Local Business

Rocket Pitch launches youth category

  • Winners' circle: last year's successful entracts in the Rocket Pitch competition are honoured

The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation’s Rocket Pitch competition is to be expanded to include a YouthPitch section aimed at students aged twelve to eighteen.

Rocket Pitch, sponsored by the Department of ICT Policy and Innovation, the BEDC and Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative of Bermuda, is being run for the tenth year as part of the upcoming Global Entrepreneurship Week (November 13 to 20). The competition offers a prize package worth $25,000.

The competition is open to all entrepreneurs with business ideas. Participants will have five minutes to present a “Rocket Pitch” about their new business idea or a business idea that has been launched within a year. To download Pitch Kit, go to www.bedc.bm.

This year marks the addition of the YouthPitch category to the other four categories: PitchGreen (“green” industry), PitchPink (tourism/hospitality product or service), PitchTech (innovative technology or e-business idea); or PitchTown (new business with a focus on local customers).

The competition launched last Friday and will run until Tuesday, October 31. The YouthPitch participants will have a chance to pitch in a public preliminary session on Thursday November 9. Following preliminary presentations the Rocket Pitch committee will invite the top two participants in each category to pitch publicly during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW) on Thursday, November 16 at XL Catlin.

Jamahl Simmons, Minister of Economic Development, said: “For ten years this competition has supported and encouraged innovation and new ideas.”

Growing entrepreneurship among Bermudians and encouraging initiatives like the Rocket Pitch contributed “to the development of a healthy and vibrant local economy”, Mr Simmons added.

Erica Smith, BEDC executive director, said: “To date and on this ten-year anniversary of GEW we are pleased that this competition has been responsible for over 20 businesses being formed and we are confident that the addition of the Youth Pitch category will ensure that local innovation will be nurtured for years to come.”

Joe Mahoney, executive director of the Youth Entrepreneurship Initiative, said: “As is evident in our annual Biz Camps there is indeed cause for younger Bermudians to have the support they need to advance their business ideas and we are pleased to join BEDC in enabling them on this journey.”

The participants chosen number one and two in each category by our panel of judges will receive a share of the $25,000 prize package which includes a combination of start-up funds and business start-up services. Winners will be chosen on Thursday, November 16 at the Rocket Pitch finals.

Submissions are due by 5pm on, Tuesday, October 31, 2017 and may be e-mailed directly to jlodge@bedc.bm. Presentations are to follow a specific format, and so to provide further support to participants, BEDC has uploaded a tutorial to its website www.bedc.bm on how to develop a Rocket Pitch.

For information about Rocket Pitch, the public can e-mail Jamillah Lodge at the BEDC at jlodge@bedc.bm, call 292-5570 or visit the BEDC website, www.bedc.bm