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Wilfrid Laurier University Lazaridis School of Business & Economics
December 8, 2016
Canadian Excellence

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Lazaridis School of Business & Economics

Minister Milloy to speak at Laurier business competition

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Apr 1/11| For Immediate Release


Laura Allan, Assistant Business Professor
The Laurier School of Business & Economics
519-884-0710 ext. 2373 or


Christie Schellenberger, Acting Manager
Laurier's Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship
519-884-0710 ext. 2998 or

WATERLOO – John Milloy, Ontario’s minister of Training, Colleges and Universities, is the keynote speaker at this weekend’s annual BDO New Venture Competition to be held at Laurier’s Waterloo campus.

Milloy will provide the keynote address April 2 in Laurier’s Peters Building on the final day of the competition, which will see five teams of first-year bachelor of business administration students present their ideas to top local and national business leaders. Individual students will also have the opportunity to participate in a PepsiCo Pitch Competition.

“We look each year for a keynote speaker that will inspire the students at this critical point in their education, and we are very honoured that Minister John Milloy has agreed to come speak with the students to kick off the competition,” said Laura Allan, an assistant professor in the Laurier School of Business & Economics and co-founder of the competition.

Started in 2003 by Allan and Assistant Professor Jim McCutcheon, the BDO New Venture Competition is designed to strengthen students’ communication and presentation skills, while analyzing opportunities for business creation and development. It also helps create a foundation for first-year business students looking to continue in the entrepreneurial stream during their business education.

“In first year, we want to open students up to all of the possibilities out there for them in their careers,” said Allan. “This event also gives students an opportunity to see how all the parts of a business come together.”

Judges for the BDO New Venture Competition include Laurier alumni Dean Elliot (BBA ’87), office managing partner for BDO; Tim Sothern (BBA ’89), BDO-designated assurance specialist; Paul Maxwell (BBA ’07), founder of Maxwell’s Music House; as well as Carol Leaman, CEO of Post Rank Inc. and Olga Pawluczyk, president and CEO of P&P Optica. The winning team will earn scholarships and the BDO New Venture Cup.

More recently the event has included the PepsiCo Pitch Competition, which this year will be judged by Laurier alumnus Ryan Brez (BBA ’04), key account manager for PepsiCo Beverages Canada; as well as Michael Pavan, Ontario area vice president of PepsiCo Beverages Canada and Kevin Crone, Managing Partner of Dale Carnegie Business Group. The winning student of the Pitch Competition will be guaranteed an interview with Pepsico.

For more information about the event, go to


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