Bissett Insider

4th Annual JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition another huge success for Mount Royal Students

LPDOn Wednesday April 5th, 2016, the 4th annual JMH Launch Pad Pitch Competition took place in Ross Glen Hall in front of approximately “200 high-energy supporters”. Seven Mount Royal student ventures competed in a “Dragon’s Dens-style” competition that seen the students pitch their ventures and answer questions from a panel of esteemed judges, all while vying for their share of over $75,000 in cash and prizes! 

 Ray De-Paul, Director for the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, reports that the successful evening began by paying tribute to some of the exceptional students that have participated in this competition in prior years. Ray indicated that all 7 pitches went incredibly well and the judges had the difficult task of announcing the winners.

Bissett School of Business extends congratulations to all of the 2016 LaunchPad winners:

 Smoke Barrel (Zac Hartley)

Smoke Barrel manufactures custom hand crafted hot and cold smokers from old wine and whiskey barrels. The most beautiful smoker on the market can also be customized to tailor the product for the most discerning customer.

JMH & Co Award: $10,000
BUSY Foundation Award: $10,000
Stikeman Elliott LLP Legal Services: $10,000 (in-kind)

Green Cup (Emily Bartlett and Ozzy Lang)

Green Cup is a social enterprise that is reducing the amount of coffee cup waste in Canada. They sell advertisements on compostable cups and distribute those cups in the advertiser’s target market.

JMH & Co Award: $10,000
Institute for Environmental Sustainability Award: $2,500

Nomad Eco Products (Zachary Champoux)

Nomad Eco Products produces a 100% recycled yoga mat that mends our relationship with the planet by making what is torn, whole again. The yoga mats are made from recycled denim and are as unique as they are environmentally friendly.

JMH & Co Award: $10,000

TANG (Brad Williamson)

Tang is a geographic-based, temporary social media network that allows users to see what people are up to around them. Users can search for relevant content based off of a hashtag, within a particular vicinity, or both. The user controls how long the content exists so can share silly moments without the infinity history of most social media.

JMH & Co Award: $10,000

Little Blue Cloud (Carille Mendoza and Michaela Day)

Little Blue Cloud is an online/app-based resource for students struggling with depression and anxiety. Features such as an anonymous peer support chat system and a self-help database provide a comfortable, non-stigmatized environment where users can talk to others facing similar situations.

Institute for Community Prosperity Award: $2,500
Design4Change Marketing Services: $5,000 (in-kind)

The Well Brewing Company (Quinn Wilton)

The Well Brewing Company is Alberta’s first community-driven craft brewery and well-positioned to take advantage of the booming craft beer industry. Members receive exclusive access to member only beer, tasting events, and democratic voting on names and the types of beer being produced.

BUSY Foundation Award: $5,000

Congratulations to all participants and winners! The Bissett School of Business would also like to acknowledge the continued success of The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, for their continued success in mentoring and inspiring the entrepreneurial minds and  ambitions of our Mount Royal Students!

“Community feedback about our students consistently puts them in a class of their own in Calgary.”-Ray DePaul

Bissett School of Business students take 1st Place in the 2016 CPA Board Governance Case Competition

The 2016 CPA Board Governance Case Competition was held on March 17-18 at Hotel Arts in Calgary.   This competition is an annual event, organized and hosted by the Chartered Professional Accountants of Alberta, originally initiated by CMA Alberta.  In this competition students are given a case to analyze.  The case covers issues in accounting, board governance, and ethics. The case is kept secret until it is handed to the teams at the competition.  Teams are then given six hours to analyze the case and present their analysis, recommending solutions to a judging panel of business leaders. Only four teams are selected to advance to the final round and prizes are awarded to the top three teams.

A total of thirteen teams representing all the universities and post-secondary institutions in Alberta participated in this year’s competition, vying for the top prize of $10,000.00.  The Bissett School of Business from Mount Royal University had two teams participating.

Both teams from Mount Royal performed very well at this year’s competition. In particular, out of the thirteen teams that entered the competition, one of the Bissett teams not only made it to the final round, but finished first overall! This is a tremendous accomplishment!  The participants work under extreme pressure to come up with their solution to the case to present to the panel of judges.  They also have to be very strong technically in their accounting knowledge and other subject matter.  Another critical component for the winning team was their strong presentation skills.

The students from the winning Bissett team were:

  • Ross Graham
  • Melissa Kinzner
  • Shaelynn (Shae) Prefontaine
  • Corey Reinhardt
  • Peter Serafini

The following faculty coached the Bissett teams:

  • Rafik Kurji
  • Shiraz Kurji
  • Simon Magennis

A lunch has been organized on Friday April 8 at 12:30 pm in room EB2027 to celebrate our teams from Mount Royal.  The Dean, Associate Dean, and all Accounting faculty will be in attendance to celebrate the success of the students who participated in the 2016 CPA Board Governance Case Competition.

