FoodFund takes home Telus Pitch’s $100,000 grand prize

The winners of Telus Pitch, the Canadian carrier’s small business competition, have been announced at an event in Toronto, with FoodFund taking home the top honour.

While the grand prize winner was awarded $100,000 CAD, a sum of money Telus describes as “the largest payout from a Canadian small business competition,” $10,000 was also donated to the carrier’s Friendly Future Foundation on behalf of the winner.

Moreover, the contest’s four contestants, including Creation Crate, Goldilocks Sustainable Goods, HigherEdPoints and Instage, walked away with $10,000 each.

  • Creation Crate’s founder Chris Gatbonton described the company as the “Netflix of Education.” The startup aims to modernize electronics-focused education through a subscription box model.
  • FoodFund aims to reuse the massive amount of food that goes to waste in Canada. The Shopify-powered startup connects imperfect and damaged produce from farms and distributors to households that are part of the platform’s community.
  • Imran Mouna’s Instage aims to offer virtual training simulations that help users improve and become more comfortable with public speaking. The startup’s current customers feature a number of universities including The University of Toronto and the Schulich School of Business, as well as large companies like RBC, Scotiabank, Sunlife Financial and more.
  • Goldilocks’, Amy Hall’s company offers food wrap constructed of beeswax, which aims to reduce the amount of waste people produce. The $30 set of beeswax wraps are available at 70 retailers across the U.S. and Canada.
  • HigherEdPoints allows people to use a wide variety of loyalty points to pay for post-secondary education. Suzanne Tyson, the company’s founder, explained that the company utilizes the 16 billion points sitting in Canadian’s wallets in order to turn them into funding for education.

Telus Pitch’s judges include the following: Arlene Dickinson, CEO of District Ventures Capital, Suzanne Trusdale, the vice president of Telus’ small business solutions, Jennifer Safruk, the vice president of sales and product management at Samsung Canada, Kevin Au-Yeung, the founder and president of InnoVision Holdings Corporation, Garrick Tiplady, the managing director of Facebook Canada and Roi Ross, the vice president of Telus small business solutions.

The event recently expanded from three finalists to a total of five. This is the eighth year of Telus’ small business pitch contest.