Sometimes the idea is the easy part. Then comes the challenge: how to make it a viable business venture.
Getting a cool business idea off the ground is one of the biggest hurdles confronting any young entrepreneur. Maybe you’re an inventor, but you don’t have the business savvy or the available time to take your idea to the next level. When you’re new to the business world, the learning curve can be sharp. Sometimes it can be too steep. Where can you turn for advice and guidance?
There’s a powerful entrepreneurial buzz these days at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT). The learning environment on campus is dynamic and those with ambitious plans and bright ideas are taking advantage of a supportive new entrepreneurial culture – appropriately called Brilliant.
Brilliant Entrepreneurship provides business development tools and skills such as workshops and bootcamps, incubation space, mentorship, networking and funding opportunities.
During February’s mid-semester Reading Week, UOIT Brilliant Entrepreneurship and Spark Innovation Centre collaborated to deliver an intensive three-day entrepreneurial bootcamp for university students. The challenge: develop a viable business idea for the information technology and media industries.
“Bootcamp participants from different university faculties went through the entire business startup experience – from the exuberance of the initial idea to the challenge of execution,” says David Pamenter, Executive-in-Residence, UOIT Brilliant Entrepreneurship. “After the first day, five teams were formed. We grouped students with different sets of entrepreneurial skills and challenged them to develop one great business idea they would later pitch to a panel of judges.”
Students received catalyst tools and the support and guidance of experienced advisors, from Spark Innovation Centre and UOIT staff and alumni. Top companies were awarded cash prizes from both Brilliant Entrepreneurship and Spark Centre, as well as in-kind services. They also earned placement in the 2016 Brilliant Summer Incubator Program.
2016 Bootcamp Awards
- First place ($2,000) – Integrity Browser*
- Ahmad Touseef, Founder (Electrical Engineering, third year)
- Sagar Desai (Software Engineering, third year)
- Benson Naman (Human Health Science specialization, second year)
- Second place ($1,000) – Mager Cleaning Service**
- Spencer Greenway, Co-Founder (Health Science Comprehensive, fourth year)
- Reza Karami (Networking and Information Technology Security, fourth year)
- Max Polubiec, Co-Founder (Entrepreneurship and Innovation, fifth year, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia)
- *About Integrity Browser
- Integrity Browser is an artificially intelligent web browser that stops cheating in online courses. It acts like an invigilator: it monitors the student by ‘seeing’ through a webcam and ‘hearing’ via audio to detect any pre-defined academic misconducts, such as reading off external notes, talking to peers to get answers, peeking at cheating aids, etc.
- **About Mager Cleaning Service
- Mager Cleaning Service is a digital marketplace mobile application that matches students who want convenient and inexpensive cleaning services with other students seeking on-demand flexible employment.
- 2016 Brilliant Bootcamp judges
- Jodi Glover, CEO and Co-Founder, Real Tech Inc.
- John Hayden, Manager, Enterprise Programs – Northumberland Community Futures Development Corporation
- Steve Rose, Associate Dean, UOIT Faculty of Business and Information Technology
Brilliant Entrepreneurship at UOIT is supported in part by FastStart and Incubate Innovate Network of Canada (I-INC). FastStart is a member of the Ontario Networks of Excellence and is funded in part by the Ontario Centres of Excellence. I-INC is supported in part by the National Research Council Canada.