Monster Pitch: Student innovators set to share business ideas

Four teams of Brock University students will present their business ideas to an all-star panel of judges Friday, March 1 as the Goodman School of Business Monster Pitch event returns for its eighth year.

Inspired by the hit TV show Dragons’ Den, Monster Pitch is hosted by student club Brock Innovation Group in partnership with the Goodman School of Business and Goodman Group Venture Development (formerly BioLinc) and is sponsored by Spark Power Corp.

Teams will compete for a prize pack of cash and startup support services valued at $14,000. While the judges deliberate, audience members will also have an opportunity to question the teams and vote for a fan favourite, which will receive an additional cash prize.

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 & CEO, Women Get On Board; and Jason Sparaga, co-founder and co-CEO of Spark Power Corp. and founder of Spara Capital Partners.

The competition starts at 1 p.m. on Friday, March 1 in the atrium of the Goodman School of Business building and tickets for the event are sold out.

Below is the first 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 Friday, March 1.

Monster Pitch finalist: AutoPhill

Four Goodman School of Business students have a lofty goal: to revolutionize the way prescriptions are dispensed in Canadian pharmacies.

The team consisting of Eiraj Ali, Julian Konigseder, Katelyn Ourednik and Hiba Tahir has created AutoPhill, a company that aims to increase automation in pharmacies to save time and reduce the chance of human error, which can have serious implications on patient health.

The three-part automated system involves a kiosk that collects prescription information and payment from the customer and a separate machine with proprietary software that automatically fills the prescription once it’s been approved by a pharmacist.

“Not only does it save time for the pharmacist, it saves a lot of manpower, reduces human error and it’s time saving for consumers,” Ali said.

Many pharmacies already use automatic pill dispensers, but human error can occur if the pill isn’t the right dosage or the medication is incorrect. AutoPhill’s system works off individual barcodes ensuring each medication and dosage is correct when dispensing.

The group came together and initially pitched the idea for AutoPhill at the November kick-off weekend for Goodman Group Venture Development. Their idea earned them first place at the pitch competition and the team has been using that momentum to move forward with the idea ever since.

Through the Venture Development office, the team received access to mentors and has been able to meet with drugstore franchise owners to gain their insight and support for the product.

Ali and Tahir will take the stage at Monster Pitch on Friday, March 1 on behalf of their team and are ready to share their research and enthusiasm with the competition’s judges.

“I’m excited for Monster Pitch because I think this idea is really needed,” Tahir said. “Things in Canada in the pharmaceutical industry haven’t changed in years. As a country we are headed towards automation and the use of artificial intelligence; our product fits with that.”

Entering an industry full of complex regulatory approvals doesn’t intimidate the team of young entrepreneurs.

“There’s red tape everywhere,” Ali said. “Either we introduce this product or someone else will.”

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