Penta Medical wins 15K at Women’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Pitching Event
We would like to congratulate Velocity’s own Alexa Roeper, the CEO of Penta Medical, who recently participated, and pitched in, the Women’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp Event, hosted by Communitech, and who walked away with a third place win of $15,000.
Alexa, currently also an Honours BioMed student at the University of Waterloo, heard about the Women’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp from her friend Rachel Pautler, CEO of Suncayr, who also participated in the Women’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp last year. Organizer, Elaine Hynes, also mentioned the event in the women’s monthly Lean In circle. She didn’t need any more convincing!
After a written application and interview process, she was chosen to participate alongside 24 other women. Bootcamp ran from 7am-7pm for three consecutive days at the end of August and September.
The three days in August consisted of getting to know her fellow bootcamp members, participating in workshops about creating a lean canvas business model and pitch presentation, as well as getting valuable constructive feedback. Alexa remembers finding it weird when one of the workshops was to be hosted by past judge on America’s Next Top Model Stacey Mckenzie. “I was thinking why on earth would you have a model coming in to speak to us? ” Alexa soon found she was one of the best speakers of the entire program and truly inspirational: “She told us how she got rejected something like five years in a row before actually making it to the top modelling for Gaultier. “It was good to see a social entrepreneur who is making such a huge and positive impact on people.” Stacey Mckenzie is also the CEO and founder of Walk This Way Workshops.
Alexa says that the most challenging part of bootcamp, aside from fitting it in her busy schedule, was the homework she, along with her fellow bootcampers received after their first three days of the program, which was to collect feedback from 100 people about their product. In addition to the survey Penta Medical sent out to gain information, Alexa said she felt it was important to go out and talk in person to a variety of doctors in the field, such as orthopaedic surgeons, laser surgeons, and physiotherapists. “Good quality customer research is always important, but it’s hard to convince people that you’re worth their time and that you’re not actually trying to sell them something at this point, and that you’re just doing market research.”
The September portion of the bootcamp consisted of pitching across two days, leading to eight contestants being chosen to pitch at the final event at the Tannery Event Centre. “Pitching was nerve racking. It was my first time pitching in a big hall like that.” Obviously Alexa’s nerves did not impact the judges’ impression, as she ended up taking the third place prize of $15K. “The award was a large amount of funding for Penta Medical, so winning it was so huge for us.” Penta Medical will be working on hiring more clientel with their winnings, as well as working with a professor at the University of Guelph in order to optimize their product. They are aiming to have a better prototype that can penetrate the bone by November.
Alexa encourages companies to sign up for opportunities such as the Women’s Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, but to also make careful decisions about whether the event being considered is something that is really going to benefit your company in the long run. “Don’t miss any key opportunities and collaborate with other teams to expand everyone’s network opportunity.”
If you are interested in learning how to pitch your ideas, come out to Velocity’s Pitch Like A Pro workshop on November 4th, at the University of Waterloo. More info and registration.