By Jamillah Lodge, Business Development Officer for BEDC and GEW Host Committee member

What does a budding entrepreneur do when they have a great idea, but no capital to get their idea started?  They enter the annual Global Entrepreneurship Week Rocket Pitch Competition.

The results are wonderful opportunities for visitors to further enjoy Bermudian home-grown experiences such as those presented by the 2014 winners; Marcus Wade of Wade’s Garden Foods, providing an Aeroponic solution to an ageing farming population; Kallie Marcus of Kiniteix Natural Movement which uses specialized Sup Yoga to entices visitors to experience Bermuda’s aquatic word through yoga on paddleboards and Jonathan Starling of Freedom Pass, which could give visitors the freedom to travel locally on all transportation using a digitized swipe card.

The Rocket Pitch Competition was launched by the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation in 2008 as part of the GEW Bermuda. This is a weeklong celebration to inspire, mentor and engage the public around all things entrepreneurial. The Island-wide business plan competition provides an opportunity for inspired entrepreneurs to present their idea and potentially win some startup funding. Over the past seven years, fifteen entrepreneurs have received cash awards that have gone towards starting their business.

The concept of the Rocket Pitch presentation is simple, a presenter has seven minutes to present their idea to potential investors and then respond to their questions. The pitch needs to be clear, straight forward and not overly technical. The winners of past competitions have won cash awards ranging from $1,500 to $5,000. Last year, thanks to the support of PwC Bermuda, the Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Department of Ecommerce, winners received a total of $5,000 in cash and startup services.

In addition to cash awards, each of last year’s winners received at least $1,000 in support services to help their businesses get started.  Local businesses advisors include: Dragon Fly Ink Business Services, Amicus Law Group, Global Research, Deep Blue Communications, SociaLee Consulting, Into Bermuda donate services that ranged from business management to social media consulting. 

Said Kallie Marcus of her first place finish; “This experience has been life changing for me.  It has given me the opportunity to turn my dream into reality.”

The Rocket Pitch competition has become an event that budding entrepreneurs look forward to every year and it is a great example of what can be achieved through the successful partnership of public and private enterprises.

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