Students pitch winning business plans

Peter B. Gustavson School of Business

- Moira Dann

This year’s PlanIt! business plan competition saw 12 strong teams from all across campus compete over two days. Each team had to present their complete business plan to participating judges: Jenifer Chilcott, Jill Doucette, Mark Mawhinney, Hilary Smith, Mike Tan, Richard Tuck and Marty Ward.

Teams included students from engineering, economics, humanities and English.

The ideas pitched included an app that would tell you when a laundry cycle is complete; an app designed for quick check-in of frequent hotel guests; and an enterprise that would employ the homeless, training them how to refurbish, fix and sell broken bicycles. This last venture won the Social Enterprise award.

The winning idea came from fourth-year business student Brendan Harris. His venture idea is called Portis Tech Solutions, a custom web-based operations software platform developed for the ship maintenance industry. Using a three-step program, it streamlines the complex process of ship refurbishing. The result? Reductions in human error, waste, gap and overlap.

Not only was Harris the overall winner of the Planit! Competition—nabbing the $5,000 first prize winnings—he also captured the opportunity to represent UVic at the Nicol Entrepreneurial Awards. As one of the six Nicol finalists from universities across Canada, Harris presented his business plan in Ottawa to a panel of seven judges in a competition at the end of March. He didn’t win, but it’s a competitive coup to make it to the finals.

Other winners in the PlanIt! competition included:

Second prize: Spatial Sound $2,000, fourth-year engineering students Matt Holland, Peter Sherk, Sean Cunnigham and Carissa Ouellette.

Third prize: Scholastic Housing $1,000, fourth-year economics students Kenyon Nesbitt and Nathaniel Jordan.

ocial Venture award: Helping Hands Bikes $1,500, fourth-year BCom students Robert Williams, Sean (Benson) Powell and Corey Leung. It was the fifth year in a row Gustavson students won the Social Venture award at PlanIt!

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Keywords: competition, student life, PlanIt!

People: Brendan Harris

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