Bow Valley College students impress with bold business pitches at VentureQuest
The 9th annual VentureQuest Business Idea Competition Finals took place on Thursday, April 7, 2022, with finalists presenting bold socially-driven business ideas to in-person and virtual audiences.. Thanks to our generous partners including Presenting Sponsor TD Bank Group and Prize Sponsor Franklin Templeton Investments this year’s program had the 10 finalists present their ideas to more than 70 guests including aspiring entrepreneurs, representatives from the different sectors of the Alberta entrepreneurship ecosystem, and four pitching judges. The stakes were high with more than $20,000 in cash and prizes awarded to the top three social entrepeneurs.
“VentureQuest allows our students to validate and test their ideas, so they are more likely to be successful the first time around,” notes Bow Valley College’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence Craig Elias. “For the winners, it’s also an opportunity to see their idea come to life. That’s really exciting for everyone involved.”
The aspiring entrepreneurs taking home coveted cash and prizes at this year’s event include:
Vincent Sarap – Convinz Canada – First place winner
Vincent’s idea, Convinz Canada, is a platform that allows agents of luxury goods to have their licenses, credentials, and affiliations evaluated and certified by specialists. This gives their customers the peace of mind and security while conducting online transactions. This also helps limit the prevalence of online scams.
Dorothy Man – Pawsome Tea – Second place winner
Dorothy’s pitch, Pawsome Tea, is both a bubble tea shop and a place to cuddle cats. They help animal shelters find home for cats up for adoption while also educating the public on how to care for these animals.
Jay Olea – The Butlers and Co. – Third place winner and Crowd Favourite
The Butlers and Co. is a butler service, on-demand concierge, errands running and events planning startup employing international students in Calgary. It aims to make transitions of these students more manageable so they can focus on what matters the most – their studies and peace of mind.
2022 VentureQuest winner Vincent Sarap, a Health and Human Services Management student at Bow Valley College, says he is grateful for the opportunity and thankful he took the plunge to register and test his idea. “This win, for me, is a validation of my grit and perseverance while I was working on my idea,” notes Vincent “It shows other students that we all have the opportunity to become an entrepreneur, as long as we have an open mind and are willing to learn from the great mentors and colleagues we have at Bow Valley College.”
Since its inception in 2014, Bow Valley College’s VentureQuest program has given more than 90 students the chance to become social entrepreneurs. Thanks to the support of our community-minded sponsors and supporters we have awarded more than $120,000 in cash and in-kind services. The entrepreneurial spirit and social focus of our VentureQuest program participants has been recognized and celebrated by the community.
Now looking forward, Vincent says he is excited for the next steps of his journey and the opportunity to take his idea, Convinz, to even greater heights. “I plan to enlist help in building a prototype platform for Convinz,” Vincent says. “I am looking to secure funding and mentorship from the recent networking opportunities I gained from VentureQuest to be able to launch Convinz by the end of 2022.”