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Wilfrid Laurier University Leaf
October 22, 2017
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Keynote speaker Ryan Smolkin (kneeling) poses with competitors
Keynote speaker Ryan Smolkin (kneeling) poses with competitors

Headlines (Campus Updates)


Laurier holds sixth annual Entrepreneurship Competition

Communications, Public Affairs & Marketing

Mar 11/13

Laurier celebrated innovation and entrepreneurship at the sixth annual 2013 Laurier Entrepreneurship Competition in the Maureen Forrester Hall on Laurier’s Waterloo campus. Participating teams presented business plans for their new ventures – actual companies that are well underway – to a panel of judges.

Alumnus Ryan Smolkin (BBA ‘95), founder and chief executive officer of Smoke’s Poutinerie, began the competition with a dynamic keynote and an air guitar set.

Smolkin also served as a judge for the competition along with Laurier alumnus and Harvard Business School graduate Ian McLean (BBA ‘98), director of marketing, Medtronic of Canada, and alumna Susan Cranston (BBA ’90), AVP Group Small Business Marketing and Advisor Services, Manulife Financial.

“It’s remarkable to watch these young student entrepreneurs rapidly turn their ideas into real enterprises,” said Steve Farlow, executive director of Laurier’s Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship. “We hope that the experience, feedback and resources from the Laurier Entrepreneurship Competition will help these budding entrepreneurs bring their ideas to market.”

Of the thirty teams that entered the competition, five finalists were chosen to compete in the final round.

The winners of the final round included:

  • First place: Edgar Bruce Eyewear, Katrina Shaw (fourth year BSc Chemistry)
  • Second place: The Smile Epidemic, Jim Moss (fourth year Psychology)
  • Third place: Afr-I-Can Jewelry, Ursula Kressibucher (first year BBA)

Organizers awarded $8,000 in prizes to the winners to help fund their companies: $5,000 to first place, $2,000 to second place and $1,000 to third place. In addition to the cash prizes, $1,500 in in-kind services from George Briggs Media was awarded to each of the five finalists.

As the first-place winner, Shaw will also have the opportunity to enter Edgar Bruce Eyewear in the national Wes Nicol Entrepreneurial Award competition, a non-profit competition designed to promote entrepreneurship at Canadian post-secondary institutions. The award will be presented at the Château Laurier in Ottawa in late March.

The Schlegel Centre for Entrepreneurship partnered with two student organizations: the Laurier Innovation & Technology Club (LiTC) and Enactus Laurier to expand the reach and impact of the program.  This year, LiTC and Enactus organized a showcase in the KPMG Atrium to highlight some of the local startups working out of the Communitech Hyperdrive, UW Velocity, and Laurier LaunchPad.


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