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Nineteen Budding Entrepreneurs to Make Their Pitch at Discovery 2014

TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwired) -- 05/05/14 -- Nineteen budding entrepreneurs have been selected to pitch their business ideas as part of Ontario Centres of Excellence's Discovery 2014.

The 19 are the finalists in the second edition of Young Entrepreneurs, Make Your Pitch a high school entrepreneurship competition presented by the Ministry of Economic Development Trade and Employment and Ontario Centres of Excellence as part of the $295 million Ontario Youth Jobs Strategy.

The contest invited high school students across Ontario to pitch their business idea in a two-minute video. Finalists, chosen from among 123 entries, were determined through a combination of on-line public voting and expert judges. Their companies represent a range of ideas in such sectors as technology, social innovation, services and the environment.

They will now appear in front of a judging panel in Toronto at Discovery on May 12. Six winners, to be announced at Discovery on May 13, will receive reserved entry into Ontario's Summer Company program, which includes a grant of up to $3,000 to help launch their business.

"The quality of these business proposals is a testament to the entrepreneurial spirit that is alive and well in Ontario," said Dr. Tom Corr, President and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence. "OCE is pleased to once again partner with the Government of Ontario to make this contest bigger and better than last year's."

This year's finalists are:


--  Taha Hossain, a Grade 10 student at Milliken Mills High School in
    Unionville, for Cronovo, an app development company that uses source
    codes provided by application developers. The usage of source codes
    saves time and reduces production costs drastically.

--  Caroline Li, a Grade 11 student at Bayview Secondary School in Richmond
    Hill, for SmartStudy an online platform that streamlines all aspects of
    studying, such as flashcards, quizzes, notes, and textbooks and
    centralizes them. Resources are just a few clicks away! Users access a
    wide variety of materials and everything can be shared with others, from
    fellow classmates to students in different countries to accommodate
    those in international programs. In addition, SmartStudy merges
    students' academic and social life, offering features such as chat, live
    feed, and PVP quizzes.

--  Matt Blair, a Grade 11 student at Oakridge Secondary School in London,
    for Foundation Tools, a company which offers used tools that have been
    refurbished to manufacturer's standards that can be either rented or
    bought. Foundation tools also offers to fix your broken down tools or
    equipment. What makes the company different is that they will pick up
    and drop off your equipment. It also makes donations towards Habitat for
    Humanity.

--  Katrina Kuzyk, a Grade 12 student at Grimsby Secondary School, for
    SeedSolutions which sells organic vegetable and herb seeds. It has a
    website to provide information, advice and directions on how to garden.
    The website allows you to create your own account and to program your
    cellphone to receive reminders of when to water and care for your
    plants.

--  Rabiya Siddiqui, a Grade 11 student at Sir Frederick Banting Secondary
    School in London, for Doodle School, an online community that helps
    people learn to draw through online tutorials uploaded by the community.
    An art work gallery where users can upload their own work for others to
    view and an online store where users can sell their artwork for a small
    fee will be added to the website.

--  Andrew Williams, a Grade 11 student at Sandwich Secondary School in
    LaSalle, for Poseidon Pool Care, a pool cleaning company.

--  Brendan Marentette, a Grade 11 student at A. Y. Jackson Secondary School
    in Kanata, for Auricle, a mobile application for Android and iOS that
    utilizes Google Glass and speech recognition technologies to allow a
    person who has hearing loss to understand what people around them are
    saying without the use of sign language.

--  Hayden Rasberry, a Grade 10 student at Kingston Collegiate & Vocational
    Institute, for WeDrink which offers thirsty tourists and market-goers in
    Kingston a high quality re-usable water bottle that comes with a drink
    of their choice. The best part is every time someone buys a WeDrink
    water bottle, 10 per cent of the profits will be donated to WaterCan, a
    charity that helps bring water to communities in need.

--  Kennedy Munch, a Grade 11 student at LaSalle Secondary School in
    Sudbury, for Organic, an organic health food stand for students at
    Lasalle Secondary School. This stand allows students another option
    besides cafeteria or food court unhealthy choices. All profits from the
    food stand will go towards helping to fund organized sports at the
    school.

--  Nathan Peregrine, a Grade 12 student at LaSalle Secondary School in
    Sudbury, for The Food Plan, which aims to eliminate hunger and food
    waste in Sudbury and one day all of Ontario. This will be accomplished
    by collecting left over perishable food from different dining services
    in the community then getting the food supplies to people in need
    through organizations such as the Elgin Street Mission.

