April 18, 2019Print | PDF
Each year, first-year Lazaridis BBA students develop original new venture ideas that will form the basis for much of their foundational first-year courses. In their first term, the students present their ideas in the PepsiCo Pitch Competition before developing the idea into a business plan and longer pitch for the BDO New Venture Competition in their second term.
Working in groups, students first presented their business plans in their BU121 labs, where TAs judged each section and put forward the winning team from their group. Those 175 teams then competed in the semi-finals, and five were put forward to the final round of competition.
Laura Allan, Assistant Professor and Executive Director of the Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship and Social Innovation praised students on their dedication over the past seven months. “You have all shown incredible entrepreneurial spirit. To our finalist teams – you have earned this, you made it incredibly hard for the TAs to judge.”
Finalist teams each had up to 12 minutes to present their business plan to the judges, plus an additional eight minutes of Q and A. Presentations were evaluated based on the business idea itself, execution plan, presentation, knowledge and confidence. Judging the finals were:
Thank you to our judges for sharing your support and expertise!
This year’s finalist teams impressed the judges and their peers with their presentations. Congratulations to all our finalist teams:
Live Toronto – a subscription service offering new, exciting, and exclusive Toronto experiences monthly.
Bubble Snap – a customizable, self-serve bubble tea machine focused on healthy ingredients and convenience.
Smile Tabs – water-soluble toothpaste capsules with a focus on environmental sustainability.
Hobby Zone – an online learning platform that connects hobbyists with experts to learn niche skills or hobbies.
Weed Grow 4 U – a boutique cannabis grower, allowing customers to plant, grow and watch their own plant be grown in an organic facility.
After the presentations, students had the opportunity to learn from Laurier alumna and competition judge, Shelley Mayer about her own entrepreneurial journey. She told students about her career path from university to corporate to entrepreneurship and the journey to founding Ramp Agency, with a focus on culture, fit and finding the right people (employees and clients alike).
BU121 Instructor Leanne Hagarty told the students, “You engaged with this project, you took it to another level, you challenged yourselves – that’s why we put this together. Your teamwork skills and your presentation skills are the things that are going to carry you in your academic career and beyond.”
The winning teams were then announced with scholarships being awarded to all finalist teams thanks to the event sponsor, BDO. Congratulations to all our finalists!
First place: Smile Tabs
Second place: Weed Grow 4 U
Third place: Bubble Snap
The winning team, Smile Tabs, was comprised of students Rohit Dabke, Aditya Dhanasekharan, David Li, Spencer Lynn, and Hanna Roglic. Their well thought out business plan, professional and compelling presentation, and confidence in answering the judges’ questions gave them a slight edge over their competition to come out on top. Congratulations Team Smile Tabs!