Students in Medicine Hat College’s MGMT 270 course got a glimpse into entrepreneurship during an in-class project entitled Venture Design Studio.
Teams were asked to create and present a product to a panel of local business owners and college representatives. The criteria was that their idea had a social impact, was innovative and feasible. Ideas ranged from rentable art to a dispensary-to-door cannabis delivery system. Thanks to ATB Financial, the top three teams received a cash prize.
First place went to Vello Pants, who created pants that were designed for people with mobility challenges; second place was awarded to Aurora, the creators of a subscription box for women; and third was Sweet Scents, who created a candle from wasted crabapples on the ground.
“I am very proud of the students and their ideas. They continue to amaze me with their creativity. We found that the teams thrived in the competitive environment. It helped them learn, kept them engaged and they dug deeper because they wanted to take home first place,” says Miranda Davies, business instructor.
(Image Left to Right) Vello Clothing members Gagandeep Singh, Leo Mengze Li, Isaac Hintze and Cassandra Harris
When asked why Vello Pants was awarded first place, Davies explains that not only was their pitch fantastic, but also their numbers were the tightest, and they had identified a real problem in the consumer market.
Isaac Hintze, a member of Vello Pants says that their idea came from a professional in the healthcare industry.
“One of our members has an aunt who is a nurse. She had mentioned that there was a need for a product that would make dressing easier for people with physical disabilities- whether that be from carpal tunnel or stiffness in their back. We then created a product that would replace the stitching with Velcro.”
Hintze explains that once they had decided on a concept, creating a viable business came easy due to his team’s diverse experience.
“We all come with different backgrounds and that proved to be beneficial. One of our teammates is from India and because of his connections we were able to reduce our production costs. I attribute that to being one of the reasons our team won.”
Although prizes were handed out for the top three, Davies mentions that she is impressed with all of her students.
“This project is all encompassing, they learn everything about opening a business, without actually having to take on the risk. They gain experience in marketing, financials, strategy, competition and pricing amongst other things. And my students took on this challenge and amazed me with their knowledge. “
Image Left to Right, Back to Front) – Miranda Davies (instructor), A.J. Roth, Gurpreet Kaur Brar, Elhanan Sinay, Dean Forbes, Isaac Hintze, Gagandeep Singh, Leo Mengze Li, Jerri Gainer (ATB Financial) Front row – Rebekka Leidl, Cassandra Harris
Davies mentions that she is appreciative of the support this project receives.
“To have local entrepreneurs come into my classroom and work hands-on with our learners is fantastic. I am blessed for their support. Because of that ongoing engagement I can continue to offer this real-world experience to my students.”
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