Press releases

Applications are Now Open for Pitch IT! 2023 Trent and Fleming students to compete for entrepreneurial glory and cash prizes

September 11, 2023 – PETERBOROUGH, ON – Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (“Innovation Cluster”) are thrilled to announce that applications are now open for the Pitch IT! 2023. This exciting student entrepreneurial competition will take place on Thursday, October 19th, 2023.

Hosted by Slingshot, the student’s path to innovative entrepreneurship, Pitch IT! offers Trent University and Fleming College students the opportunity to pitch their groundbreaking business ideas to a panel of influential investors and community leaders. Winners will receive a $1,000 prize (1st place), a $500 prize (runner-up), and extensive exposure for their business idea.

Pitch IT! is more than just a competition; it’s a pathway to success. All participants will engage in a workshop to sharpen their business pitch skills and network with business professionals, investors, and fellow entrepreneurs.

Last year’s Pitch IT! winner, Trent Business student Safiya Khaki, impressed the judges with her innovative business idea, BioStraw, a creator of plant-based fiber beverage straws. Her victory in the competition was more than just a triumph; it was a launchpad for her entrepreneurial journey. In Safiya’s words, “Winning Pitch IT! has been a turning point for me. The connections, mentorship, and exposure I gained have been crucial in transforming my startup. It’s not just about the prize; it’s about the vibrant community that continues to keep me motivated and growing.”

Slingshot, powered by the Innovation Cluster, is a FREE student entrepreneurship pathway designed to enhance entrepreneurial skills and launch ideas into successful ventures. From unique workshops to networking events, boot camps, and pitch contests, Slingshot provides the tools needed to climb the path of entrepreneurship.

Slingshot Program Coordinator Nonnie Dube stated: “The Pitch IT! Competition is an essential part of our Slingshot program. We are seeking students with innovative ideas and a passion for entrepreneurship. This competition is a stepping stone towards building successful entrepreneurs in our community.”


Applications close on September 25th at 11:59 p.m. 

Accepted applicants will be announced on September 29th.


About the Innovation Cluster 

Innovation Cluster Peterborough and the Kawarthas (ICPK) is a non-profit organization that supports entrepreneurs to launch, grow and scale their businesses. They help entrepreneurs reach their business goals so that our local community, job market, and economy continue to grow.

The ICPK supports startup businesses by providing dynamic programming, mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities to entrepreneurs through three core programs.

STARTUP INCUBATOR – a full-service Startup Incubator Program

STARTup Visa Program Canada – an Immigrant Entrepreneurship Program

Slingshot – Student Entrepreneurship Program

The Innovation Cluster operates across multiple locations, one of which includes LAUNCH Kawartha, a dedicated space for incubation programming situated in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes. For additional information, please visit

Core Funding is provided by The City of Peterborough, Trent University, Fleming College, The City of Kawartha Lakes, OMAFRA, Feddev Ontario, and Franklin Empire. 


Media Contact

Innovation Cluster

Camila Duarte

Executive Director

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