Two Island entrepreneurs will be working to grow their businesses after their 60-second pitches won the top prizes in the Startup Zone Summer Pitch Competition.

Emily Coffin, owner of codeAtlantic, won first place for her pitch. Her company teaches tech skills.

Chris Van Horn and his company Airbly — which manufactures a monitor for smaller airplanes — took second place. 

Both submitted video pitches, which were reviewed and narrowed down to the finalists. 

"Chris and I, along with the other finalists got to participate in a day long workshop to kind of polish our pitch and work on making it better and then we submitted it — our final pitch — and those ones were the ones that went on to be judged," said Coffin.

Fewer words, focused pitch

Van Horn said it was hard to hone down the pitches to explain exactly what his business does in the fewest words possible. 

"For me, it basically took a full day to get 300 words down to basically 100 words," said Van Horn. "You want them to give you more than 60 seconds but it's all about getting that hook in there to get them to want to know enough about you to talk to you for more than 60 seconds." 

Coffin said while she hated the thought of pitching when she first started, she now loves it, and said and it helped her get over her fear of public speaking.

Coffin later learned she won, via text message.

"I wasn't expecting to win. There were a lot of really great pitches that I knew had been entered from our workshop that we did." 

Van Horn said while he entered the competition for the experience, he admitted coming in second place had its benefits. 

Both Coffin and Van Horn will share in opportunity to attend a conference in Toronto in October that focuses on helping business owners grow their businesses. 

"For both of us, I think it would be super beneficial ... knowing how to grow it and kind of what those next steps are, I think it's going to be really exciting." 

With files from Mainstreet P.E.I.