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Innovation and entrepreneurship celebrated through Laurier competition
Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing
Laurier celebrated innovation and entrepreneurship on March 2 at the fifth annual 2012 Laurier Entrepreneurship Competition in the Senate & Board Chamber on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. Nineteen teams entered the competition and five finalists were chosen to compete in the final round.
BBA alumna Colleen Moorehead (’81) began the evening with a dynamic keynote. Moorehead, recently honoured as one of Laurier’s 100 alumni of achievement, is the chief client officer with Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Toronto, and was also a judge for the competition. Other judges included Harvard Business School graduate Marc de Grave, vice-president at Protect-A-Bed; alumnus Ted Hasting (BBA ’97), former president of Cyberplex Inc., and Jeremy O’Krafka (BA ’01), founder of MENTORnetwork.ca and president at JCI Toronto.
Participating teams developed business ideas and plans and presented their new venture to the panel of judges. The ventures are actual companies that are well underway. Organizers awarded $18,000 in prizes: $10,000 to first place, $5,000 to second place and $3,000 to third place, which will help them fund their company. In addition to the cash prizes, in-kind services from Inceptive Solutions were also awarded.
The winners included, from first to third place: Paydaytoday.com, Jordan Hyde (fourth year BBA); Concussion Toolbox, David Inglis (fourth year Kiniseology), and Waterloo Banking Project, Ryan Chen Wing (UW Economics and History), Mark Haley (BBA), Helena Hua Cao (Math/BBA double degree), Nicole Covello (UW Mathematics/Financial Analysis and Risk Management), Vinson Fong (BBA) and Nathan Shantz (BBA/Financial Math).
“What an incredible group of talent,” said Steve Farlow, executive director of Laurier’s Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship. “Our hope is that these businesses will continue along the path into commercialization.”
This year, the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship partnered with two student organizations — Laurier Innovation & Technology Club (LiTC) and Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Laurier — to expand the reach and impact of the program.
One finalist will also have the opportunity to compete nationally for the Wes Nicol Entrepreneurial Award. The Nicol Entrepreneurial Award (www.nicol-award.com) is a national non-profit competition designed to promote entrepreneurship at Canadian post-secondary institutions. The award will be presented at a gala event at the Château Laurier in Ottawa later in March 2012.