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Laurier’s New Venture Competition is ‘Smolkin’
Laurier’s Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship’s 11th annual New Venture Competition takes place April 5 to 6, 2013 sponsored by BDO, and co-sponsored by the CGA of Ontario. First-year students from the School of Business & Economics will be competing for the chance to win the BDO New Venture Cup, a competition created to introduce the idea of entrepreneurship.
More than 1,100 first-year BBA students have been developing and fine-tuning their new venture ideas and business plans since the start of the school year in September. After presenting to their peers, 42 teams will advance to the semi-finals on April 5 with the ultimate hope of a spot in the finals on April 6.
“The Annual BDO New Venture Competition is a great opportunity for our first-year students to show what they are made of, ignite their entrepreneurial spirit, integrate all their learning, and hone their soft skills,” said Laura Allan, Laurier professor and competition coordinator. “Every year I am so proud and impressed by their incredible ability and enthusiasm.”
The judging panel includes Mike Morrice (BBA/BSc `08), founder and executive director, Sustainable Waterloo Region; Tyler Calder (BA`07), vice president, client strategy, Search Engine People; Jeff Nugent (BBA `95), president and chief executive officer, Contingent Workforce Solutions (CWS); Dean Elliott (BBA`87, CA) partner, BDO; and Tim Sothern (BBA `89, CA, FCA), designated assurance specialist, BDO.
“BDO is proud and excited to sponsor the BDO New Venture Competition at Laurier again this year,” said Sothern. “We are continually impressed with the quality of the ideas and presentations that we see each year at the competition. We see this as a great opportunity to be involved in our community and to meet some of the quality students that we hope will join our BDO team in the future.”
On April 6, following the final presentations and judges’ deliberations, students will have the opportunity to hear from Canadian entrepreneur and Laurier alumnus, Ryan Smolkin (BBA `95), founder of Smoke’s Poutinerie. In three years, Smolkin has created a National Poutine Empire of over 43 locations. Smoke’s Poutinerie recently received the Pinnacle Award through Foodservice and Hospitality as the Canadian company of the Year.
The final competition round begins at 12:30 p.m. on April 6. A reception will be held immediately following the presentations at 4:15 p.m. in the KPMG Atrium, Schlegel Building, on Wilfrid Laurier University’s Waterloo campus. Smolkin’s keynote presentation will begin at 5 p.m. in 1E1, Arts Building.