This is the fourth in a series of four stories featuring the finalists of Monster Pitch, the annual student business competition hosted by the Goodman School of Business student club Brock Innovation Group. This year’s competition will be held at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre Monday, Jan. 8.
Two Brock students have created a company with the goal of making a meaningful impact in the community.
Chipewyan “Chip” McCrimmon, a fifth-year Political Science student with a minor in Business, and Marina Radovanovic, a fourth-year Business Communications student, came together to form HeroHub, a social enterprise designed to help make charitable efforts easier for individuals and non-profit organizations.
After discovering they had a mutual passion for community involvement, the pair decided to find a cause to volunteer with together. After struggling to find information online about charity events, volunteer opportunities and in-kind donations, they realized they could make an even bigger impact by solving this problem.
Armed with market research, the students have been working on their business for a year with support from BioLinc. McCrimmon was part of BioLinc’s Kick-Starting Entrepreneurship program two years ago, which taught him about what it takes to start a business and helped him build his network.
McCrimmon and Radovanovic are building a website and mobile application that will house an event calendar, opportunity board and donation tool. The central hub will help community members find a suitable charity where they can donate items or time, and to help non-profit organizations promote their events as well as volunteer and job postings.
“Our goal is that whether you have a vehicle or furniture to donate, or you have some extra time that you want to spend helping a charity, you will be able to go to HeroHub and find out how and where to do that,” said McCrimmon.
While they are starting with the Niagara community, they have dreams of scaling their venture up to make a global impact.
“Although it sounds like a cliché, we really do want to change the world,” said McCrimmon. “We want to make a big impact on our community and by helping others get involved and by helping non-profits be more efficient and find people for their opportunities, we can make a big change.”
Competing at Monster Pitch will be a dream come true for McCrimmon, who has attended the competition for the past three years.
“I remember sitting at the back of the crowd at Monster Pitch and being so impressed with everybody and thinking that I could never be on that stage,” he said. “I let my fear control me. I’ve made a lot of changes in my life and now my motto is to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Even two years ago, I never would have applied to Monster Pitch because I was afraid of talking in front of everybody, but I’ve had a lot of encouragement since then and have learned that you can’t be afraid of failure because it’s a huge part of success.”
Monster Pitch will see four short-listed student entrepreneur groups pitch their business ideas before a panel of judges for a chance to win a funding and startup services package worth $14,000.
The sold-out event is hosted by the Brock Innovation Group in partnership with the Goodman School of Business and BioLinc and is sponsored by Spark Power Corp.
The judging panel includes David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber series, and returning judges Bruce Croxon, co-host of BNN’s The Disruptors and CEO of Round 13, Deborah Rosati, corporate director and co-founder of Women Get On Board, and Jason Sparaga, co-founder and co-CEO of Spark Power Corp. and founder of Spara Capital Partners.