On behalf of the Bissett School of Business we would like to congratulate the winners on a job well done! Congratulations also goes out to the other participants. Thank you to our dedicated faculty members for providing coaching and mentoring to our students!

Bissett Finance students compete in the CIFP Case Challenge

Mount Royal - CIFP Case Challenge 2016The Bissett School of Business wishes to congratulate our students, coached by financial services contract faculty member, Sean Bjorkland, who competed in the annual CIFP Case competition, western edition, hosted by SAIT on March 12th.
“After a sequestration period where the students analyzed a personal financial planning case, the students presented and answered questions from industry leaders.  It is a challenging, if not daunting task.   I was extremely impressed with our team’s bold, yet reasoned and comprehensive recommendations.- Cathy Roy-Heaton
The CIFP Case Challenge was the largest Western edition to date with 8 teams, from 4 business schools, competing.  Representing Mount Royal University were:


Sean Bjorkland, VP, Financial Planning, BMO Group & Contract Faculty, Bissett School of Business

 Student Team:

Uyen Nguyen
Jared Salekin
Carmela Salvador

Student Understudies:

Simar Bedi
Adam Szafraniec
Congratulations to the students and their coach, Sean Bjorkland,  for their dedication and professional representation of  the Bissett School of Business.

Eight time JUNO award winner and humanitarian, Paul Brandt, named as “Storyteller in Residence” for Bissett School of Business

Famous for his story-telling through song, Paul Brandt is lending his expertise and time to the faculty, students and the community at large, by becoming the “Story-teller-in-residence” at Mount Royal University.

“We couldn’t be happier to have such a talented storyteller, as well as humanitarian, on board.” – Valerie Kinnear,  Dean, Bissett School of Business

As an alumnus, and successful artist, Paul will help bring awareness to a variety of issues including that of missing and murdered indigenous women and human trafficking. Working closely with senior marketing students, an awareness campaign, W at MRU, is ongoing from March 21 through  April 7th, beginning with a number of exhibits throughout the university as well as an evening of “talking, screenings and music” on March 30th in the Bella Concert Hall. More information on this campaign and the events can be found at 

The Bissett School of Business welcomes Paul and looks forward to having him  in residence for the next two years as he mentors students and continues to provide leadership for a number of student led initiatives.

Related news articles on Paul Brandt’s joining forces with MRU can be found on the following links:

Students Sonia Marreiros and Bryton Udy at Mount Royal University say having country music star Paul Brandt working as storyteller in residence has brought a new dimension to their class work. LYLE ASPINALL / POSTMEDIA

Bissett School of Business, Associate Professor, Allan Dwyer comments on the future of Alberta’s Oilsands.

A recent article by Kyle Bakx,  CBC News Reporter,   discussed the future of the Oilsands beyond the year 2020, with Bissett School of Business, Associate Professor, Allan Dywer providing comment. Allan’s concern is that there has not been enough research and development to keep pace with the increasingly competitive oil market and that the opportunity to decrease production costs through technological advancements has been lost.

‘The report confirmed my main concern, which is long term, the oilsands are not viable’– Allan Dwyer, Mount Royal University

To read the article in its entirety, please follow this link:

Bissett student, Tim Lipp accepted into the Social Impact Incubator at the University of Waterloo

Bissett School of Business would like to congratulate student Tim Lipp and Project Stoke  for being accepted into the Social Impact Incubator at the University of Waterloo beginning May 2016. Tim Lipp is one of the team members of Project Stoke, an ambitious project that supplies Top Lift Up-Draft Quad stoves to villages in Kenya which delivers on key deliverables including health, skill development, empowerment, environment and sustainability.
Wendelin Fraser, MRU Associate Professor and key advisor for Project Stoke reports:  “Tim and his partner, fellow MRU student Paisley Dressler,  have been “key to the success of this Mount Royal student initiative these past six months and as a result, this project won the Western Regional Challenge for Entrepreneurial Projects. Tim and his team will present their work at the National Enactus Exposition in Toronto, this coming May.”
For Tim, this opportunity at Waterloo  will help further Project Stoke and further hone his entrepreneurial and innovative spirit: 
The University of Waterloo writes that their Social Impact Incubator is the:
 “first and only live-in campus-linked accelerator in Canada focused on social innovation and entrepreneurship. We believe the live-in model enhances the acceleration of startups and social change initiatives.
Students in GreenHouse receive the following support:

  • Dedicated space that fosters creativity and collaboration
  • Weekly programming to help students conceive an idea that tackles a pressing environmental or social problem along with testing, launching and measuring the impact of their idea.
  • Mentorship from entrepreneurs as well as consultation with professionals in areas such as: sales, legal, finance and communications.
  • Peer-to-peer support 
from like-minded, passionate people representing all six faculties.
  • Access to startup funding in the form of grants and social financing opportunities
“The activities at St, Paul’s GreenHouse, University of Waterloo directly align with the University of Waterloo’s vision to be “recognized as a uniquely entrepreneurial university that applies innovative approaches to technology, social innovation, and social entrepreneurship in ways that create recognizable impact both in economic growth and improving the human condition.”

