Western student entrepreneur awarded $5000 in pitch competition

The 2016 installment of the Seed Your Startup entrepreneurial plan and pitch competition has awarded its $5,000 top prize to Western University student entrepreneur Alan Kalbfleisch to help launch and grow his venture Pascal Press.

Hosted by Propel at Western University and LEAP Junction at Fanshawe College, Seed Your Startup is designed to help young entrepreneurs make the transition from ideas to formalized action plans and provides the opportunity to win funding.

More than 50 applications were submitted from students at both schools and the top 5 finalists had the opportunity to work closely with Propel and LEAP Junction to refine their ideas and polish their business pitches. Finalists competed in front of a panel of successful London entrepreneurs and an audience of community members.

Kalbfleisch has been working closely with Propel at Western to develop Pascal Press, an all-in-one coffee press and travel mug.

“When I first met with Propel, I had no clue what a pitch deck was or how to create a business plan,” said Alan Kalbfleisch. “With their help, I have been able to put together a pitch that is not only winning competitions but is helping me to land investors.”

Over the past five years, the competition has been won by a number of successful London entrepreneurs including: GamerLink, Illbury + Goose, GamePress and Sky Eye Media.

Seed Your Startup is a great opportunity for student entrepreneurs to experience the competitive nature of starting and operating a business,” said Ian Haase, Director of Propel. “It’s been very gratifying to see our past winners go on to achieve success in their entrepreneurial pursuits and we look forward to seeing Pascal Press do the same.”

This year’s finalists presented a wide range of business proposals, including:

  • 65 Interactive: a full-service creative studio providing top quality development
  • Coastline: a mission critical, inventory management and e-commerce platform built for commercial fishing boat operators and fisheries
  • MINGO: a drink mix that helps protect women from recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs)
  • Pascal Press: a coffee press designed for travel
  • Cultivate Compliance: a software platform that allows farmers in the greenhouse sector to streamline legislative regulatory paperwork ensuring agricultural compliance

Propel is part of the Campus-Linked Accelerator (CLA) program, an initiative of the Ontario Government and administered through the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE). Propel is partnered locally with LEAP Junction at Fanshawe College. The centre provides co-working space, mentorship, seed funding, events and acts as an advocate for local startups in the community.

Seed Your Startup 2016 was made possible with the help of community sponsors: Royal Bank of Canada, the London Economic Development Corporation, UnLondon, the Pierre L. Morrisette Institute of Entrepreneurship at Ivey and Techalliance.

MEDIA CONTACT: Michelle Stanescu, Propel, Entrepreneurship Centre at Western University, 519-661-2111, entrepreneurship@uwo.ca



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