Opportunity Fest 2016 highlights interdisciplinary innovation at SFU

Mar 15, 2016
Opportunity Fest is an annual interdisciplinary marketplace-style festival of student creativity and entrepreneurship.

Opportunity Fest is an annual interdisciplinary marketplace-style festival of student creativity and entrepreneurship.

Students from disciplines across Simon Fraser University and beyond are preparing to demonstrate their prowess in the fields of entrepreneurship and innovation at the sixth annual Opportunity Fest.

Opportunity Fest 2016 will be held at the SFU Surrey Campus on March 22 from 5:30 – 9pm. The interdisciplinary marketplace-style festival of student creativity and entrepreneurship is open to undergraduate students from faculties across SFU. It will also feature a special showcase of ventures from students from local high schools including Fraser Heights Secondary and Inquiry Hub.

Ventures that will be showcased at this year’s event include socially conscious urban fashion, a home-brewing machine for first time beer makers, wearable tech for hockey players, and low cost medical devices for the developing world.

“OppFest is a fantastic example of the flexibility that SFU entrepreneurship and innovation students have to choose their own adventure,” says Sarah Lubik, Director of Entrepreneurship for SFU and organizer of Opportunity Fest.

“Whether students are interested in tech innovation, social innovation, health innovation, creative entrepreneurship, or a combination, SFU has a program suited to their needs. Our programs are developed to let students customize their experience and find teammates with a full spectrum of talents to create and seize their own opportunities.”

Opportunity Fest 2016 will offer prizes in a variety of categories, including Most Impactful Solution; Most Innovative Technological Solution; Most Investable Opportunity; Mr. and Mrs. Opportunity; and Entrepreneurs’ Choice.

Winners in each of the categories will take home a prize of $500, with second and third place receiving $200 and $100 respectively. The project that best demonstrates a dedication to economic, social, and environmental impact will win the Grand Prize in Triple Bottom Line Innovation, and a prize of $1,000.

Thirty guest judges from academia, industry, and local venture incubators will be on hand to assess the impact, quality, and commercial viability of the student ventures.

The event underscores SFU’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship. In the last year, SFU has launched SFU Innovates, a university-wide strategy and action plan to inspire, develop and support impact-driven innovation and entrepreneurship.

In 2015 SFU also launched a new interdisciplinary Certificate In Innovation and Entrepreneurship, open to undergraduate students from faculties across SFU. Spearheaded by the Beedie School of Business, the Certificate teaches students skills that are increasingly sought after by employers, such as creativity, adaptability, teamwork, collaboration, communication, and implementation.

“SFU Innovates highlights interdisciplinary entrepreneurship, community-engagement, and social innovation as the pillars to create and empower entrepreneurs and innovators right across the school and in the community,” says Lubik. “At OppFest, these values shine in our students and their ventures, and demonstrate that our strategy for cultivating student innovation and entrepreneurship is clearly working.”

For more information on Opportunity Fest 2016, visit beedie.sfu.ca/oppfest/overview/

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