Congratulations Tim and enjoy your summer at Waterloo!

Peter Elson, Institute for Community Prosperity, releases publication

The Bissett School of Business would like to congratulate, Peter Elson PhD., Senior Research Fellow, Institute for Community Prosperity, Mount Royal University,  for his work on the a new publication in the IPAC Series in Public Management and Governance that has just been released.

“Funding Policies and the Nonprofit Sector in Western Canada is the first book written explicitly to profile provincial nonprofit funding policies in Western Canada and involves authors who have spent decades analyzing and/or living this relationship” -Peter Elson.

Please  review the highlights and table of contents; and then add it to your bookshelf.

The Institute of Community Prosperity partners to bring the first ever pan-Canadian National Youth Leadership and Innovation Strategy Summit to Toronto

The Bissett School of Business would like to congratulate The Institute for Community Prosperity as they will be one of 20 organizations partnering on a National Youth Leadership and Innovation Strategy Summit on April 29 and 30 in Toronto, Ontario.  In addition, they are conducting the context-setting research for the event, which is the first ever pan-Canadian gathering of youth leadership development initiatives.

“On April 29 & 30, the country’s most innovative employers, youth leadership organizations and top young talent will come together to architect the first national plan for engaging young leaders to strengthen Canada’s capacity to develop young leaders and innovators.”

Bissett School Of Business HR program shares successes

Leon Cygman. Simone Malik, Gillian Dunlop, Alex Lefter, Melanie Peacock, Ravi Chung, Eric Myers

HRC West – Case Competition

On March 4 – 5, 2016,  NAIT hosted the 3rd annual HRC West, a human resources (HR) case competition championed by the Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA) and designed to showcase students’ skills through an academic contest among post-secondary institutions from across Western Canada. Ten teams participated in the competition this year, representing nine institutions from Alberta, BC, and Saskatchewan. Although the Bissett’s HR student team did not podium this year, they did an outstanding job and made all of us very proud. Many thanks to Alex Lefter for his great coaching and to the HR faculty team and Program Chair for their support throughout the process.
Congratulations to our Bissett HR student team: Ravi Chung, Gillian Dunlop, Simone Malik, and Eric Myers. Also, a big thank you to our HR Partnership Council who contributed funds raised at the annual HR Breakfast to sponsor the Bissett HR team’s participation in this year’s competition.

Annual HR Student Networking Event – March 15, 2016  (Summary written by Alex Lefter):

On Tuesday, March 15, 2016, The HR faculty at the Bissett School of Business in collaboration with the HR Co-op Education team at Career Services organized the 12th Annual HR Student Networking Event. The event was generously sponsored by the Human Resources Institute of Alberta (HRIA), and gave students an opportunity to interact with numerous HR professionals from a variety of industries. 22 HR professionals and 43 students participated in this year’s event. Many thanks to the HRIA and the wonderful group of HR professionals for ensuring the continued success of the event!
Congratulations to Bissett Associate Professor, Melanie Peacock on her appointment to  the HRIA’s Post-Secondary Accreditation Committee.
As well, Melanie continued with her media work:
2016, March 7. In Canadian HR Reporter, by Dobson, S. Accreditation program allows for bypass of NKE.
2016, March 7, on Alberta@Noon:  CBC, by McElligott D. Keeping “still employed” workers engaged.
2016, March 2, on Newstalk 770: Corus Entertainment, by Smith, D. Innovative work arrangements.
2016, February 26, on Newstalk 770: Corus Entertainment, by Kingkade, R. & Breakenridge, R. Dealing with irksome coworkers.

Bissett School of Business International Business and Supply Chain Management professors prepare for Conference Presentations!

Bissett School of Business would like to congratulate the following professors for their upcoming presentations at major conferences throughout North America:

Dr. Frank Cotae will present at the Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER)  in Atlanta, Georgia and the last week of June both Frank and Dr. Halia Valladares will present a paper called ‘Experiential Learning: Integrating Simulations into International Business Curricula’ based on the teaching and innovation grant they received for this academic year.

Dr. Brian Fleming will be presenting the results of his Doctorate thesis, Opportunity for Formal Supply Chain Management Practices within the Non-Profit Sector,  at the Production, Operations, Management Conference  in Orlando, Florida Friday, May 6, 2016. The Conference theme is Innovative Operations in an Information and Analytics Driven Economy.
Dr. Halia Valladares together with Kelly Moorhead (LSCM aboriginal student) will be presenting a paper titled “Opportunities and Challenges for International Business: The Northern Shipping Passages”, at the Canadian Transportation Research Forum in Toronto, Ontario  May 3, 2016. The Conference Theme is “North American Transport Challenges in an Era of Change”