The JMH LaunchPad competition is in its seventh year of recognizing and rewarding MRU student entrepreneurs. Hosted by the Institute of Innovation an Entrepreneurship, the annual competition has become a 300 seat sell-out event filled with investors, students, and community members who come to see the student entrepreneurs pitch their ventures for a chance at $80,000 in start-up funds (cash and in-kind services). The student entrepreneurs at Mount Royal University continue to impress and lead in Calgary’s entrepreneurial community.
Participating students were: Gio Moros, E-Cash; Silvia Bezzi, Arielle Fitzgerald, Marc Nzojibwami, Mooch; Gurpartap Baidwan, Move N’Store; Luke Morstad, Outlier Surf & Adventure Co; Tarandeep Singh Kainth, Sharyeo; Kevin Wojcial, Venure Tech Innovations VR; Vladimar Taikov, WorkMore.
Congratulations to all of our student entrepreneurs! A complete list of results can be found here.
As part of the Innovation and the Entrepreneurial experience course (ENTR 2301), Venture Design Studios, students identify a problem and find an innovative solution using the Lean Startup methodology. Throughout the year, approximately 45 external experts provide feedback and insight to 500 participating students.
At the end of the semester there is Venture Design Studios finals where the top 7 teams pitch their ideas. This semester, the winning venture and people’s choice was Safe Stir, an innovative and discrete stir stick that could identify whether a substance has been put into a drink.
The Venture Design Studio is a great example of an experiential course that seeks to drive the entrepreneurial skill-set of our students. Congratulations to these innovative students!
After the failed Olympic bid, Mount Royal University professors, Dr. David Finch and Dr. David Legg , recognizing that the “business of sports is not just a business unto itself but rather a critical driver of the future vision of our city”, determined that an in-depth discussion and a critical analysis of the regional sports environment was warranted. This was the impetus behind the inaugural and hugely successful, Sports Business Round-table held at Mount Royal University on March 20, 2019.
The event was comprised of over 40 regional sport business leaders from a variety of private and public organizations representing a diverse cross-section of sports. The purpose of the round-table was to measure interest in establishing a collective approach to furthering the vision and purpose of sport in the region and using this as the “catalyst” to position the City of Calgary and the Bow Valley Corridor into “Canada’s most livable region”.
Vigorous discussion ensued, a massive amount of comments were collected and a plan of action was formed! The information collected along with the post event feedback has helped Dr. David Finch and Dr. David Legg determine the necessity of a strategic plan that will encompass collaboration, community engagement and targeted evidence based research initiatives.
Going forward, an independent working group, [Sport Business Working Group] will continue to “examine the role of sport business ecosystem as a catalyst for delivering the larger community priorities in our region.” The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will continue to host, facilitate and administer the group. A community board will be recruited by Dr. Finch and Dr. Legg. This community board will provide guidance, offer support to ensure alignment across the “ecosystem” and aid in building formal and informal partnerships to drive public engagement.
For further information, contact Dr. David Finch at email@example.com or Dr. David Legg at firstname.lastname@example.org
“The Student Guide to Mapping a System, which we are proud to say is an MRU-Oxford U co-production, along with Daniela Papi-Thornton’s organization, Systems-Led Leadership. Hats off to Anna as well for her work in helping author and compile. This will be shared with 3000+ students worldwide registered in the Map the System Challenge, and with participating educators at 16 Canadian universities and 19 universities outside of Canada (including Harvard, Yale and Northwestern).” – James Stauch
Bissett contract instructor, Kris Hans is an active speaker and participant in a variety of initiatives at the institutions where he teaches (UofC and MRU). Kris participated in the Mount Royal Cyber Safety Summit again this year. Kris’s topic was titled, “Unwanted guests. The dangers of home assistants and other internet connected devices“ expanding on the Internet of Things topic he debuted at last year’s inaugural Cyber Safety Summit. (Last year’s talk was titled, “Should I buy that internet connected toaster.” )
Partnering with Universities of Alberta, Calgary, Lethbridge, and NAIT, Bissett will play a key role in a the Small Business Steward Pilot research program. In addition to aiding in business start-up success in Alberta by making it easier for small businesses to locate and access available business support, the pilot will collect valuable information and data that can be used by academia, government and service providers to better respond to small business needs and economic trends. Please contact Professor Simon Raby for more information (email@example.com).
Professor Simon Raby, a new member of faculty in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship, recently launched the findings of an 18-month study on the growth of Alberta’s Small and Medium-Enterprises. In the past four week alone, the report entitled “What Drives SME Growth? Introducing the Leader’s Growth Mindset” has been read online over 1,000 times and has been downloaded 300 times from academia.edu, ranking Raby in the top 1% of academics for impact on this global platform. A short (6 minute) animated video is now available. You can find this video and report here: www.mtroyal.ca/businessgrowth.
Congratulations Simon, we look forward to future updates.
Ray DePaul, Director for the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship says “this competition is unique in Canada as the students are not evaluated on their final venture idea, but rather on the journey they took to arrive at a validated business model. Emily and her co-founder Austin Lang are a great example of the effectiveness of the Lean Startup model as they continuously tested their assumptions by engaging first hand with their potential customers. The result was a very successful business that might otherwise have failed due to a series of invalid assumptions. Emily heads to Halifax on March 10th to tell her story to the judges.”
Patti Derbyshire, Chair of Entrepreneurship, Marketing and Non-profit Studies was recently profiled in an article in Maclean’s Magazine by Rosemary Counter. The article titled, New breed of entrepreneurial profs teaches students to learn by doing, is a look into the growth of entrepreneur curricula across campuses and those who teach it.
“We must be able to speak truth to the subject matter with some kind of experience,” says Derbyshire, now the CEO of Torch Motorcycles, a community of women riders who call themselves “moto-enthusiasts.” Their goal: To collect the data needed to design and manufacture the perfect bike for women. Watching the entrepreneurial spirit in action might be the best way for students to learn it—or even catch it. “We’re called serial entrepreneurs for a reason,” says Derbyshire. “We can’t help it.”
On 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 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 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 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 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 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 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