Hometown: Redwood Meadows, Alberta
Concentration: Entrepreneurship and Innovation
Beedie School of Business undergraduate student Jesse Robson has parlayed a passion for big air into a business that could change the way Canadian action sports enthusiasts prepare for competition.
Jesse has created a business plan to launch the country’s first indoor action sports training venue. Targeting participants in freestyle ski and snowboarding, skateboarding, mountain biking, and BMX, the facility would provide a safe, controlled learning environment to allow participants of all ages and skill levels to practice the increasingly demanding maneuvers associated with these sports.
Jesse undertook the SFU Venture Connection co-op placement in 2012, using the mentorship and networking opportunities it provides to develop his business plan for the facility. Since then he has been working hard to turn his dream into a reality.
“Working with Venture Connection has been a very positive experience. It’s an ambitious project but they gave me more practical experience than all of my courses combined. The mentors are very hands-on and have all been there and done that. It’s a very different outlook from the more academic side of business school.”
As a lifelong action sports aficionado, Robson is in the right place as Director of Action Sports Concepts, the parent company developing the facility. In addition to an interest in mountain biking, he has skied since the age of two and has been coaching in the sport for the last ten years. For the last six years he has coached freeride skiing at an elite level at Whistler Blackcomb Resort, BC.
Jesse’s Beedie School of Business experience has not been limited to focusing solely on his venture though. He spent a semester on exchange in Austria, where he studied at the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
He also carried on his affiliation with Venture Connection by taking on a role as Events and Client Engagement with the program. The position involves him organizing a number of different events to spread the word about exploring entrepreneurship, with him even taking to the stage on occasion to try and engage the next round of budding entrepreneurs.
“At Beedie, we are very lucky to have the vast amount of opportunities which are presented to us, especially on the innovation and entrepreneurship side of things. Programs like Venture Connection present you with the opportunity to take everything you learn in the classroom and put it into action. We are very lucky to have programs like this providing such a great service for free.”
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