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Shrimp Canada wins Pitchit! prize

Pitchit! winner - Minto Mayor George Bridge presented a certificate of recognition to Pitchit! Business Plan Competition winner Dr. Ranjan Pradhan of Shrimp Canada at the June 21 council meeting.     Photo by Patrick Raftis

Shrimp Canada wins Pitchit! prize

by Patrick Raftis

MINTO - A new shrimp hatchery planned for Palmerston won the top prize in the town’s 2017  Pitchit! Business Plan competition.

The winner of the municipally-run competition is Shrimp Canada. The company, owned by Dr. Ranjan Pradhan is a start-up business based in Guelph that will be establishing a shrimp hatchery within the Palmerston Industrial Park.

Shrimp Canada’s plan involves the sustainable farming and sale of fresh white leg shrimp to local seafood distributors and consumers.  

“It’s a really innovative project, said Minto economic development manger Belinda Wick-Graham. 

In 2012, the Town of Minto initiated the PitchIt! Business Plan Competition in an effort to grow small businesses in Minto and increase awareness of the resources available. Now in its 6th year the competition is geared towards entrepreneurs that wish to open, purchase, expand or re-locate an existing business within the Town of Minto.

Nine entries were received and four finalists submitted full business plans and made presentations to the judges in early June. 

“This year’s PitchIt! Competition provided a great mix of new, re-located and expanding businesses” said Wick-Graham, who noted the 2017 Pitchit! was “the closest competition ever. 

“Only five points separated fourth place from first place, anyone could have won this,” she stated.. 

The four finalists were: Shrimp Canada, Ag. Business & Crop Inc., Harriston Preschool and Alpaca Time. 

“This was an amazing group of local entrepreneurs. I found their business plans, presentations and enthusiasm made judging a real pleasure and even after all was said and done I could not have even guessed who would win they were all that good, and as it turned out, this was the closest competition ever,” said John Burgess, past president of the Minto Chamber of Commerce and one of three judges for the competition. Harold DeVries of Guleph-Wellington Business Development Centre and Rob Mattice, general manger of The River community radio station were also judges.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the town, the judges, the mayor and council and all the people of the town for the support and encouragement. I felt so welcomed to the community during my previous meeting with the mayor, and now winning this competition has made Shrimp Canada so inclusive to the diversity and growth of the town,” said Pradhan. 

“I am proud to be part of the Pitch it Minto competition. The motivation from the outcome of this competition will surely shape my business for a great future in Minto and I am committed to drive it towards safe and sustainable employment generation in the community.” 

Thanks to the support of community sponsors all finalists will receive over $1,500 worth of prizes and the winner will take home over $12,500 in cash and prizes. The awards include $3,000 in startup capital provided courtesy of the Town of Minto, Minto Chamber of Commerce, Saugeen Economic Development Corporation and Mayor George Bridge. Other prizes include a mix of training, advertising and business services donated by local businesses.

June 30, 2017


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