Edwards shares 2020 business plan competition prize among five teams as show of support during crisis

Natasha Katchuk

Due to the COVID-19 global pandemic, the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business has decided to share the InVenture Business Plan Competition prize equally among the top five entrepreneurial groups.

Each of the five finalist teams will receive $2,000 to acknowledge the effort put into preparing pitches for the competition and gala.

The March 18 event was slated to have the teams pitch their business ventures in front of experienced entrepreneurs, potential investors, and the Saskatoon business community, with the top entrepreneur taking home the $10,000 grand prize.

“As we adjust to the realities of the COVID-19 pandemic, we recognize the importance of supporting our local business community,” said Dr. Keith Willoughby (PhD), dean of the Edwards School of Business. “We hope that this year’s group of entrepreneurs will utilize this financial support to enable ongoing success for their businesses.”

The ventures were chosen from a selection of 17 applications and represent solutions for storage, livestock, wellness, software, and sports.

Please join us in celebrating the entrepreneurial achievements of our USask students below:

2020 InVenture Business Plan Competition Recipient

Arctic Shelf
Dawson Norrish (Edwards School of Business)

Business description: Arctic Shelf is the first IoT refrigerated locker solution for the workplace. Customers use our mobile app to find, rent, and open their locker, allowing them to store meals at work without the fear that someone will take or touch their food.
Why is entrepreneurship important to you: Entrepreneurship at its core is persistence and resilience. These qualities are not always on full display when times are good, but they become absolutely necessary in times of extreme turbulence. In the wake of COVID-19, entrepreneurs and business owners are going to need the discipline to confront the brutal facts of our new reality and the courage to change course to build a newer, better future.
What do you plan to do with the prize money?: COVID-19 is accelerating the disruption of the online grocery delivery market. Arctic Shelf is in a fantastic spot to position its refrigerated lockers as the (contactless!) destination delivery option for condos and apartment buildings — Customers will order groceries online and pick them up in the lobby of their building, without ever having to go to the grocery store or haul groceries into/out of their car. We plan to use the money from the InVenture competition to build the back-end architecture to make this a reality.

2020 InVenture Business Plan Competition Recipient

Bowl Butler
Brendon Carbert, Cory Ingram and Jordan Himmelsbach (College of Engineering)

Business description: Livestock require a year-round freshwater supply to remain healthy. Bowl Butler will provide year-round remote monitoring of this water supply for several common issues. Our solution will improve livestock health and reduce the workload of Canadian producers.
Why is entrepreneurship important to your team?: Entrepreneurship offers our team a space to create technological solutions that disrupt the status quo.
What does your team plan to do with the prize money?: We intend to invest our winnings into a soft launch of the Bowl Butler monitoring system this fall.

2020 InVenture Business Plan Competition Recipient

Changes: A Wellness Community
Tamara McLoughlin (College of Agriculture and Bioresources)

Business description: Changes: A Wellness Community is an online forum/social network with a professional focus on advancing the wellness of women through two-way and community-wide engagement on topics of fitness, nutrition, meal-planning, work-life balance and more. By providing a supportive environment of like-minded women that can together provide accountability toward the pursuit of individual goals, while presenting new opportunities for friendships and a platform for culturing an inclusive yet desirably exclusive social network, Changes aims to rewrite how women can help women in the health and wellness market.
Why is entrepreneurship important to you?: I have been in the agricultural industry in the food safety and animal welfare sector for many years now and always gravitated towards jobs where I have autonomy and freedom in my role. To me, entrepreneurship is an opportunity to be creative, to innovate, and to make a difference in a way that traditional jobs do not always allow. As a Mom of 4 young kids, entrepreneurship also gives me the flexibility I desire to maintain a healthy work-life balance.
What do you plan to do with the prize money?: I will be putting the prize money towards start-up costs for Changes, such as the fees involved with offering a 14-day free trial to new members. Changes will be going live in May 2020.

2020 InVenture Business Plan Competition Recipient

Nelson Wani (College of Engineering), Jordan Sinclair (Edwards School of Business), and Daylon Ball (College of Arts & Science)

Business description: We provide productivity software for steel fabricators and machine shops. We remove paper from shop floors enabling firms to better track their people and projects. Autumn enables remote collaboration, ensures compliance, and guarantees everyone is working on the current revision.
Why is entrepreneurship important to your team?: As a team, what we share in common is an incredible sense of curiosity for the world and an insatiable sense for adventure. Being entrepreneurs for us is less a choice and more a necessity. Being entrepreneurs means we get to dream big and work hard toward a shared vision. From creating a sales process from scratch to building distributed microservices, we can grow professionally in ways we couldn't otherwise. Above all, it’s the most interesting and most adventurous thing can do.
What does your team plan to do with the prize money?: The first objective is to ratify the business and prepare the company for fundraising and hiring. We are currently starting our first sales campaign, so the majority of the funds will go towards sales and technical tools to make sure our technology is robust and field ready, and that our sales process is as efficient as possible.

2020 InVenture Business Plan Competition Recipient

Eat Sports
Jade Dziadyk & Paul Weiss (Edwards School of Business)

Business description: Eat Sports is Saskatoon's first E-Sports viewing and entertainment complex. We are focused on delivering the ultimate viewing experience for E-Sports fans as well as delivering educational sessions to help expand the E-Sports community in Saskatoon.
Why is entrepreneurship important to your team?: We both enjoy being able to express ourselves creatively through entrepreneurship opportunities. Being able to create a business plan that combines our love for video games and E-Sports with the practical world of restaurants and education has motivated us to be proud and excited about our Eat-Sports business plan. The world of E-Sports is growing, and we hope to capitalize on its potential.
What does your team plan to do with the prize money?: We plan on putting the money toward finishing off our education, as well as exploring new opportunities for how we can begin to reach the E-Sports community around Saskatoon without requiring our own designated facility. This could include pairing up with local bars to host E-Sports viewing events.


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