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2023 UFA Student Pitch Competition

2023 UFA Student Pitch Competition

Do you have a great innovative ag idea, but don’t know how to make it happen? Olds College of Agriculture & Technology and UFA Co-operative Ltd. want to help!

We’re looking for students who have innovative ag ideas to participate in the fourth annual UFA Student Pitch Competition. This is your chance to work with Olds College to develop your idea, and then present this innovative idea to UFA.

Wendy Muise, serial entrepreneur, is the dedicated Student Mentor for the 2023 Student Pitch Competition. She wants to talk to students about the competition and how she can help support your ideas! Wendy is passionate about getting students engaged in entrepreneurial thinking and entrepreneurship as a potential pathway. If you’d like to talk with Wendy, please email her directly at

How it works.

  1. Come up with an exciting innovative ag idea that solves an ag problem or advances the ag industry.
  2. Join one of the upcoming Virtual Information Sessions to learn more about the competition and ask questions.
  3. Attend a Weekend Workshop Bootcamp to further develop your idea and get your business plan ready for the submission deadline.
  4. Finish developing your idea and Submit a Pitch Deck & Business Model Canvas. Pitch Deck Template (Google Slides)   Pitch Deck Template (PPT)
  5. The top 10 selected submissions will be announced. From the top submissions, five semi-finalists are chosen to attend a Virtual Pitch Bootcamp to prepare for the upcoming pitch competition.
  6. Lastly, the semi-finalists pitch their ideas to the panel of judges.

Submit Your Idea

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a Pitch Deck?

A pitch deck includes a quick overview of the business and the market. The pitch deck will be built in PowerPoint or a similar program. Notes can be made in the note section so that your idea can get across. The pitch deck will include a max of 10 slides that describe your idea, the market, and the customer. 

These slides should include:

  • Title

  • Your Name(s)

  • Problem (What problem are you solving?)

  • Value proposition (how are you going to solve it/diagrams or drawings can be included)

Pitch Deck Template (Google Slides)  Pitch Deck Template (PPT)

Helpful sites for design help!

  • Canva - Free design templates
  • Pexels - Free stock photos and videos
  • Unsplash - Free images and photos 
What is a Business Model Canvas?

A business model canvas is a one-page document that helps you to define and communicate your business proposition. There are nine building blocks in the business model canvas: customer value proposition, customer segments, channels, customer relationships, revenue streams, key resources, key partners, key activities, and cost structure. 

Watch this short video on how to use a business model canvas here.

Download template here

What are some ideas UFA may be looking for? What is trending in Ag right now and where are some gaps in the marketplace?
  • There is increasing concern about plastics used in agriculture (silage poly, twine, grain bags, feed tubs) and them ending up burnt or in landfills. There are some initial programs to collect these, however, currently there are no effective solutions for how to recycle these or turn into other products.  One of the challenges is they come back ‘dirty’.  An innovative idea on using less plastic in the initial products, or finding better ways to reuse them, would be welcomed by the industry.

  • Equipment (handling systems), improvements in safety of workers/vets/service people is always a concern.  Safety of the animals themselves when they are handled is also a concern. An innovative idea on how to ensure the safety of handlers and animals would be a great starting point.

  • Some of the issues that the government feel are ‘trending’ in agriculture can be seen by what they are funding under the Canadian Agriculture Partnership (CAP) program. While these trends are high level and non-specific, they do provide an indication of how the government and industry feel about where innovative improvements are needed.

  • Skilled labour is always an issue, from feedlots to ranches, good help is hard to find and especially during a pandemic. An innovative idea on how to automate the process of retaining skilled labour will get an ear.

  • Food safety and traceability is always an issue and will remain so. Being able to build transparency in the supply chain is fast becoming necessary to ensure consumers are happy.

  • Animal welfare is important and early diagnosing tools and individual animal management help ensure the wellbeing and profitability of livestock. Early detection of health events should require earlier, less invasive treatment, therefore reducing pharmaceutical usage. Individual management also lowers the need to mass treat further that we’ve been able to do as an industry directive.

  • There is an increasing use of technology within the ag industry. Return-on-investment (ROI) needs to be considered when implementing technology into an operation. A feedlot operator can spend $100 on a piece of technology, but must have a return of $101 or more for it to make financial sense.

What resources are available to Olds College students in the competition?
ResourceNameContact InfoHow Can They Help
Design SpaceJon Newmanjnewman@oldscollege.caJon can help you design, create and innovate. Using 3D printers and 3D modelling, he can help you find new approaches to problem-solving and building your ideas.
Business Model/Ag Tech ExpertJay SteevesJSteeves@oldscollege.caJay is the Dean of the Werklund School of Agriculture Technology. Jay is a great sounding board and industry connection.
Head LibrarianCaroline VandrielCvandriel@oldscollege.caCaroline is the new head librarian at Olds College. She can help you to research different companies in your space, customer information, market size and patents.
Grain storage, bio-mass, overall AgJoy Agnewjagnew@oldscollege.caJoy is the director of the OCCI. She sees new innovations in ag come across her desk all the time. She loves working with students to build out their plan.
LivestockSean Thompsonsthompson@oldscollege.caSean runs the Technology Access Center for Livestock Production (TACLP). Sean is very knowledgeable in the livestock industry and what is currently on the market and where some opportunities are.
Pitch Deck SupportWendy Muisewendy@groundfloorlabs.comWendy works alongside Entrepreneurship and Innovation at OCCI. She can help you with business support as well as developing your pitch deck.
Is there a time limit for my pitch presentation?

Yes, there will be a time limit of 10 minutes per presentation.

Where can I register or get more information?

Email Wendy at to learn more about the competition and ask questions, or for more information about the UFA Student Pitch Competition or Entrepreneurship at Olds College.

The competition is open to current students and 2022 graduates as long as the competitor was or is previously enrolled in a full-time program in the 2022-23 calendar years.

2020 Pitch Competition