This is the second 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 in the Goodman atrium on Friday, March 1.
Ahmad and Hamza Pasha want to revolutionize the second-hand shopping experience.
The twin brothers from Mississauga are in their second year of studies at the Goodman School of Business and are in the process of building their company, Brand Me Down. The app they are developing allows people to shop second-hand from the convenience of their smartphone.
“Brand Me Down takes the concept of thrift and second-hand shopping and makes the process completely online,” Hamza said. “The reason we want to do this is to change the way consumers think about shopping, especially within the fashion industry.”
The Pashas moved to Canada from Pakistan as young children and growing up, name brand clothing wasn’t always an option for them.
“We know what it’s like to not be able to get the kind of clothing you want at a price that you can afford,” Ahmad said. “We wanted to make it better and provide equal opportunities for people who might not be able to purchase clothing that’s in and stylish.”
The app will focus on selling branded men’s and women’s clothing, and each customer’s shopping experience will be customized based on their preferences.
While their sales model differs from traditional thrift shops, their plan is to source their products the same way. Brand Me Down plans to partner with a charity donation service and purchase the donations from them. Any clothing that isn’t selected to be sold by the app will be donated to people in need.
The pair initially developed the idea for Brand Me Down at the November kick-off weekend for Goodman Group Venture Development (formerly BioLinc). Since then, they’ve been building on the idea and fine-tuning their pitch. They placed third at DECA U’s SEED competition in January and also pitched at the Aspire Challenge in Toronto.
After each competition, they’ve used judge feedback to continue to refine their business idea and presentation. As Monster Pitch approaches, the brothers hope their presentation style will help them stand out.
“When we pitch, we want to make people smile,” said Ahmad. “We want to make them laugh while still getting our business across; it just makes it more enjoyable for everyone.”
The sold-out event is hosted by Brock Innovation Group in partnership with the Goodman School of Business and Goodman Group Venture Development and is sponsored by Spark Power Corp.
This year’s judging panel includes: Bruce Croxon, co-host BNN’s The Disruptors and CEO of Round 13; Allie Hughes, CEO and Founder of marketing agency H&C Inc.; Deborah Rosati, Corporate Director and Founder and CEO, Women Get On Board; and Jason Sparaga, co-founder and co-CEO of Spark Power Corp. and founder of Spara Capital Partners.