All Fast Pitch 2017 participants on stage at Telus Spark.
November 3, 2017 – After an intense night of pitches, deliberations, voting (and lots of snow) at Social Venture Partners Calgary (SVPC) Fast Pitch finals, Lourdes Juan, Founder of the Leftovers Foundation was awarded the Judge’s Choice prize for the most compelling three-minute pitch.
“The competition was of a very high calibre tonight—it was obvious the finalists had put in many hours of practice. As judges we had an incredibly difficult decision, and we had to remind ourselves to focus solely on the pitch, rather than the organization as a whole and their social impact,” said judge Brad Zumwalt, co-founder of SVP Calgary. “Ultimately, we loved the passion and innovation in Lourdes’ pitch and the impact on our city.”
The Leftovers Foundation is a non-profit founded in Calgary that reduces wasted food and ensures people in need receive good, perishable food. The volunteer-run organization coordinates delivering 4,000 lbs of surplus food in Calgary and Edmonton each week, from participating vendors to social agencies. The $12,000 cash prize which will be used to help develop and fund a smartphone app to help seamlessly connect volunteers and agencies.
The Judge’s Second place prize went to Janica Fisher, Founder and Executive Director of Humanity in Practice. They received a $5,000 cheque to help expand programs to create meaningful ways for children to give back to our community.
The 400 guests in attendance also had the chance to vote and Jeff Gray, Executive Director of Cornerstone Youth Centre, was selected as the top Audience Choice, due to his passionate and compelling personal story of being a homeless youth. Cornerstone received $5,000 to focus on programming in their brand new facility.
John Yannitsos, Executive Director of Bow Cliff Seniors, was the winner of the Coaches Choice Award, which comes with a $4,000 cheque to his organization. The 36 Fast Pitch coaches voted based on commitment to and growth throughout the program. Though Yannitsos did not advance through to the finals, he showed incredible dedication and a well-developed pitch.
None of the finalists went home empty handed. For the fifth year in a row, Imperial was the Presenting Sponsor of the Fast Pitch program. In addition to their generous sponsorship, Theresa Redburn, Senior Vice President, Commercial & Corporate Development, closed out the evening by presenting each finalist with a cheque for $1,000 for their organization.
The panel of local celebrity judges included Brad Zumwalt; a 30-year veteran of the technology industry, and co-founder of SVP Calgary; Anila Lee Yuen, CEO of the Centre for Newcomers and one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40; and Susan Veres, Senior Vice-President of the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation (CMLC), which is responsible for the re-development of Calgary’s East Village.
Social Venture Partners Calgary recognizes that this program would not be possible without the non-profit participants who put their heart, time and energy into crafting and perfecting their pitches. SVPC wishes to thank each of the participating organizations:
Bow Cliff Seniors; John Yannitsos (Semi-finalist)
Cornerstone Youth; Jeff Gray (Finalist)
Cowtown Opera Society; Lauren Woods (Finalist)
CUPS (Calgary Urban Project Society); Mina Demian (Semi-finalist)
Discovery House; Monique Auffrey (Finalist)
Dress for Success Calgary; Shilpa Sharma (Finalist)
Happy Birthday Project; Allyson Palaschuk (Semi-finalist)
Humanity in Practice; Janica Fisher (Finalist)
Independent Living Resource Centre of Calgary; Matthew Hagel (Semi-Finalist)
Leftovers Foundation; Lourdes Juan (Finalist)
Let’s Talk Science; Reem Ghaleb (Semi-finalist)
Next Gen Men; Jake Stika (Semi-finalist)
Norfolk Housing Association; Maya Kambeitz (Finalist)
Quest Theatre; Nikki Loach (Finalist)
SEEDS Connections; Corinne Craig (Semi-finalist)
Selfling; James Higgins (Semi-finalist)
Social Venture Partners Calgary (Josephine Tsang)