Annual Report 2017
5 Years Of Innovation and Impact
Supporting Mount Royal University’s most entrepreneurial students through financial awards, workshops, space, and mentorship. 2
JMH LaunchPad Program
Trico Changemaker Studio
The JMH LaunchPad Program was created to help MRU’s most entrepreneurial students pursue their passion and launch their own venture.
MRU is in the process of building a new innovation hub focused on solving society’s problems, big and small. 16
Enactus Mount Royal
Enactus Mount Royal had an incredible year placing in the top 16 teams in Canada. 19
At Design4Change, we provide meaningful employment experience to students on campus. 20
Supporting Curriculum and Faculty
The Institute’s connection with classrooms is a relationship highly valued by the team and faculty. Whether inside an entrepreneurship class, information design, interior design, or computer information systems class, the Institute challenges students from across campus to apply innovative thinking to their specialized expertise. 24
Designing YOU takes well understood design, entrepreneurship and product management principles that have been used on all of the products that we love and applies these concepts to designing “you”. 28
Engaged In The Community
With a steady increase in unemployment in Calgary, there’s no time like the present to expose our citizens to the benefits of innovative and entrepreneurial thinking. To do this, the members of the startup community recognize the importance of collaboration over competition. 34
We take the name of the Institute seriously and are committed to being recognized as innovative and entrepreneurial in the pursuit to graduate the most entrepreneurial minds in Canada.
New Concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship
5 Years Of Innovation and Impact As the Institute celebrates its fifth anniversary, we are proud of our accomplishments and excited by what the next five years will bring. The Institute was formed thanks to the generous and visionary support of our foundational donors, David and Leslie Bissett, and the RBC Foundation. In February 2012, the Institute recruited Ray DePaul as the inaugural director. With the security of a $6M endowment and a $1.1M commitment over 8 years, Ray formed a small team to find innovative ways to graduate the most entrepreneurial minds in Canada. In December 2012, the Institute secured a $250,000 donation over five years from JMH & Co. to encourage students to start their own ventures. This new program, called the JMH LaunchPad Program, was rolled out in 2013 and quickly became the flagship offering at the Institute. It provides financial awards, workshops, space, and mentorship to Mount Royal’s most entrepreneurial students. The success of the LaunchPad program attracted other donors eager to help Mount Royal students. Over the five years of operation, the LaunchPad program has awarded students with $310,000 in cash awards and $60,000 in in-kind services. This support has allowed our students to thrive and grow and are consistently the most successful student entrepreneurs in the city of the Calgary. After assessing the needs of students for a collaborative and creative space, in 2013, the Institute officially opened the Slate Innovation Lab, an impressive 1400 square foot space in the Bissett School of Business. Today Slate is a second home to a thriving community of student innovators and entrepreneurs from across campus. It’s a space for students to collaborate, brainstorm, share stories, and challenge each other’s assumptions. The Institute’s relationship to faculty is critical to the success of our students. We are proud to support faculty by hosting student events, providing expertise in the classroom, recruiting startups for in-class projects, and advising on new curriculum. Students move seamlessly from inclass assignments to extra-curricular activities offered by the Institute. Faculty and the Institute staff share a common focus on interdisciplinary experiential learning as the primary pedagogy in entrepreneurship education. The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship holds a respected role as a thought leader and active contributor in the broader Calgary and Alberta innovation and entrepreneurship community. After serving on the board of directors of Startup Calgary for three years, Ray was invited to serve on the board of Innovate Calgary. Ray was also named the inaugural Innovator in Residence at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce. In this role, Ray is able to share Mount Royal’s expertise in innovation and entrepreneurship with Calgary’s small and medium enterprises and play a small role in preparing the local economy for a more innovative and diverse future. In 2017, the Institute along with its Director were formally renewed for another 5 year term. The Institute will continue to focus on its mission: The Institute fosters an entrepreneurial mindset in Mount Royal students by providing high impact experiential learning opportunities inside and outside of the classroom. Our highly engaged approach prepares students for personal and career success.
