Who will be the first Canadian startup to pitch for the $1M RMB prize in the 5th OTEC competition in Beijing?

Each year, George Brown College’s Digital Media and Gaming Incubator hosts the IT’S A START Pitch Competition for emerging start-ups in Toronto, Canada.

The top 10 finalists will be invited to pitch for the grand prize at IT’S A START at Digifest on April 28.

Each finalist will have 5 minutes to pitch their business idea for the chance to win cash, incubation space, and mentorship.  The juror includes industry representatives from IT Venture Fund (Business Development Bank of Canada), Royal Bank of Canada, Angel One Network, Enterprise Toronto and George Brown College.

The top two Canadian startups who win the competition will have the opportunity to attend the international Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference 2017 (OTEC) in Beijing, China, this August. This will be the first time that Canadian startups will be represented at the event.

OTEC is a comprehensive platform serving entrepreneurs who want to start business in China. It includes global pitch competitions, innovation summit, entrepreneur training to connect founders with necessary resources, such as funding, policies, talents, partners, customers and consulting services.

This year, OTEC will be bringing together over 1000 startups from 10 countries. The top 2 startups from the IT’S A START Pitch Competition will be invited to attend OTEC in Beijing for 4 days, join a startup tour in China, get wide media coverage, receive individual reference to VC or local partner, etc.  The first place IT’S A START winner will have the opportunity to pitch for $1M RMB prize.

Key Dates

Final IT’S A START Pitch Competition:

Friday, April 28, 2017 at Corus Quay, 25 Dockside Drive, Toronto, Canada
A representative from each start-up will have 5 minutes to pitch their business idea + 2 minutes for Q&A.  Start-ups will be assessed on originality, clarity of presentation, creativity and design, feasibility, market readiness, user friendliness and probability of success.

Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference (OTEC):

August 18-19, 2017, Beijing, China
Global Final competition of 5th OTEC will be held on August 19th (flight and accommodation covered)


OTEC (Overseas Talent Entrepreneurship Conference) is a series of annual events held by Chaoyang district government in Beijing, China. It is a comprehensive platform serving entrepreneurs who want to start a business in China. It provides entrepreneurs with following resources: talents, projects, technologies, markets, capitals, policies, and services. In the past four years, 8000+ entrepreneurs, 2000+ projects and 60+ investment organizations from 19 countries and regions have participated in OTEC. More than 300 projects got funded, 150 projects have launched in Beijing and Shenzhen through OTEC.

The winner will be invited to join OTEC in Beijing during a 4-day trip, which includes:

l  Opportunities to win $1M RMB (approx. $200K CDN) equity-free grand prize
l  Flight and accommodation to Beijing
l  Startup Tour in China, which includes visit famous Chinese tech companies, incubators, VC and startups
l  Pitch at the Global Final of OTEC 2017
l  Attend OTEC summit in Beijing
l  Personal reference to potential VC, customers and partners
l  Opportunities to get up to 6 months free working space in Beijing
l  Talent/industry/financing policies consulting

The OTEC champion in 2016 was Biocellation, a synthetic biology startup, from the United States.  Startups from around the world will be represented at the event including Australia, Singapore, USA and more.

The top prize is $1M RMB (approx. $200K CDN) equity-free grand prize, flight and accommodation to Beijing.