By: Julia Vodyanyuk
Algonquin students had the opportunity to meet dozens of industry professionals and mentors last weekend at Ottawa City Hall for Start-Up Garage, a two-night entrepreneurship event designed for students trying to start their own businesses.
The University of Ottawa-based program allows students from Algonquin College, Carleton University, and La Cité Collégiale a chance to apply for a three month work term over the summer where they get the essential tools for business success: $20,000 cash to spend on their business, space, and support.
The event is heavily based around entrepreneurship and team-work success. “This is not about the application process, it’s about getting the teams together, and helping people really consolidate their ideas,” said Sean Flanigan, assistant director of technology partnerships at uOttawa.
The program is also intended to help job creation through the rise of new, well-managed companies. “I always say if you give a student a diploma they can have one job, you give them a company and they can make an unlimited number of jobs,” Flanigan said.
Alex Mahone, Algonquin’s entrepreneurship coordinator, encourages students at the College to apply for the program and start up their businesses. “Algonquin is not as strongly represented as it should be,” Mahone said, “My goal is to see at least two Algonquin companies accepted into the program.”
Many students have found success through this summer program. Carleton University student Nick May, a graduate of the program, was able to successfully develop his product ‘Vanilla Shower Time’, a shave bar that is now sold at Algonquin in the bookstore.
During the summer program, students get the freedom to develop a well-managed business team as well as an abundance of professional resources.“No one’s telling you how to run your business,” May said, “you just get advice if you need it,”
Students pitch all sorts of ideas for the program, everything from medicines, machines, to websites, like Ian MacDonald, first year computer sciences student, who is hopeful to launch his new website idea with help from the program.
Applications for the program are due Feb. 12, 2013 and are available at www.startupgarage.ca. For more information, contact the College’s student entrepreneurship coordinator Alex Mahone.