to retailers and brands alike and their pitch was very well put together. Congratulations to all who participated in the event. All in all the day was said to be a great success by all whom attended. 

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