SFU Entrepreneur of the Year Competition showcases Beedie innovationNov 27, 2013
Two teams of students from the Beedie School of Business took their place on the podium at the sixth Annual SFU Entrepreneur of the Year Competition.
This year’s competition took place at the SFU Surrey Campus on November 16, and brought together SFU’s finest entrepreneurs in a Dragon’s Den style competition to compete for funding and resources to take their venture to the next level.
Second place at the competition went to Salvedge Bags, a social venture that employs women in Vancouver facing employment barriers to use textiles such as broken umbrellas, vinyl banners, street banners, and upholstery to produce unique bags and backpacks.
Beedie School of Business BBA students Cindy Cheng, Selena Bell and Shaan Thind founded Salvedge Bags in Beedie lecturer Lisa Papania’s BUS 445 Product Development class. The venture’s first incarnation, under the name “Second Chance” previously took first place in the sustainable category at Opportunity Fest 2012.
Bronze went to EnableLife, an online community for people living with disabilities to connect and share advice to enable easier living run by Beedie students Xinyan Chen, Aamir Sheriff, Samuel Chan, Ovid Durbalau, Chi Hsi, and Sahar Sayyadi.
The venture was initially conceived in the BUS 453 Sustainable Innovation class, taught by Beedie adjunct professor Shawn Smith. It was further developed through the Social Venture Accelerator, and continues to receive ongoing mentorship from RADIUS, the Beedie School’s interdisciplinary social innovation lab and venture incubator. EnableLife was also awarded the Entrepreneurs’ Choice award in Opportunity Fest 2013.
The title of 2013 SFU Entrepreneur of the Year went to SFU Computing Science PhD graduate Maryam Sadeghi for her product, MoleScope, which offers a complete solution for early diagnosis of skin cancer from home by empowering users with professional microscopy devices and connecting them with specialists and hospitals through a smartphone app. The venture earned the top prize of $3000 in funding along with media and video packages and mentoring sessions.
The judging panel at the competition consisted of experienced industry professionals including Howie Wu, a Beedie School of Business EMBA alumnus, and founder of cloud computing company Layerboom; Manny Padda, a Beedie School of Business BBA alumnus, and founder of investment firm New Avenue Capital; Lisa Von Sturmer, founder of Growing City; David LePage, CEO of social enterprise company Accelerating Social Impact; and Minna Van, co-founder of The Network Hub.
The SFU Entrepreneur of the Year (SEY) program, which consists of the annual SEY Competition and venture accelerator program Jumpstart, is the signature entrepreneurship program for ENACTUS SFU, a student-run organization that creates self-sustaining social ventures to solve real world problems.
Previous winners of the SEY competition include Beedie students Milun Tesovic, founder of music lyrics database website Metrolyrics, which was later acquired by CBS Interactive Music, and Matias Marquez, founder of online gift-card retail platform Buyatab Online Inc.
For more information on the 2013 SFU Entrepreneur of the Year competition, visit www.sfusey.com