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Solutions for warehouses and sorting chicks win top awards at 2023 RBC Student Pitch Competition

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on May 2, 2023

Category: UNB Fredericton

The University of New Brunswick’s (UNB) J Herbert Smith Centre for Technology Management & Entrepreneurship has announced the winners of its 17th annual RBC Student Pitch Competition, which took place on Apr. 4. After taking place virtually for the past three years, this year’s competition was hosted in person at the Wu Conference Centre.

During the event, the top 16 finalists had three minutes to present their unaided pitch to a panel of judges. Participants applied to compete in one of two categories: “Ideas” for newly formed concepts and “Growth” for early-stage entrepreneurs interested in growing their businesses. Winners were selected based on their idea, presentation, enthusiasm and effectiveness of pitch and the level of engagement during both the pitch and question-and-answer period.

The centre awarded 11 prizes valued at $8,850. Logan Davidson, Ryan Whitney, Frederik Pare and Kez Dorji won first place in the Ideas category, the Harold H. Bulmer Memorial award, with Chick Pick, an automated solution to sorting baby chicks. Dhruv Patel won first place in the Growth category with Rodeska Robotics, an autonomous mobile robot for warehouses. Both awards included a $1,250 cash prize.

“Winning first place in the Growth category at the RBC Student Pitch Competition organized by JHSC is a dream come true,” said Patel, the founder of Rodeska Robotics. “This award means a lot to me, as it not only recognizes my hard work and dedication but also validates the potential of my business idea.”

“Winning this award has validated our hard work and serves as a motivator to continue pursuing our goals,” said Whitney from Chick Pick.

The complete list of award winners

  • Growth Category - First Place: Rodeska Robotics
  • Growth Category - Second Place: Izzat Group
  • Growth Category - Third Place: Yana
  • Ideas Category - First Place: Chick Pick
  • Ideas Category - Second Place: The Hive
  • Ideas Category - Third Place: Uni-Check
  • Technical Innovation Award: DegSafe
  • Communication Award: Ari’s Nightclub
  • Innovation Award: Goose Golf
  • Impact Award: Altitude Bio-Coffee
  • Social Innovation Award: Vision B

“Each student today was a winner just by presenting and sharing their businesses and ideas,” said Dhirendra Shukla, chair at the J Herbert Smith Centre. “It’s incredibly inspiring to witness the passion and problem-solving in the room today. Our region, province and country will grow because of passionate changemakers like we saw today; listening to all of them makes me excited for our future.”

As part of the event, the J Herbert Smith Centre also took the opportunity to present community awards, recognizing leaders within the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Troy Kearns, an instructor at the J Herbert Smith Centre and head of Siemens PTI Consulting, received the Teaching Excellence Award for his many contributions to the academic programs offered through the centre.

Kumaran Thillainadarajah, co-founder and CTO of SmartSkin Technologies, won Entrepreneur of the Year and Aritra De, a software engineering and Diploma in Technology Management and Entrepreneurship student, won the Student Leadership Award.