Supporting Students “We will ensure a personalized learning experience for our students and promote it internally and externally in order to identify this as a distinguishing feature of a Mount Royal University educational experience.” - Learning Together, Leading Together: Mount Royal University’s Strategic Plan to 2025
JMH LaunchPad Program The JMH LaunchPad Program was created to help MRU’s most entrepreneurial students pursue their passion and launch their own venture. This year, $89,500 in cash and prizes was awarded to nine different Mount Royal student startups. In addition to much needed funding, students also received valuable coaching, mentorship and access to co-working space. The highlight of each year is the annual JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition held on April 5. Three hundred high-energy supporters and a panel of esteemed judges watched seven incredible Mount Royal student ventures compete for $75,000 in cash and in-kind services. Ormhel Manuel impressed the audience with his progress on building a disruptive business model directly impacting the automotive sales industry. Ormhel walked away with $30,000 in cash and in-kind services that night. And when Solidariteas shared that they had sold hundreds of bags of tea and catalyzed conversations across the country about vulnerable women, the audience knew that this was going to be another classic Mount Royal pitch competition. The program is made possible through a generous donation of $250,000 over five years by JMH & Co. After a wonderful 5 year relationship with JMH & Co, the Institute was thrilled to be able to renew the program for another 5 years with this amazing award-winning organization. We’d like to thank Jerry Gartly, Jeff Benson, Terry Benson and all of the partners and employees of JMH & Co for committing $300,000 over the next 5 years to continue to support Mount Royal students. In addition to JMH & Co., the Institute received generous donations from The BUSY Foundation, LaBarge Weinstein, Trout + Taylor, the Institute for Community Prosperity and the Institute for Environmental Sustainability. In total, $60,000 in cash and $15,000 in in-kind legal and marketing services were awarded to six different student ventures.
2017 LaunchPad Participants NineTen Wade Lahring Nine Ten tracks employee’s cycle commuting metrics via their phone’s GPS. Organizations can access the data to reward, incentivize and celebrate participation, improving both corporate environmental responsibility and employee engagement. Total Award: $2,500 JMH & Co.
Ad Artis Talia Murchie Ad Artis enhances businesses and homes with the rental and sale of high quality local artwork. The regular rotation of new pieces of art engages customers and employees, transforms any space, and provides a platform for up-and-coming artists to have their work showcased.
Carberri Ormhel Manuel & Abby Mejia Carberri (formerly Listed) connects trustworthy buyers and sellers of cars without the need for stepping foot inside a dealership or meeting a stranger on classifieds. Listed’s 10-day money back guarantee, financing options, 200 point vehicle safety inspection, and secure financial transaction results in a positive experience and better prices for both buyer and seller. Total Award: $10,000 JMH & Co., $10,000 BUSY Foundation, $10,000 in-kind LaBarge Weinstein
Barrow Espresso Ryan Wenger Barrow Espresso transforms high-traffic unused space into vibrant micro-cafés serving specialty coffee beverages along with grab-and-go food options. After a successful 8-month pilot in the Bissett School of Business, Barrow is taking their small footprint, low overhead concept to other spaces in the city. Total Award: $5,000 JMH & Co., $5,000 BUSY Foundation 4
BeMuse Kelsey Prout BeMuse is an online retail hub for high-quality, sustainably sourced and ethically manufactured apparel. By carrying brands that are doing their part to maintain the health of mother earth and our communities, BeMuse allows consumers to confidently purchase beautiful apparel without the fear that they are contributing to one of the most polluting industries in the world. Total Award: $5,000 JMH & Co. and $2,500 Institute for Environmental Sustainability
SolidariTeas Alexandra Daignault & Anna Johnson Solidariteas provides local consumers with the ability to support local social justice movements, simply by buying tea. Taking inspiration from Canadaâ€™s reconciliation movement, $1.50 from each sale of the popular first flavour is donated to community programs that support and empower vulnerable Indigenous women through violence prevention and healing programs. Total Award: $10,000 JMH & Co., $2,500 Institute for Community Prosperity, $5,000 in-kind Trout + Taylor
Unravelled Ashika Thaker & Diana Grant-Richmond Unravelled is a zero-waste yarn company that transforms laundered corporate t-shirts into high quality, easy to use t-shirt yarn. Unravelled has created an in-demand craft product by tapping into a reliable and lowcost supply of t-shirts that are destined for the landfill. Total Award: $10,000 JMH & Co.
Alumni of The Year: Dustin Paisley Dustin Paisley is a connector, creator and community builder. While at Mount Royal he lead the Enactus team and was a 2014 winner of the JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition. That first attempt at being an entrepreneur proved to be a wonderful learning experience for what lay ahead for Dustin. Following graduation, he left his mark on Mount Royal by laying the foundation for the future Trico Changemakers Studio at MRU. His skills and a vast network of admirers landed him a role as the Entrepreneurship Manager at ATB Financial, advising local startups and small businesses. Dustin continues to flex his entrepreneurial muscle as a founder at Calgaryâ€™s hottest clothing company, Local Laundry Apparel. 5
Entrepreneur Spotlight Ormhel Manuel joined our community as a confident, young serial entrepreneur. With one successful company under his belt, he was keen to validate and launch his new disruptive idea. Carberri (formerly Listed) connects trustworthy buyers and sellers of used cars without the need for stepping foot inside a dealership or meeting a stranger on classifieds. Carberriâ€™s 5-day money back guarantee, financing options, 200 point vehicle safety inspection, and secure financial transaction results in a positive experience and better prices for both buyer and seller. During the 2017 JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition, Ormhel shared his sales success and pitched his ambitious vision that disrupts the car sales industry. That night, Ormhel and his partner, Abby Mejia, walked away with $20,000 in cash and $10,000 in legal services. Shortly following the event, Carberri was accepted into the second ATB X cohort. During the 2017 Calgary Stampede, Ormhel pitched in the second annual Innovation Rodeo, walking away with second place among all Alberta post secondary students and an $8,000 prize. Ormhel and Abby are poised to carry on the tradition of ambitious, successful entrepreneurs that have come out of the LaunchPad program.
