2021 UFA Student Pitch Competition

2021 Student Pitch Competition

Have a great ag innovation idea? The 2021 UFA Student Pitch Competition is your chance to develop an idea in partnership with UFA and Olds College. Attend the Virtual Information Session on January 20, 2021


2021 UFA Student Pitch Competition


2021 Student Pitch Competition

Have a great ag innovation idea? The 2021 UFA Student Pitch Competition is your chance to develop an idea in partnership with UFA and Olds College. Together we will provide mentorship and financial support for innovative ideas that have what it takes to Get it. Done.

How it works.

  1. Come up with an exciting innovative ag idea that solves an ag problem or advances the ag industry.

  2. Review the Virtual Information Session recorded on January 20, 2021 to learn more about the competition and to ask questions.

  3. Develop your idea and Submit a Pitch Deck & Business Model Canvas by February 13, 2021.

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

  4. Attend the Virtual Pitch Bootcamp on February 20, 2021 where the top 10 selected submissions receive a $500 tuition credit.

  5. If chosen as semi-finalists on March 1, 2021, you’ll receive an additional $1,000 tuition credit and a $500 UFA gift card.

  6. Lastly, pitch your idea to the panel of judges on April 13, 2021 for your chance to receive financial support and mentorship to commercialize your idea or product.

UFA is under no obligation to provide any funding towards any commercialization of any proposal without entering into mutually executed written agreement(s).

Earn up to $7,500 in tuition credits for your innovative ag idea!

Earn an additional $6,000 for your innovative ag idea by applying for one of five Bob Collier Awards!

You can earn up to $7,500 when you submit an application for the Bob Collier Award and 2021 UFA Student Pitch Competition. 

For more information on the Bob Collier Award, visit the Student Awards or contact awards@oldscollege.ca. For assistance in preparing your essay, contact Wendy Muise at wendy@groundfloorlabs.com. Deadline to apply for the Bob Collier Award is February 14, 2021. Please Note: To be eligible for one of the five Bob Collier Award, students must be currently enrolled in their second year of full time studies or greater, in any program at Olds College.


Watch the Virtual Information Session

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)

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 happens if I win the UFA Student Pitch Competition?
  • If your pitched idea wins the UFA Student Pitch Competition, there are a number of different scenarios that may result, which include:

    • Option 1: UFA makes the student an offer to buy their product outright for an agreed upon dollar figure. UFA would then own the product and rights to the product.

    • Option 2: UFA makes the student an offer to enter into a joint venture partnership with an agreed upon share/investment in the business and with an agreed upon time frame.

    • Option 3: UFA enters into a Vendor Relationship with the student.

    • Option 4: No deal is reached.

    Please note, all of the above scenarios may have the option of a student co-op placement with UFA as well.

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.

Olds College Resources Available to Students
ResourceNameContact InfoHow Can They Help
Maker SpaceJon Newmanjnewman@oldscollege.caJon can you to design create and innovate. Using 3d Printers and 3D modelling, he can help you to new approaches to problem-solving, and building your ideas.
Business Model/Ag Tech ExpertJames BenkieJBenkie@oldscollege.caJames is the Dean of Agriculture Technology. As a seasoned business leader, he works closely with the agriculture industry to help to develop the smart farm. James 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
Sustainable Agriculture and cropsPaul Tiegeptiege@oldscollege.caPaul is Olds College's lead scientist for crops and sustainable agriculture. He is passionate about helping students go from idea to product development
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. Similar to Paul, she loves working with students to build out their plan
LivestockSean Thompsonsthompson@oldscollege.caSean runs the Technology Access Center for Livestock (TAC). Sean is very knowledgeable in the livestock industry and what is currently on the market and where some holes are.
Pitch Deck SupportMaureenMaureen.Easton@catapultentrepreneurs.caMaureen runs the Central Alberta business incubator, Catapult. 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?

Registration details will be posted soon. For more 2020 UFA Student Pitch Competition information, please contact Karla Petersen at kpetersen@oldscollege.ca or 403.512.8633.

2020 Pitch Competition