Fleming Students Take Top Spots In Pitch It! Competition

Two Fleming College students took the top honours at Peterborough Innovation Cluster’s Pitch It! competition, seizing first and second place in the entrepreneur-oriented showcase.

Pitch It! is open to Fleming College and Trent University students, giving them a chance to showcase their business ideas and put their networking skills to the test for a cash prize.

Troy Blackwell, an 18-year-old Fish and Wildlife student at Fleming, grabbed the top spot-and $2,000-with his pitch for “Top Knotch Paracord.” 

Neil Hamilton, a student in the Geological Technician Program, came in second and received a $1,000 prize for his DentoMet pitch. Hamilton’s idea is to be Canada’s first leader in bone, tooth and fossil sectioning and analysis techniques using an IsoMet saw.

Fleming College students Troy Blackwell and Neil Hamilton came first and second in the Innovation Cluster’s Pitch It! competition (Photo courtesy of the Innovation Cluster).

The top spot winner, Blackwell uses the paracord to weave lanyards, straps, slings and even leashes-all products designed to withstand the wear and tear that comes with heavy use in the great outdoors.

“I know it’s easier to go on Amazon and buy cheaper materials, but I think it’s important to buy North American-sourced materials,” he said.

 â€śIt all sort of came together pretty quickly, and now I have a small business,” Blackwell said.

He says he is still trying to decide how he wants to spend his $2,000 prize. He may rent a booth at next year’s Toronto Sportsman Show or invest in camera equipment to help market his product.

Blackwell has two more semesters remaining before he graduates with his Fish and Wildlife diploma. He pointed out that it was his love of the outdoors that brought him to Fleming College in the first place, and it is that same passion which motivated him to create Top Knotch Paracord.

He could focus on his education, he said, or he could focus on his growing business.

“Honestly, right now, I’m just going to choose to be busy and do both,” he said.

Fleming College Fish and Wildlife student, small business owner and Pitch It! winner Troy Blackwell.