The Bucket List is 'pitch perfect' at UBC's Entrepreneurship Boot Camp competition
Aspiring entrepreneurs gathered February 8th and 9th at UBC’s Okanagan campus for the second-annual Entrepreneurship Boot Camp, where $10,000 in prize money was generously donated by Plug and Play Technology Centre to help the winning teams start their entrepreneurial projects.
The weekend kicked off with encouraging words from Entrepreneurship Club director Sanam Amidhozour, faculty advisor Barb Marcolin, Dean Roger Sugden, and visiting experts in the fields of Sustainability, Law, and Entrepreneurship. Sugden declared entrepreneurial efforts and thinking as “the centre of the future of the campus.”
The Entrepreneurship Boot Camp served as an opportunity for individuals from all disciplines and faculties to take part in the beginning stages of an entrepreneurial venture, and to identify the qualities that companies and executives are looking for in a new project. Participants learned how to craft and perfect an elevator pitch—a concise, persuasive sales pitch that all budding entrepreneurs should have prepared to present at any moment.
Event director Sanam Amidhozour, a fourth-year Management student, wanted participants to realize how it's possible to start a company or take part in an entrepreneurial venture, and stressed the fact that the weekend was a fantastic opportunity to “bring drive and passion to the school.”
Attending university is a great time to explore and take chances on entrepreneurial ideas, as students generally do not yet have the financial burdens of later adulthood to restrict potential for success. John Martin, a second-year Management student and Boot Camp participant, found the event to be an inspiring and rewarding experience, which gave him “the opportunity to branch out and make relationships with people with an entrepreneurial spark.”
On Saturday morning, 14 teams were given the task of developing a business model for a solution to a problem of their choosing. Over the course of Saturday and Sunday, with help and critique from the event mentors, teams worked tirelessly to formulate a creative and functional business plan for their entrepreneurial ideas. On Sunday afternoon the teams pitched their ideas to a panel of esteemed judges and mentors.
The two winning teams each received a cash prize of $5,000 to help with startup costs. The Bucket List, an online marketplace for adventure tourism, took the top prize. Organizers and participants were thrilled with how the weekend turned out, and plans are already underway for next year’s Boot Camp.
Marcolin, co-director of the event, closed the awards by thanking the sponsors, participants, and judges and mentors. She concluded by assuring the audience that entrepreneurial efforts on campus will continue to move “onward and upward.”
The Boot Camp was co-hosted by the Faculty of Management, the Management Student Association, the Entrepreneurship Club, the School of Engineering, UBC UILO, the Engineering Undergraduate Society, and the local community.