Trio of winners at Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize competition

Mar 04, 2013

The following press release was published by SFU Public Affairs and Media Relations.

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The founders of three young startup companies are sharing the spotlight as winners of the second annual SFU Venture Connection Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize competition.

The award recognizes excellence in business development among early-stage clients. The three will share prizes totaling $5,000:

  • WittyCookie is an all-inclusive digital agency that specializes in building high-quality websites at affordable monthly rates.  Co-founders are Michael Cheng and Elvin Cheung, students in the School of Interactive Art and Technology (SIAT). Cheng has won numerous entrepreneurial awards, from SFU as well as the city of Surrey.
  • CKM Sports Management is a consulting company providing high-level development and recruiting services for junior and professional hockey players. Cliff Mander, an SFU psychology graduate and former national inline hockey player, founded the company to increase clients’ competitive advantage by improving skills relating to education, scholarship opportunities, psychological strength, nutrition, athletic ability and life planning.
  • MLT Media is a mobile marketing firm that delivers innovative performance-based advertising, specializing in mobile media buying to achieve its clients’ marketing goals.  Founder Michael Tran is a recent MBA graduate.

Two others in the running were Perkuna Engineering, a boutique design engineering company specializing in custom electrical and mechanical engineering projects, co-founded by MBA/MoT student Kody Baker, and Five Hole for Food (FHFF), an annual coast–to-coast tour playing ball hockey to support food banks across Canada and North America.

A non-profit founded by SFU communication alumnus and current MBA student Richard Loat, FHFF raised 6,000 pounds of food in its inaugural run in 2010, nearly 50,000 pounds in 2011 and more than 130,000 pounds in 2012.

The competition was held at SFU’s Segal Graduate School of Business.  The evening awards reception featured guest speaker Howie Wu (SFU EMBA), co-founder of LayerBoom (acquired by Joyent in 2010) and an alumnus of Venture Connection’s business incubator.

The jury panel consists of Mark Longo (LaBarge Weinstein LLP), Albert Seah (consultant and business advisor), Peter Payne (CEO-in-residence, BCTIA), Brad Palmer (CEO & founder, Jostle) and Robert Dean (VP commercial banking, Coast Capital Savings). Venture Connection’s mentors–in–residence continue to support these teams.

In partnership with Coast Capital Savings, SFU Venture Connection provides support for student and recent alumni ventures. They range from initial ideas to business validation through an early-stage business incubator, mentorship, co-op terms, competitions, networking, speaker events, workshops and seminars, and other business resources.

More than 3,000 students and young entrepreneurs have participated since 2009 in its range of programs, with development services provided to more than 250 student venture teams.  Other alumni of its business incubator include MetroLyrics (acquired by CBS in 2010), HiretheWorld, Buyatab and V7 Entertainment.

Simon Fraser University is Canada’s top-ranked comprehensive university and one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 120,000 alumni in 130 countries.

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