Mississauga students make their pitch at ‘Dragons’ Den-style’ event in Oakville


Published June 16, 2022 at 1:30 pm

Students from Mississauga and across southern Ontario gathered at Sheridan College in Oakville to pitch their app ideas to industry experts.

Sixteen Mississauga high school students are among 52 from across Ontario who are pitching some ambitious app ideas to a panel of industry experts today (June 16) in Oakville.

The Meadowvale Secondary School co-op students and their counterparts from a number of other school boards are taking part in a “Dragons’ Den-style experience” that marks the culmination of a full semester of working to develop their own app prototype, event organizers say.

Dragons’ Den Canada is a popular CBC TV show in which guests pitch their business ideas to potential investors.

The App Showcase Event, being held at Sheridan College’s Trafalgar Rd. campus, welcomes Ontario high school students who are involved in the App Development With Swift Co-Op Experience, an initiative launched three years ago at Meadowvale Secondary School.

The co-op program was created at the north Mississauga school after school board officials noticed a lack of co-op opportunities for students interested in computer science.

Today, the program has expanded to include 55 students at 15 schools across nine school boards. In addition to Mississauga, participating students are from Toronto, Hamilton, Guelph, London and Stratford.

Josh Zeliger, spokesperson for Apple, which helped organize the end-of-semester showcase event, said the students are developing “fantastic apps.”

For instance, he added, one Meadowvale student is creating an inclusive gaming app that allows users to customize players in the LGTBQ2S+ community after recognizing the absence of representation in traditional gaming environments.

Other ideas to be presented include an augmented reality app that helps students learn science and a grocery way finder that makes shopping quick and easy.

Program organizers say the students have learned vital skills this past semester in app development and code using iOS, Swift and Apple products and resources.

The App Development With Swift Co-Op Experience offers virtual co-op placements to student coders. As part of the program, students are paired with real-world industry and technical mentors “to help guide their app design journey and provide feedback on their pitches and prototypes.”

Using “real-world skills” learned during the co-op program, students pitched their app ideas today to experts in the industry including those from Instacart and Oracle.

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