April 16, 2015 – Calgary Can, represented by Kate Letizia, came out on top of 12 finalists in the third annual Social Venture Partners Fast Pitch final, today at the Wright Theatre at Mount Royal University.
“It feels actually unbelievable. The competition was so fierce and stiff and everyone was supporting each other so much it was hard to imagine one winner,” remarked Kate whose nonprofit would like to spend the money on a mobile collection site for bottle pickers. “We have a number of ideas of how we can best work with the bottle picking community to improve their working conditions and perhaps help them make a bit more money.”
Calgary Can envisions a city where the informal recycling (i.e. bottle picking) population is valued and compensated for their environmental and economic contributions. They work with and for the bottle picking community, consciously involving them in program planning and design.
Other organizations were rewarded for their pitches as well. The runner up, Give a Mile, provides travel points for those in need of visiting a terminally ill or critically sick loved one. Little Hippies Yoga took home the audience choice award and the innovation award. They aim to provide free yoga to kids regardless of their age ability or circumstance. Hearts and Hammers took home the coaches choice award and provides home renovations for people with mobility challenges.
Each nonprofit presented their “Dragon’s Den”-style pitch to a panel of celebrity judges for a chance to win $25,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. An initial group of 22 nonprofit organizations underwent eight weeks of coaching by 52 volunteers from a variety of sectors, creating partnerships that benefit nonprofits and allow the volunteers to give back in the community.
An enthusiastic and supportive audience of 260 people was on hand as each finalist delivered a 3-minute pitch about an innovative project that will have a positive impact on Calgary. This year’s panel of judges included Kara Lilly, Investment Strategist at Mawer, Mike Morrison, writer of the well-known Mike’s Bloggity Blog, and Ken Lima-Coelho, VP Marketing and Communications at the YMCA Calgary.
At the end of the evening the founding sponsor, the Imperial Oil Foundation provided each finalist with a cheque for $1000.
The very entertaining and hilarious MCs for the night had the audience busting a gut. They were Renee Amber, improviser at the Loose Moose Theatre and Andrew Phung, the winner of the inaugural Fast Pitch event with Youth Central.
Congratulations to all the Finalists:
Antyx Community Arts Society, Calgary Can, Calgary Wildlife Rehabilitation Society, CanLearn Society, Give a Mile, Hearts and Hammers Society, Knight’s Cabin, Little Hippies Yoga, MPact Movement, Peer Support Services for Abused Women, Servant’s Anonymous Society, WP Puppet Theatre
Social Venture Partners Calgary
Follow Social Venture Partners Calgary Fast Pitch:
Fast Pitch event: www.fastpitchcalgary.com
Twitter: @SVPCalgary, # fastpitchyyc
Web: SVP http://www.socialventurepartners.org/calgary/