The app may still be in development, but her idea has propelled Ashley Stone to the semi-finals of Canada’s Total Mom Pitch.
The Kelowna mom of four is developing an app called Village, a community-based messaging platform where people can ask for help and offer help easily. Besides making help accessible, Stone said the other goal of the app is for people to create hyper-local connections, especially during a time in a city where it might be difficult to meet new people.
Stone said the app is still in development, but she was surprised that she was still able to pitch her idea to the total Mom Pitch contest.
“This was originally just in Toronto but since COVID, the ladies organizing it expanded it to the rest of Canada. They asked for mom entrepreneurs to apply and pitch their idea,” she said.
“It didn’t matter where your business was and it was unlike any other pitches I’d applied to, where they want your revenue… this was more story-based, about how you came to be and why what you’re doing is important.”
The Total Mom Pitch connects women entrepreneurs to resources throughout the country that will help them launch their small businesses. The competition will have final winners, who will each receive a $30,000 package in cash and business services. Those who may not win will still get access to business supports and other benefits.
Stone said there were 732 applicants in the beginning, with only 100 applicants making it into the semi-finals, including herself.
“It’s an honour to have made it this far, and we’re going to keep going. We’re going to go until the end,” she said.
She added that the competition will help her get the word out so more people know more about the app, but she’s also excited about the educational aspect of it.
“I’ll never say no to education. Whatever someone can help me with in terms of experience and education, that’s something I’m excited about.”
As for Village, Stone said they’re nearly finished with development and will roll out a pilot test in January in the Okanagan before expanding.
Voting is open now until 11:50 p.m. on Dec. 2. For more information, visit the Total Mom Pitch website.