ANNOUNCEMENTS

GEW Partner Spotlight: Market Grade Ltd

Written By: Market Grade Ltd.

The Hunter Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Haskayne School of Business – University of Calgary is hosting several events during Global Entrepreneurship Week from November 14-19, 2016. In the spirit of Global Entrepreneurship Week, we are hosting a Pitch Clinic sponsored by the Hunter Centre in partnership with Market Grade to end the week with a bang!

Want to learn what makes a good business pitch and how to structure it? Learn the basics, build your pitch, meet with our mentors and practice your skills.

Finalists will be selected by mentors to compete in a Pitch Off for up to $10,000 of in- kind prizes including consultations from Bennett Jones, Market Grade & PwC Canada, co-working space at The Collective 12|12, invitation to ATB BoostR’s crowdfunding platform and entrance into ATB X accelerator program.

Why Market Grade gets involved with GEW:

Social responsibility is a core part of Market Grade’s foundation.  In order to give back to our community, we foster and enhance partnerships with those around us to help make our community better, stronger, and a more vibrant place in which to live, work and do business. We focus on supporting causes that are meaningful to us such as education, health and wellness, and social entrepreneurship, that also allow us to make a significant contribution in those markets.

Alberta, in particular, is well known for its entrepreneurial spirit, but a key difference that makes Alberta stand out is the "can do" attitude of our business community. Generally speaking, Albertans are friendly, approachable, and genuinely willing to help bring an idea to fruition. Right now is the best time to seize the opportunity and enter the marketplace to start an innovative company; today, it costs only 20% of what it would have cost five years ago to get a product to market. Concepts such as crowdfunding has democratized access to capital, consequently lowering barriers for anyone to start a business and innovate.

Before any idea can become successful, it must first be heard and this is where the Pitch Clinic comes in. How you tell the story determines who will listen. What makes a vision believable is the storyteller who paints a picture of possibilities. Make the story visual, compelling, and worth hearing. Your audience will listen. Better yet, they’ll engage.  To this end, Market Grade has been involved with multiple pitch competitions in the past given our unique position as an interdisciplinary consultancy group. We've brought together thinkers, problem-solvers, and architects of the user experience; those who understand the business of design, marketing, and branding to take a creative, strategic, and people-centric approach to connect companies with communities.

Most recently, Market Grade was approached to organize a pitch competition to help people learn how to effectively convey and pitch their idea while serving on W21C’s Global Healthcare Innovation Academy organizing committee. We took it upon ourselves to facilitate the workshop as Kris Hans, one of Market Grade’s Lead Strategists and Co- Founders, has taught entrepreneurship, marketing, strategic planning, business management, and communication at Mount Royal University and the University of Calgary.

Market Grade also previously sponsored the RBC Fast Pitch Competition at the U of C Haskayne School of Business. Given our past involvement with pitch workshops, the Hunter Centre reached out to Market Grade to facilitate a workshop during Global Entrepreneurship Week.

“Pitch Clinic” has developed from a passion project into a sustainable social initiative – it began as a workshop and has grown into a recurring mini-competition event through a series of partnerships with ATB Financial, Bennett Jones, Market Grade and PwC Canada.

What’s next?

It’s important to support and celebrate initiatives such as Global Entrepreneurship Week in order to sustain our city, province and country in the long-term – it helps showcase the fact that our entire community must live in a constant state of inventiveness. Vision is our most sustainable advantage. Building a culture of ideas that may seem radical gives us the clarity to act and the passion to weather downturns.  By participating in such community and partnership-building events such as Global Entrepreneurship Week, we can help people see the end state by making the vision visual, compelling and worth hearing.

Accordingly, Market Grade is working with business and community leaders to develop the C4 (Calgary Centre for Creative Convergence) innovation hub. C4 is an innovative initiative that will form a center of creative social and cultural enterprise in the heart of downtown Calgary. As a unique collection of partnerships that includes a range of local nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and businesses, C4 will be built from the ground up to serve and exemplify diverse creative interests and assist in drawing meaningful connections between them. C4 provides a distinctive and central location to bring together imaginative people who work at the intersection of business, arts, entertainment, finance, technology, fashion, design and social engagement. Building upon the foundation of tremendous community investment, C4 will preserve this space on Calgary’s historic Stephen Avenue at the crossroads of the city’s creative past, present and future to serve as a hub for innovation. Market Grade is excited to be a part of such an initiative.

About Market Grade:
Market Grade is committed to designing, building, and branding to show the world your vision and your solutions. Kris Hans is a Co-Founder and Lead Strategist of Market Grade. He is a true social entrepreneur and an idea-generator that assists in turning your dreams into reality. In keeping with the value Market Grade places on civic engagement, Kris is an avid participant in the social and cultural life of his community. He has ensured from an early age that he undertakes diverse roles and responsibilities to serve Calgary’s many various enterprises. Currently, Kris teaches Business Management, Strategic Planning and Economics for Business at the University of Calgary and Business Communications at Mount Royal University and has taught Entrepreneurship and Marketing in the past.

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