This den featured bears instead of dragons, but 140 students faced stiff competition presenting business ideas in pursuit of their names on an entrepreneurship award earlier this week.
Approximately 140 students from the School of Hospitality, Tourism and Recreation participated in Georgian Den on April 7, judged by ‘bears’ from the business community. Teams of one to six students prepared a total of 33 business plans and battled it out in a competition adapted from the popular CBC television show Dragons’ Den. The event was the culmination of academic requirements for the Entrepreneurship and Small Business course. While the effort was for educational purposes, some students are interested in pursuing their ideas in the business world.
Among them are Victoria Cort, Alison Couse, Nadine Creighton, Steven Samson, Andrew Schroeder, and Mikaela Weir, creators of ‘The Finger.’ Their product is a small, stainless steel hand tool that protects fingers while practising the correct chef cutting technique. The Finger took first place in the competition. The product is marketed toward culinary school cutlery providers for inclusion in tool kits purchased by 160,000 students annually in Canada.
Their team won a first-place medal, a certificate and their business and individual names on a new Entrepreneurship Award.
Taking second place was Rohyp-NO!, a unique product addressing the safety needs of young adults – particularly women. Rohyp-NO! is applied like a clear nail polish, but when dipped in a drink laced with the ‘date rape’ drug Rohypnol, the polish will change colour. The goal of students Jamie DeLacey, Kari Howell, Marcel Matacun, Evan McLeod, Jessica Traitses and Laura Wiebe is to keep people safe while still enjoying their night on the town.The third-place idea, Ice Cream 911, was presented by Jim Hunt. His concept was to convert a fully restored 1952 Alf Series fire truck into an ice cream truck. The truck will serve peanut-free ice cream, with organic and gluten free options.Taking fourth place was Street Shakes, the business idea of Robin Buckley-Cuomo, Jeff Cholewa, Brad Dubreuil, Matt MacGean, Antoinette Stevens and Wes Watters. They planned a milkshake and smoothie food truck for Wasaga Beach, targeting both tourists and locals.
Fifth place went to Grill-eh!, a Barrie food truck specializing in gourmet grill cheese sandwiches. This was the idea of Gagandeep Kaur, Andrew Mittelstrass, Sarah Stewart and Greg Thompson.
The bears (judges) included Gil Blutrich, president, Skyline Investments; Adrian Boem, owner, Barrie Equipment Sales; Diane Housome, owner, Bayview Wildwood Resort; Angela Pidutti, owner, Cravings; Nicole Saulnier, owner, Georgian Bay Airways; and Barb Shopland, Interim Director, Henry Bernick Entrepreneurship Centre, Georgian College.