Pitch Gives Judges The Warm Fuzzies In Bow Valley College’s VentureQuest Competition

Calgary – Bow Valley College students Branika Flores, Maria Grandja, and Harveer Singh Sandhu took home the top prize in the 7th annual VentureQuest competition. A successful pitch for their business, Fuzzy Alpaca, earned them $10,000 in cash, business funding, and in-kind services. After receiving the highest number of votes on the Bow Valley College Facebook page, the team was one of four to advance to the final round. Fuzzy Alpaca then presented its business plan to a group of esteemed local business leaders who deemed it to be worthy of first place. 

In VentureQuest, entrepreneurial students at Bow Valley College compete for seed money, as well as support with branding and business planning. This year’s winning idea is a sustainable startup that will sell alpaca wool garments like sweaters, scarves, and ponchos. “The wool will be outsourced from farmers in Peru and the fabric from Indigenous communities in Canada,” explains winner, Harveer Singh Sandhu. The team says it took a lot of long nights and research to get to this point, but adds that it was fun. “We were able to come up with a business plan and include some social impact in it as well,” says Maria Grandja. 

Second prize went to Jonell Senia who won $5,000 in cash, funding and in-kind services for Shiftr Mobile App. It’s a job board of sorts that helps freelancers pursue their passion by offering short-term work. And the third prize of $2,500 went to Aline Nicoleli deMello and Pauline Costa. Their Brazilian BonBon pitch is to sell brigadeiros, a traditional sweet treat from Brazil. 

More than $100,000 in prizes (cash and in-kind services) has been awarded through the VentureQuest competition over the years. This year’s judges included Jeff Paddon, a partner in the Lamont Brown Group, Peggy Perry, President and CEO of Willow Park Wines & Spirits, Christy Pierce, Founder and CEO of New West Networks, and Terry Rock, President and CEO of Platform Calgary.






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