After a very successful Pitch Perfect event, the judges selected Safiyaa Aboaen, an NC Business – Marketing student and founder of Mazaaji – an artisanal, socially conscious clothing company, to take home the grand prize which included $3,000 cash from Meridian Credit Union, a marketing services starter package from ncTakeOff, and auto-entry to compete at the 2017 Ignite pitch competition.
Held by NC’s entrepreneurship hub, ncTakeOff and Meridian Credit Union, Pitch Perfect is a business pitch competition for early-stage student-led companies.
Held April 4 at the Welland Campus, the competition was open to anyone registered as a current student at any postsecondary institution.
“I applied to Pitch Perfect because I want to share my business ideas and goals as well as learn from other competitors and grow my entrepreneurship skills” said Aboaen.
Aboaen is the successful founder of Hair by Safiya and Mazaaji. Mazaaji means “my mood” in Arabic and employs Syrian refugee artisans to create custom, made-in-Canada fashions. Hair by Safiya, her hair styling service, has been made famous by her viral videos which can be found on Instagram (@hairbysafiyaa).
Participants had the opportunity to refine their business pitch, connect with investors, and enter to win $3,000 in cash as well as in-kind business start-up services.
There were 7 different ideas pitched by teams or individual students, focusing on the importance of problem solving, sustainability and creativity (did the team or student show creative thinking or uniqueness in problem solving).The teams were judged on how they delivered their ideas, like were they professional, confident and engaging with the audience, as well as being judged on financial feasibility.
The event was judged by Keith Cumming, owner of The Primeway Group and Niagara Angel Network member, Geordan Robertson, director of Small Business at the Meridian Credit Union and Rachel Epp, president and founder of Miss’es Clean (and a proud graduate of Niagara College).