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BT students get fired up about business at Hamilton’s First Dragon’s Nest

On May 24, five students from Bishop Tonnos Catholic Secondary School attended Hamilton’s First Dragon’s Nest Finale.

“The Dragon’s Nest is a program aimed at giving students an opportunity to become entrepreneurs in their classroom,” said Teacher Gelsomina Riverso-Casella.

“At the conclusion of the program students submit their ventures through a video pitch where finalists are selected to face a panel of Dragons at the Dragons’ Nest Finale.”

Video pitches showcasing a number of business ideas were submitted by two classes at Bishop Tonnos for the Dragon’s Nest Competition. Students worked on their business ideas and video pitches with the support of business mentor, Jennifer Bitner. Of those two classes, 3 groups were selected to attend the finale out of 17 submissions to the competition that were from 5 schools that participated in the program.

Special congratulations to Matthew Fticar, Julian Lombardi and JP Parente, who submitted a pitch on their venture RadiEX, and won first place for their in-person pitch in front of five judges at the Hamilton City Hall in the Council Chambers.

“These 3 students, all in grade 10, did exceptionally well competing with students their age and older, and presenting in front of the judges and answering judges’ questions.”

Additional grade 10 students who qualified for the competition were Somner Martire, Connor Lynch, and Lucas Branch, who submitted their pitch on a venture called Solar Co, which is a solar charging phone case.

Additional congratulations to Casey Gillis and Luke Del Cantero who also qualified for their pitch called CUTS 2 GO. Casey and Luke accepted the invitation to present to the judges of Dragon’s Nest and were given amazing praise by the judges for their wonderful presentation.

The judges for the Dragons Nest competition were the following industry professionals: Lisa Bull, VP at Ceridian HCM; Ron Foxcroft, Chairman, Founder and CEO of Fox 40 International and CEO & Chairman of the Fluke Transportation Group; Glen Grunwald, Director of Athletics and Recreation at McMaster University; Salar Madadi, Owner of MeatVentures Meat Wagon and Pokehbar Inc.; April Sepa, Business Development Manager with BMO Bank of Montreal.

“All the students who participated in the classes and submitted pitches gained valuable experience, skills and knowledge. Congratulations to the grade 10, Introduction to Business classes and grade 11, Entrepreneurship class that participated in the program.”






First Place Winners from left: JP Parente, Julian Lombardi and Matthew Fticar. Photo courtesy of Gelsomina Riverso-Casella.
First Place Winners from left: JP Parente, Julian Lombardi and Matthew Fticar. Photo courtesy of Gelsomina Riverso-Casella.

Left to Right: National and GTA Program Manager with Dragon’s Nest Teresa Milazzo-Colle, Teacher Gelsie Riverso-Casella, Julian Lombardi, Matthew Fticar, JP Parente, Casey Gillis, Luke Del Cantero, Business Mentor Jennifer Bitner and Program Manager with Dragon’s Nest Peter Kislinsky. Photo courtesy of Gelsomina Riverso-Casella.
Left to Right: National and GTA Program Manager with Dragon’s Nest Teresa Milazzo-Colle, Teacher Gelsie Riverso-Casella, Julian Lombardi, Matthew Fticar, JP Parente, Casey Gillis, Luke Del Cantero, Business Mentor Jennifer Bitner and Program Manager with Dragon’s Nest Peter Kislinsky. Photo courtesy of Gelsomina Riverso-Casella.

Left to Right: Industry Professional and Class Business Mentor Jennifer Bitner, Superintendent of Education Morris Hucal, Matthew Fticar, JP Parente, Casey Gillis, Luke Del Cantero and Julian Lombardi. Photo courtesy of Gelsomina Riverso-Casella.
Left to Right: Industry Professional and Class Business Mentor Jennifer Bitner, Superintendent of Education Morris Hucal, Matthew Fticar, JP Parente, Casey Gillis, Luke Del Cantero and Julian Lombardi. Photo courtesy of Gelsomina Riverso-Casella.

BT finalists from the Video Pitch Submissions. From left: JP Parente, Matthew Fticar, Julian Lombardi, Casey Gillis, Luke Del Cantero, Connor Lynch, Lucas Branch, and Sommer Martire. Photo courtesy of Gelsomina Riverso-Casella.
BT finalists from the Video Pitch Submissions. From left: JP Parente, Matthew Fticar, Julian Lombardi, Casey Gillis, Luke Del Cantero, Connor Lynch, Lucas Branch, and Sommer Martire. Photo courtesy of Gelsomina Riverso-Casella.