Got a new business idea? Get expert advice during exC!te Week
February 06, 2015

A drawing of a lightbulb.

exC!te Week, a new event at Georgian College, offers students and local young people an opportunity to pitch their business ideas before a roundtable of faculty and community volunteers.

This is a great opportunity for young people to pitch their idea for a business, product or service to a panel of leading experts and entrepreneurs and get valuable feedback on next steps. There is no charge to take part, but pre-registration is required.

Sessions take place at the Barrie Campus on Tuesday, Feb. 10, the Midland Campus on Wednesday, Feb. 11, and the Orillia Campus on Thursday, Feb. 12.

Participants can learn how to avoid common mistakes and pitfalls while launching a new business or learn from the pros on how to pivot an existing business to achieve more success. They can also gain access to opportunities for networking, mentorship, training and education, and funding.

Everyone who pitches an idea will receive a personalized, written report from the team one week later providing suggestions, next steps and connecting them to resources that will assist in moving forward ideas and businesses.

The panel of experts brings together entrepreneurs with decades of experience.

John Pickard is Director of Georgian College’s Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre. He has broad experience developing and launching new products and business ventures in large enterprise management, start-ups and small and medium-sized businesses and has advised hundreds of would-be and emerging entrepreneurs.

Ron Neumann is a serial entrepreneur who has spent his career starting new ventures, growing companies and negotiating successful exits. Neuman was the CEO of several startup companies including Maplesoft, LivePage (acquired by Oracle), SlipStream (acquired by Blackberry) and PostRank (acquired by Google). He has also mentored more than 100 companies in his roles with Communitech Hub and Innovation Factory.

With extensive banking experience in finance, team leadership, portfolio management and debt restructuring from Toronto Dominion Bank, Sandy Robertson envisioned assisting small companies in raising funds for capital structure. His vision led to the creation of the Georgian Angel Network – a place where high- potential investment opportunities, peer-to-peer mentorship and direct referral from commercial partners takes place, while keeping a regional focus on accelerating the growth of companies in the Georgian Triangle. As founder and director for Angel Network, Robertson is responsible for recruiting investors, entrepreneurs looking for capital, and creating and maintaining strategic partnerships within and beyond the Georgian Triangle.

Marcia Woods is a seasoned marketer and entrepreneur with more than 15 years in the tech space, including a stint in the University of Waterloo’s Business Accelerator Program, at Communitech Hub where she pitched one of Canada’s biggest angel networks and at Canada 3.0. In addition to teaching in the School of Business at Georgian College, Marcia helps to market the local food system with her initiative called “ei•ei•eat”. This is her third tech startup and as she describes it, the one that counts.

exC!te Week is presented by the Bernick Centre with funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence. The Bernick Centre can provide tips for those wanting to make pitches, and is also a source of resources and services for local entrepreneurs.

For more information, visit the centre in Room E219 at the Barrie Campus at One Georgian Dr. in Barrie, send an email to hbec@georgiancollege.ca or call 705-728-1968, ext. 1149.