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Pitches, partnerships and pug highlight high school competition

Local high school student with her pet pug at MHC pitch competitionentrepreneurship event
January 14, 2020

Medicine Hat College’s High School Pitch Competition on Jan. 10 was a showcase of innovative ideas, entrepreneurial talent and community partnership, with a furry, four-legged star of the show.

Thirteen teams of students from four high schools across Southeast Alberta pitched their business ventures to a panel of judges and an audience of fellow competitors at Medicine Hat College (MHC) Friday afternoon.

The event was part of MHC’s Entrepreneur Development Centre (EDC) program in partnership with Prairie Rose School Division (PRSD) and Medicine Hat Public School Division (MHPSD).

The teams competed for three awards including Student’s Choice, Best Pitch, and Entrepreneurial Spirit, along with their share of accompanying cash prizes and MHC tuition credits, proudly sponsored by the RBC Foundation.

Brynne Ellert, a student of Foremost School, founded Foothills Meats and Treats for the project. Her company produces dog treats made from grass-fed, Alberta beef sourced from the Ellert family acreage in the foothills near Pincher Creek.

Her venture was inspired by her family’s pug, Carol, who accompanied her on-stage for her pitch to the judges and undoubtedly played a part in Ellert winning the Student’s Choice Award and $200 cash voted on by her peers.

Ellert was also one of two individuals to win the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award and $500 in tuition credits to MHC. Brynlee Hollingsworth with Equine Therapy was the second recipient of this award.

Bean Town Decals came out on top of the competition, winning the Best Pitch Award and each of its five members taking home $500 cash.

Christie Wilson, entrepreneur outreach coordinator at MHC, credits community partnerships as a contributing factor to the success of the program.

“The students work so hard developing and fine-tuning their business ideas throughout the semester and it can be very nerve-wracking to get up on stage and pitch to the audience. This program and event gives students real-world experience and the opportunity to receive feedback and mentorship from industry professionals,” says Wilson.

Local high school students pitch business concept at MHC entrepreneurship event

Wilson is grateful for the RBC Foundation and MNP’s on-going support of youth entrepreneurship in our region, and looks forward to continuing to collaborate with PRSD and MHPSD through the EDC to teach entrepreneurial thinking and skillsets to young learners.

To learn more about the EDC, visit

Photos: [top] Foremost high school student Brynne Ellert, with pet pug Carol, shared her business concept for Foothills Meats and Treats. [bottom] High school pitch competitors from Prairie Rose School Division and Medicine Hat Public School Division share the stage with event judges and special guests.