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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
December 4, 2016
Canadian Excellence

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Laurier business students pitch to win

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Mar 7/13| For Immediate Release


Megan Harris, Manager, Marketing Communications
Laurier School of Business & Economics (SBE)
519-884-0710 ext. 2948 or


Kevin Crowley, Director, Communications & Public Affairs
Wilfrid Laurier University
519-884-0710 ext. 3070 or

WATERLOO – Laurier’s first-year business students will have the opportunity to pitch their new venture ideas Friday, March 8 as part of Laurier’s PepsiCo Pitch Competition. Twelve finalists from an original group of 1200 students will take the stage in front of a professional panel of experts.

The competition is sponsored by PepsiCo Canada and David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber and a member of CBC’s Dragon’s Den. Chilton, who graduated from Laurier with a degree in economics in 1992, will review the finalists’ submissions.

The panel of judges include Michael Pavan, general manager and vice president, Ontario area sales, PepsiCo Foods Canada; Ryan Brez (BBA`04), senior national accounts manager, PepsiCo Beverages Canada; Kevin Crone, managing partner, Dale Carnegie; Tina Venema, founder and chief executive officer, Philanthrokids, and Greg Overholt (BBA`08), founder, Students Offering Support.

“We are thrilled with the caliber of the students’ pitches and the entrepreneurial enthusiasm they have for it,” said Laura Allan, School of Business & Economics assistant professor and coordinator of the New Venture and PepsiCo Pitch Competitions. “The competition is a great opportunity for our students; pitching is a vital skill they will use throughout their careers.”

All first year students are required to develop an ‘elevator’ pitch for their new venture ideas as a lead-in to the year-end New Venture Competition. Eighty-four students were selected to move on to this prestigious PepsiCo Pitch Competition. The competition, developed by Allan in 2010, builds more soft-skill development into the business curriculum to introduce students to the 'art of the pitch' early in their first year.

All 12 finalists will receive cash scholarships and the top three students receive guaranteed summer or co-op interviews with PespsiCo.

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