Feb 10, 2017


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Shannon van Leenen

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Bow Valley College announces winners of the fourth annual VentureQuest Competition

Unique snack food concept impressed judges for the top spot

CALGARY – Bow Valley College learner Sara Barreto has won this year’s VentureQuest competition for her innovative business idea WafflePops.

Participants presented their social business ideas during the VentureQuest Final Gala on February 9, 2017, to a panel of special guest judges:

  • Zahra Al-Harazi, Canadian ambassador to UNICEF, and founder and former CEO of Foundry Communications
  • Jim Hand, VP of the Canadian Business Unit at Repsol Oil & Gas Canada Ltd.
  • Janet Lane, director, Canada West Foundation Centre for Human Capital Policy
  • Roger Straathof, managing director, National Client Group, Alberta for RBC

Winners were announced shortly after their five minute presentations.

Sara won $10,000 in cash prizes, funding, and in-kind services for her business idea WafflePops. WafflePops is the answer to an increasing demand for breakfast and snack type fast food. The concept of a cone shaped Belgian waffle on a stick uses local ingredients with your choice of toppings including fresh fruits, candies, homemade sauces, jams and ice cream. What makes WafflePops different from other products in the Canadian market is that it focuses on hiring single mothers to help offset their educational costs. Sara recently came to Canada from Columbia and is studying English as a Second Language.

Second place went to Max Jimenez Pastran, who won $5,500 for his business idea Total Supplies Canada, a link between homebuilders and Chinese building manufacturers. A third place prize of $2,500 went to Luke Sikora for his Spiller Balance skateboard training business idea. The finalists have a series of steps they must complete before competing in the final gala including a showcase, development sessions, and a business plan submission.

Now in its fourth year, the VentureQuest business idea competition gives Bow Valley College students the chance to start a social entrepreneurship venture through the RBC Business Accelerator Centre and the Repsol Hub for Social Enterprise. It also gives participants the chance to collaborate and network, develop business ideas, and receive support to launch their business plans successfully.

The fifth VentureQuest Business Competition will be held in February 2018. For more information go to:

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Editor's notes
VentureQuest Winner’s video entry: WafflePops, Waffles on the go

About Bow Valley College
Bow Valley College - Calgary and region's only Comprehensive Community College - with more than 15,000 full- and part-time students, is a leader in business and health career training, community studies, creative technologies, adult upgrading, and English Language Learning.

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