--  Calin Ranger, a Grade 8 student at Ecole Secondaire Macdonald-Cartier in
    Sudbury, for BluePhone, a new technology that allows users to connect
    multiple phones to their cell phone through Bluetooth technology. This
    allows you to get rid of your home phone bill without getting rid of
    your home phone.

--  Kaleb Sauve, a Grade 11 student at LaSalle Secondary School in Sudbury,
    for Vision3D, a service for constructing and customizing spaces in a 3D
    environment that will allow customers to visualize how small or large
    renovations will appear when completed, the 3D constructions are
    formatted to be exact replicas of the property or space the customer is
    renovating.

--  Brooke McLeod, a Grade 12 student at Nipigon-Red Rock District High
    School in Red Rock, for Triple R, a company that recycles old newspapers
    from their school to make newspaper logs for fireplaces and campfires.

--  Julia Chong, a Grade 11 student at St. Joseph's Morrow Park in Toronto,
    for Park It!, an interactive parking app that plots multiple parking
    lots across the GTA to tell you what parking lots are in your area and
    how many spots are available in each lot.

--  Yosof Hakimi, a Grade 11 student at Cedarbrae Collegiate Institute in
    Toronto, for EZ Guide, an indoor GPS system that allows customers to
    easily find products in their stores. It can also be utilized by
    airports or bus terminals to help travelers easily find where they need
    to get to.

--  Radiun Huq, a Grade 11 student at North Park Secondary School in
    Brampton, for MyProject a website that allows users to connect with
    friends and follow them on their journey to accomplish pre-set goals.
    Creating a project of your own enables you to get supports to support
    your journey and motivate you to accomplish your goal.

--  Joshua Karbi, a Grade 9 student at Forest Hill Collegiate Institute in
    Toronto, for NotesShare, a website on which high school students can
    post and get classroom notes. NotesShare will help students who missed
    class, lost the notes, have notes (but those notes are insufficient),
    thought "I'll remember that" and then do not, or do not understand some
    class material and are embarrassed to ask the teacher or a friend. In
    the future, NotesShare will also have a smartphone app so that students
    can access NotesShare even on the go.

--  Vicki A. Lee, a Grade 12 student at R. H. King Academy in Toronto, for
    Herbimore, providing all-vegan homemade desserts delivered in recyclable
    containers.

--  Wendy Wei, a Grade 10 student at Centennial Collegiate & Vocational
    Institute in Guelph, for Cotton Creations which aims to connect
    communities in a way that everyone benefits by supporting local artists
    and charitable organizations through high quality apparel. A new charity
    will also be chosen each month which will receive 25 per cent of the
    profits from the clothing.

In addition to attending Discovery, finalists will attend a young entrepreneurs training boot camp and networking session at oneeleven, a big data accelerator in Toronto, on May 11.

The pitches are open and will take place at OCE's Discovery on May 12 from 4-6 p.m. in the NEXT Theatre on the Discovery show floor. The judging panel consists of Alex Levy, CEO & Lead Designer, MyVoice Inc., Katherine Hague, Co-Founder, ShopLocket,Ella Mar, Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Invest Ottawa, Bilal Khan, Managing Director, oneeleven and Donovan Dill, Manager, YES Entrepreneurial Programs.

Named Canada's Best Trade Show 2010 and 2011 and now in its ninth year, OCE's Discovery is Canada's premier innovation showcase. It brings together the best and brightest minds in industry, academia, investment and government to showcase leading-edge technologies, best practices and research in the areas of energy, the environment, advanced health, digital media, information and communication technologies and advanced manufacturing. The annual conference and showcase attracts more than 2,500 attendees and 350 exhibitors to the 200,000-square-foot show floor.

For more on Discovery, visit www.ocediscovery.com

About Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Inc.

Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) drives the commercialization of cutting-edge research across key market sectors to build the economy of tomorrow and secure Ontario's global competitiveness. In doing this, OCE fosters the training and development of the next generation of innovators and entrepreneurs and is a key partner with Ontario's industry, universities, colleges, research hospitals, investors and government ministries. A champion of leading-edge technologies, best practices and research, OCE invests in sectors such as advanced health, information and communications technology, digital media, advanced materials and manufacturing, agri-food, aerospace, transportation, energy, and the environment including water and mining. OCE is a key partner in delivering Ontario's Innovation Agenda as a member of the province's Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs (ONE). Funded by the Government of Ontario, the ONE is made up of regional and sector-focused organizations and helps Ontario-based entrepreneurs and industry rapidly grow their company and create jobs. For more information visit www.onebusiness.ca

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