Two teams of Acadia University students won first and second place at last weekend’s Start It Up! competition hosted by the Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre (AEC). The event took place on campus in the Michener Lounge.
Start It Up! provides an opportunity for Acadia students, grads, community members, entrepreneurs, and students to develop their entrepreneurial skills and solve existing problems in the community. Participants solve a particular problem by starting with idea generation through to validation and then pitching a solution.
Sixteen teams worked over 28 hours to solve industry problems for a chance to win three top prizes totaling $10,000.
Findlay MacRae, Executive Director of Acadia Entrepreneurship Centre, said the competition is designed to challenge participants to build on their entrepreneurial skill-sets, including problem-solving, critical thinking and communication.
First place, and $6,000, went to Acadia Environmental Science students Emilia Ganslandt, Gillian Hollebone, and Alisha Christie. Their solution, ‘Highway 101’ is a mobile food truck that brings less expensive produce from farms into communities to make healthy eating more accessible to all Nova Scotians.
Second place, and $3,500, went to Business students Jordan Leeks, Ben Tees and Sean Ostling, who created a solution to engage students to support retired seniors who want to stay in their homes, but can’t maintain the property.
Third place, $500, was awarded to a team of four students from Dalhousie’s agricultural campus student entrepreneurship centre, Cultiv8. The team included Lauren Pattison, Frederic Unger, Rebekah Bailey and Connor Fullerton. Their solution was an app designed to create a more balanced work/life culture.
Fifty participants competed in this year’s event, including Acadia students and grads, community members, four students from Horton High and a very entrepreneurial 12-year-old.
Start It Up! Took place November 24-25, 2017. Throughout the 28 hours, participants generated ideas, tested their validity through the Lean Canvas Model, and prepared their presentations for the judges: Amanda Peters, CEO of Glooscap Ventures, Ron Lovett founding member of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO) Atlantic Canada, and Jim Kennedy, an expert on team alignment with a passion for scaling businesses through excellent company culture.