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Nothing ventured, nothing gained

How Amber Rowden is taking her business venture to the next level.

Once upon a time, Amber Rowden was a little girl who’d rather act something out than read a book. Now, she wants to teach kids to read using theatre techniques through her business, Once Upon a Story.  

Amber is pursuing a double major in marketing and digital marketing at the College. She describes her business as a tutoring service that uses techniques like pitch, pace, and script to teach children to read. Amber is very passionate about theatre – she’s been acting since she was 14 – and recognized the potential its fundamentals could have off the stage. She had the idea for Once Upon a Story in the back of her head for a while, but didn’t start to pursue it until she learned about VentureQuest, the College’s business idea competition. There, she placed second. 

This Saturday, Amber will learn how to take her startup to the next level. She’ll be attending the Art of the Start – How to Nail Your Start-up on the First Try, an event presented by 150 Startups. 150 Startups is an initiative started by Craig Elias, our entrepreneur in residence, that invites Alberta’s post-secondary students to collaborate to become entrepreneurs. At the Art of the Start, Craig will be joined by Evan Hu, acting CEO of Innovate Calgary. Through the expertise of both Craig and Evan, participants will learn how to launch a more profitable startup, get new products or services to market faster, and overcome the “innovator’s bias” that kills many startups and product launches. 

Amber says she’s looking forward to collaborating with the other participants and learning how to go forward with her business. “VentureQuest was a good start, but I feel like I can do more,” she says. “I feel like this weekend, I'll get advice and gain knowledge from other students and entrepreneurs.”

She hopes to extend her involvement with the College’s entrepreneurship community beyond the 150 Startups event; she’s also interested in taking part in Innovation Rodeo, a series of events in July which include keynotes speeches, panels, and pitch competitions. Innovation Rodeo was also created by Craig. 

You can learn more about social entrepreneurship initiatives at the Chiu School of Business here

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Posted on May 4, 2018

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