UFA is pleased to announce that Olds College students Abbey Taylor, Jasmine Bartelen, Lauren McKamey, Julie Cobb and Styn Nieuwenhuis, and have been named as semi-finalists in the third annual UFA Student Pitch Competition with Olds College.
As part of their entry into the competition, students were asked to submit a business model canvas and pitch deck presenting an innovative ag idea. The five semi-finalists will move forward to the final UFA Student Pitch Competition set to take place virtually on March 23, 2022. Each student will receive a $500 UFA reward and are matched with a mentor to help build out their business models for the big day.
The pitch competition is a Dragon’s Den style competition where each student is given an opportunity to pitch their business model to a panel of judges. The winning pitch may have the opportunity to receive financial support to commercialize their idea or product with UFA.
In October of 2018, UFA announced a five-year, $500,000 commitment to Olds College to support its focus on agriculture innovation and technology. UFA Innovation Day and the UFA Student Pitch Competition are elements of the partnership, which also includes funding the Olds College Smart Farm and the UFA Innovation Lab.
“Our partnership with Olds College brings together two long-standing advocates with rich agricultural history. Both of our organizations believe strongly in the power of innovation and collaboration. We know that some of most innovative ideas come from post-secondary students and we are proud to host this unique opportunity and the promise it holds for Alberta’s agriculture industry. We look forward to continuing to support the future leaders in agriculture and we are excited to hear the semi-finalists pitch their ideas in March,” says UFA President and CEO, Scott Bolton.
"We're excited to continue our partnership with UFA for the annual Student Pitch Competition. This event offers our students such a great opportunity to develop innovative ideas which can solve issues facing the agriculture industry," comments Stuart Cullum, President, Olds College. "Every year I'm impressed with the innovation and entrepreneurial spirit our students at Olds College showcase, and I look forward to the bright ideas from our semi-finalists this year. I would also like to thank UFA for their commitment to investing in the future of agriculture innovation and education.”
In 2020, Kadeema Jean won the competition with her pitch for DomCan Biodegradables. Since winning the competition, Kadeema has completed her Bachelor of Applied Science in Agribusiness at Olds College and today she is employed as a business analyst with UFA while working towards further developing her company. She says her experience has opened many doors in the ag industry and at UFA. “Since winning the competition, I have been exposed to many opportunities which further enhanced my skills and knowledge within the agricultural industry in Alberta and general,” says Jean. “I was fortunate to be enrolled in the internship program which led me to transition to a new department where I currently apply what I've learned.”
Congratulations to the semi-finalists for being selected to move forward in the UFA Student Pitch Competition! The winner of the 2022 UFA Student Pitch Competition will be announced on March 23, 2022!
For more information on the event or how to get involved, please visit https://www.oldscollege.ca.