Winning Ideas in Acadia Nicol Award 2011

What does a snowboarder, a home renovator, and a musician have in common? They all had a business idea that won them cash in Acadia’s Nicol Entrepreneurial Award 2011.

The Nicol Entrepreneurial Award is part of a national competition that originates out of Carleton University. It involves 14 universities from across Canada and has awarded more than $100,000 to students with vision, passion, and a good business model.

Michael Craig, owner of RoxBur X-Trips, was the winner of this year’s competition and a prize of $5,000. He took his first group of Acadia students on a snowboarding trip to SugarLoaf in January, and is already planning a second trip that will expand to include students from Dalhousie University.

“Winning is really great,” says Craig, “but having other people think your business idea is good and worth winning $5,000 is even better.”

Second place and $2,000 went to Katherine Wadden and Mo Cheng presenters of a plan for Green Homes – an environmentall- friendly, home renovation company set to open in the Halifax Regional Municipality in 2013.

Chase Ellestad envisions Jammin’ as a musicians version of LinkedIn. His Web site idea - which won him $1,000 - will provide a convenient location for musicians to book jamming sessions, sell equipment, and promote the local music scene.  The model is reproducible across the country and he hopes to see it grow over time.

“It is great to see such passion and innovation from our Acadia students," says Dr. Kelly Dye, Acadia professor and Nicol Co-organizer. “I was impressed with the quality of work submitted and the competition was intense.”

Other final round entries included a gaming computer wholesaler proposed by Andy Romain, and an innovative not-for-profit by Sara Nelson to import fabrics from the developing world transforming them into classic clothing and returning profits back to the same communities.

“We are always happy to partner with the Fred C. Manning School of Business on the Nicol Entrepreneurial Award, “ says Lisa Lowthers of the Acadia Centre for Social and Business Entrepreneurship and Nicol Co-organizer. “ The national competition has provided a wealth of learning – and over $60,000 in prizes - to Acadia students over the past seven years.”  

Craig’s advise to students considering entering the Nicol next year? “Go for it, you’ll learn a lot about what goes into running and organizing a business.”



Acadia Centre for Social & Business Entrepreneurship (ACSBE)


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