Vancouver Sun: Beedie School of Business launches careers and ventures

Oct 19, 2011

Ideas and entrepreneurship are at the heart of the student experience at Simon Fraser University’s Beedie School of Business. In recent years, a number of successful new ventures have been launched by students and alumni – startups that have gone on to local acclaim or global acquisition.

A case in point is recent Executive MBA graduate Howie Wu, who founded Layerboom as a student. His firm, which helps web hosting companies build and sell virtual private server clouds, was acquired last fall by Silicon Valley cloud computing company Joyent.

More recently, there is MetroLyrics, founded by an SFU alumnus and student pairing. The web venture was bought last week by CBS Interactive Music Group in what has been described as one of the bigger Canadian new media deals of recent memory.

Metrolyrics is the flagship property of MetroLeap Media, a start-up co-founded by SFU Bachelor of Business Administration student Milun Tesovic and SFU EMBA graduate Alan Juristovski. Both were also active participants in SFU Venture Connection, which provides support to student entrepreneurs at the university.

“As we are with so many of our students and alumni who embrace and excel in entrepreneurship, we are extremely proud of what Milun and Alan have accomplished – both within the Beedie School of Business and beyond, by taking MetroLyrics to an extraordinary level of success,” says Daniel Shapiro, Dean of the Beedie School of Business.

According to Dean Shapiro, the key to success for careerists and start-ups alike is the ability to think critically and transform innovative ideas into entrepreneurial activity.

“Our obligation,” he says, “is to create the next generation of business leaders who are thoughtful, broad thinking, knowledgeable and capable of discerning future trends – what is permanent and what is transitory.”

“We take the view that ideas and theory matter,” he says. “We like our students to take a deep-rooted, critical approach to ideas. The critical eye that researchers bring to problems finds its way into the classroom so that our students bring that same innovative eye to their workplaces – asking the hard questions and seeing the emerging trends just a little bit better and faster.”

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