Innovation Project Gets Students Fired Up, Not Fired
This year's Peter Thomas Innovation Project saw two teams make nearly $5,000 each in the 10-day challenge and two other teams create eco-friendly sun and surf ventures. "The Innovation Project is a bit like The Apprentice," says business professor Brock Smith, "except we've been doing this for eight years and no one gets fired. Students just get fired-up on their new found entrepreneurial skills."
A strong focus of the entrepreneurship specialization is on sustainable venturing which is also recognized in the Innovation Project. This year's Sustainability Award went to an eco-friendly adventure tour and sunset sailing venture. The Sail With Us team established a green business that created value across the triple bottom line of social, economic, and ecological success. Their social contribution saw students offered a significant discount rate and subsidized tours provided to the Big Brothers and Sisters Organization to be allocated to kids who could not otherwise experience the excitement of sailing on the B.C. coast. Sail With Us also committed to donating 50 per cent of their profits to the local Sierra Club. Runner up in this category was Sun Team Promotions a venture dedicated to educating the public on the harmful effects of the sun. Sponsorship provided by NoZone will allow the Sun Team to attend community events to promote sun safety awareness.
Custom note cards, a project featuring campus photographs, took first place in the profit category,earning $4,822. Student photographer Karen Doherty took the pictures which the team turned into cards and sold. Students chose this project because they found themselves often describing campus sights and beauty spots to others while away on international study exchange. Their project research revealed this opportunity when they could not find a supply of note-style cards which also included images of their favourite campus locations. The second-place team, KBD Marketing, created a four-month reusable dry-erase calendar which earned a profit of $3,422. This team also had $2,800 in accounts receivable which are not counted as part of project. KBD's research found students liked these calendars for organizing events, parties, homework, assignments and meetings. It is dry erasable so students can reuse it, rather than writing on their hands or on scraps of paper to plan their semesters. These teams narrowly missed last year's
record profit of $5,270.
All projects were completed and funds added up on May 13, 2005. Backgrounders about the projects with student names and photos, and the entrepreneurship program are available at in the Bachelor of Commerce Program pages of this site.