I-3 competition winners. from left to right: Courtney Wiebe, Eric Kung, class instructor Bernie Maroney, Ryan Torio and Selena Bell

Spring 2013 I-3 competition winners. From left to right: Courtney Wiebe, Eric Kung, class instructor Bernie Maroney, Ryan Torio and Selena Bell

Undergraduate students at SFU’s Beedie School of Business displayed their entrepreneurial talents as they presented new venture concepts of their own design to a panel of guest judges at the I-3 competition.

The I-3 competition, formerly known as the Ken Spencer Competition, is held in conjunction with the Business 477: New Venture Planning class. The competition required the teams to create a product or service concept and business plan to commercialize their product.

Through SFU entrepreneurial support program Venture Connection, the teams were assigned mentors from the local business community to guide their business innovation ideas.

The students pitched their creations to a panel of “dragons”, consisting of experienced angel investors and business coaches from the local business community Chris Hilliard, Hugh MacNaught and Honor Morris.

The judges selected the top three teams, who benefited from prize money from the Beedie Endowment Fund, in order to encourage the students to pursue their ventures further or seek individual entrepreneurial development opportunities.

“The New Venture Planning class challenges students to create new venture concepts and perform several iterations of key business aspects to refine the idea into a cohesive venture plan, suitable for angel and venture capital investors,” said Beedie lecturer and class instructor Bernie Maroney. “Students define the business model, perform extensive market research, and develop a complete venture financial prospectus, all aligned with the objective to launch successful ventures.”

The winning team was Laptop Secure, who impressed the judges with their laptop security solution. Mentored by local entrepreneur Thealzel Lee, the team, consisting of undergraduates Ryan Torio, Eric Kung, Selena Bell and Courtney Wiebe, were awarded a $3000 cash prize.

Second place went to gourmet food subscription service YummyBox, mentored by locAZu founder Dawn Sheirzad. Team members Rezwan Imtiaz, Jason Yang, Bashayer Al-Zaidi and Rizwan Iqbal received $1500 in prize money.

Meanwhile third place went to Angela Zhou, Yiu Lam Kwok, Xinnan Zhang and Marina Cojahmetova for their venture OriginalLit.com, an online Chinese literature platform providing exclusive and high quality prose and short fiction. The team, mentored by J. Joly, CEO and founder of dimeRocker & CineCoup, took home $500 for their efforts.

“The competition was fiercely battled, with narrow margins between these teams,” said Maroney. “Strong, talented, knowledgeable entrepreneurs such as these are salient to continued economic development – these fine young men and women are worthy of our congratulations and our continued support. I am proud of all the teams for their progress throughout this demanding course, and especially proud of the winning teams who overcame challenges and adversity in their pursuit.”