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TELUS Pitch returns with judge and business expert Arlene Dickinson Canadian small business owners have a shot at $150,000

STUDY: 66% of Canadians believe access to funding is the most important resource for growing a small business

TORONTO, May 01, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In partnership with judge and business expert, Arlene Dickinson, TELUS announced the return of TELUS Pitch - Canada’s largest small business contest that will award more than $150,000 in total prizing. Starting today, and running until June 23, small business owners can enter to win much needed capital funding to help reach their business goals and contribute to their community. Small businesses account for nearly 98 per cent of all companies in Canada with upwards of 100,000 new businesses emerging each year. According to a new report commissioned by TELUS, 66 per cent of Canadians surveyed cited access to funding as the biggest hurdle in getting a small business off the ground.

Arlene Dickinson, general partner of District Ventures Capital and judge on CBC’s Dragons’ Den, continues her partnership with TELUS as lead judge and contest mentor working with finalists to refine their pitches in the lead up to the TELUS Pitch Live Finale Summit event on July 30, where finalists will pitch live for the $100,000 grand prize.

“Pitching is the foundation of business. Entrepreneurs are pitching constantly—for money, for customers, for support,” said Dickinson. “And it’s not easy. When TELUS asked, 2 out of 3 Canadians said they would be nervous pitching venture capitalists. That’s where programs like TELUS Pitch can help—in providing access to funding and exposure to a group of like-minded, leading Canadian business people who are willing to share their experiences in an effort to guide small business owners in refining their pitches.”

TELUS Pitch 2019 will also be supported by Samsung, Facebook and Canadian small business company Workhaus, a co-working space with eight locations throughout Toronto, as well as hubs in Kitchener-Waterloo and Calgary.

“Small businesses are an integral part of the Canadian economy, and have long been core to  TELUS’ culture of giving back,” said Roi Ross, vice president, Small Business Solutions, TELUS. “Nearly a third of Canadians believe that as a country we can be doing more to support small businesses, which is why TELUS has created a robust support system for entrepreneurs through initiatives like TELUS Pitch which also provides essential funding and mentorship - no strings attached.”

The total contest prizing includes:

TELUS Pitch Grand Prize:

  • $100,000 cash to be awarded at the TELUS Pitch Live Summit on July 30
  • In addition to the $100,000, $10,000 will be donated on behalf of the winner to TELUS Friendly Future Foundation, which gives vulnerable kids a brighter future in a challenging world by providing better access to health and education opportunities, powered by technology.

Finalists:

  • The remaining finalists for the grand prize will each receive a cash prize of $10,000.

Community Impact Award:

  • $5,000 in Samsung technology
  • $5,000 in marketing services from Eighty-Eight
  • consulting hours with TELUS Ventures

Most Promising Startup:

  • $5,000 in Facebook ad credits
  • a one year membership to Workhaus (value = $4,200)
  • a bootcamp session with a Facebook expert

Multicultural Business of the Year Award:

  • $5,000 in marketing services from Response Advertising Inc.
  • one year membership to Workhaus (value = $4,200)
  • consulting hours with TELUS Ventures

“It’s been incredibly rewarding to see small businesses like Vancouver Island Salt Co., Aquamobile, and our inaugural TELUS Pitch winner, iMerciv, flourish over the last few years by putting their $100,000 TELUS Pitch prize money to good use,” said Suzanne Trusdale, vice president, Small Business Solutions, TELUS. “TELUS Pitch is a testament to the impact that funding and expert mentorship can have on business owners and we’re excited to bring it back for another year.” 

Throughout the contest period, TELUS will tour a life-sized elevator to small business events across the country, giving entrepreneurs the chance to step inside and record their 60-second “elevator pitch” live. Tour locations include: Markham, Brampton, Toronto, Waterloo, Calgary, and Vancouver (Surrey).

Joining Arlene Dickinson as judges of TELUS Pitch 2019 are:

  • Suzanne Trusdale, vice president, Small Business Solutions, TELUS
  • Jennifer Safruk, vice president, Sales and Product Management, Mobile, Samsung Canada
  • Richard Osborn, managing partner, TELUS Ventures
  • Kevin Au-Yeung, president, InnoVision
  • Garrick Tiplady, managing director, Facebook and Instagram Canada

To enter TELUS Pitch*, stay up to date on announcements and for full contest details please visit: telus.com/pitch. *Not available to residents of QC.

Survey methodology
These are the findings of a study/survey conducted on behalf of TELUS from March 15 to March 20 with a representative sample of N1,000 online Canadian members of the Angus Reid Forum. The survey was conducted in English and French.

About TELUS
About TELUS TELUS (TSX: T, NYSE: TU) is one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies, with $14.4 billion of annual revenue and 13.4 million subscriber connections, including 9.2 million wireless subscribers, 1.9 million high-speed Internet subscribers, 1.2 million residential network access lines and 1.1 million TELUS TV customers. TELUS provides a wide range of communications products and services, including wireless, data, Internet protocol (IP), voice, television, entertainment, video and home and business security. TELUS is also Canada's largest healthcare IT provider, and TELUS International delivers business process solutions around the globe.

In support of our philosophy to give where we live, TELUS, our team members and retirees have contributed over $650 million to charitable and not-for-profit organizations and volunteered more than 1.21 million days of service to local communities since 2000. Created in 2005 by President and CEO Darren Entwistle, TELUS’ 13 Canadian community boards and five International boards have led the Company’s support of grassroots charities and have contributed $72 million in support of 7,000 local charitable projects, enriching the lives of more than 2 million children and youth, annually. TELUS was honoured to be named the most outstanding philanthropic corporation globally for 2010 by the Association of Fundraising Professionals, becoming the first Canadian company to receive this prestigious international recognition.

For more information about TELUS, please visit: telus.com.

For media inquiries please contact:
Jill Yetman
TELUS PR Team
jill.yetman@telus.com
416-992-2639

Erica Salvalaggio
Account Executive
erica@eightyeightagency.com
416-944-2722

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2cc628bb-901f-4d49-9789-0fbe29080ba1