After a six-month exhilarating process, the 2015 ORT JET Eureka Entrepreneurial Competition, in partnership with Liberty announced the winners at a glittering event on the 27th October. ORT JET also celebrated its 10th milestone of serving small businesses in the community.
The winners prove that there’s more to entrepreneurship than the profit motive: a simple but potentially life-saving device for cyclists, a home baker specializing in freezer to oven pastries and breads, an affordable credit system regardless of credit history and a seamless automated loyalty card app, which combines all loyalty cards are the winners of the competition.
A record-breaking 88 people entered the competition and ultimately 50 business plans were received. All 25 short-listed businesses then underwent intensive start-up business training. The twelve finalists pitched to a panel of top, well-known business personalities.
“The mentoring session with ORT JET’s network of prominent volunteers, was phenomenal,” said 1st prize (Start-Up) winner, Orit Taback.
“The incredible, selfless giving and the interaction with these amazing mentors is priceless,” said 2nd prize (Concept) winner, Neville Fleishman.
Prizes included interest-free loans, office furniture, laptops, ipads, training, and ORT JET mentoring were awarded to the winners.
For the third consecutive year, Liberty has been a proud partner of Eureka with the competition aligned to Liberty’s focus on education. David Lloyd, Managing Director of Liberty Investments, said, “Each of the contestants had a burning desire to achieve great things. Their drive and willpower make for a great formula for success.”
Wayne Gluckman, 1st prize (Concept) winner said, “The knowledge and skills we have attained in a short time- frame has been invaluable. Every exercise and workshop we have attended through ORT JET left us feeling more motivated and inspired than the last.”
The special Sheldon Cohen Mentor of the Year Award was awarded to Mark Sack, nominated by mentees for his dedication, empathy and insight. Business of the Year went to Shalya Hirschson, nominated by mentors on the basis of commitment, auctioning of goals and achievement of commercial independence.
Paul Bacher, chairman and founder of ORT JET, said, “It has been 10 years since ORT JET began and the success has far surpassed our hopes and dreams.”