The Great Idea Pitch
It was the first-time, but not the last, that pushing our Mitacs Elevate fellows outside their comfort zones proved to be nerve-wracking, yet ultimately beneficial. With the TV program Dragon’s Den in mind, “the Great Idea Pitch” event gave 20 Elevate Fellows the chance to pitch their research to industry experts. The objective was to give the Fellows practice in communicating the industry-applicability of their research to companies in their sector and demonstrating its value to the organizations’ bottom lines. Broken up into four sessions covering topics of Health/Biotech, Green Technology/Commercialization, Information and Communication Technology and New & Emerging Sectors, each Elevate Fellow had five minutes to wow the panel of judges. The “dragons” brought an impressive array of industry expertise which provided the presenters constructive feedback for the future.
Mitacs Elevate fellow, Armin Eilaghi said, “I was intimidated at first… how could I get across a project I have been working on for years in just 5 minutes? Now, after actually getting up and pitching, I’ve learned what I should focus on for next time to make stronger industry connections.”
Fellow Trevor Wade chimed in, “Now that I know what to expect, I’ll be better prepared to present my research less as data and more as accessible, engaging material.”
The Mitacs Elevate program provides a foundation of cutting-edge research, business, entrepreneurship and scientific management skills to newly-minted PhDs. It also gives companies access to a highly qualified uniquely trained pool of talent. The Great Idea Pitch event is just one of the innovative ways the program prepares the fellows for success.
After the hot-seat sessions, the reception was brimming with enthusiasm, as well as some signs of relief. The Mitacs Elevate Fellows walked away with more confidence as well as a fresh look at how to get their research ready for the limelight.