Founders Circle The LaunchPad Founders Circle is a non-credit program for ambitious like-minded students eager to validate, launch, and build their ideas. This driven group of Mount Royal students hold each other accountable to goals, foster peer-to-peer mentorship, receive guidance from industry experts, and have opportunities for funding. The Founders Circle fosters a sense of belonging outside the class by creating a safe space for students to ask question and fail with the support of the Institute and their peers. Members of the Founders Circle are also eligible to apply for funding (in the form of a student award) of up to $2,500 through the Founders Fund. Funding provides initial financial support to remove barriers to learning including funding the development of a prototype or reducing part-time hours to allow the student to focus on their venture. This year, the Institute granted $14,500 to seven Mount Royal students, including Alexandra Daignault (SolidariTeas), Orhmel Manuel (Carberri), Talia Murchie (Ad Artis), Kelsey Prout (BeMuse), Diana Grant-Richmond (Unravelled), Kimberley Brenner, and Elissa Grohne (Sâ€™WEARIT). In five years the Institute has granted $72,000 to 28 entrepreneurs. The Founders Circle currently has 45 members.
Monthly Innovator and Founder Circle Meetups The Institute hosts monthly casual networking opportunities for Innovators Circle and Founders Circle members along with invited mentors to share victories and roadblocks with one another. Designed to celebrate success and overcome challenges, the meetups encourage collisions between founders, while also creating an environment for community to flourish.
Statistics To gain a deeper understanding of the types of startups MRU Founders have started over the past five years, the Institute conducted a survey among the Founders Circle members. The following information provides a sample response from 20 founders that interact directly with the program.
Year The Venture Launched 20% 10%
2015 2017 2016 2014 Pre Launch
2015 2017 2016 Pre Launch
Student / Alumni
Year Of First Sale
In 2016/2017 Mount Royal Founders raised $197,560 from the external community to support their venture. 80% of the ventures also launched a new prototype. Beyond the founding team, 20 jobs have been created by members of the Founders Circle. 7
Developer 30 Under 30 Stefan Radeta, 24 Co-Founder & CTO TLink Golf Selected from a pool of 350+ applications, Stefan Radeta the co-founder and CTO of TLink Golf was named Developer 30 Under 30 among Canada’s elite developers, coders, hackers and engineers. To receive the award, Stefan travelled to Toronto, where he met and made connections with his fellow recipients, including those from top companies like Google, Amazon, and Shopify. This is the second prestigious award for Stefan, as last year he was named one of Alberta’s Top Young Innovator of the Year. Photo: Sydney Fream Studio
Computer Information Systems Showcase Showdown The Showcase Showdown is an exciting and fun event hosted in collaboration with the student’s Computer Information Systems Student Society, aimed at celebrating the ideas and creations of the CIS students. This year the Institute saw more applications than ever before. Six selected student teams had five minutes to pitch followed by five minutes of Q&A from the judges. Most Promising Idea Most Exciting Build People’s Choice
Ben Maciorowski, New Level Brewing Tom Huckle, City Escape Erik Smistad & Mina Milkhail, GoLearn
Collaborations with the student clubs allow for the Institute to receive direct feedback from students leaders on how to make meaningful connections with faculty and new students from across campus, ensuring that the Institute is supporting students from diverse backgrounds with a variety of new ideas.
innovatemru Ais from T+T here again! It’s been a trip hanging out here on the #innovatemru insta this week. Last little shout-out. I was once given an opportunity by this fine gent that led me to discover a career that I genuinely love doing every single day. I explored open doors even when they (realistically) made no sense. I can look back now and see how every left turn helped shape me, and to all the straight-path-enthusiasts out there, I would throw this gem out: unless you are VERY sure what you are meant to be doing, explore everything. Every left turn + every weird tangent leads you to new learnings. @troutandtaylor
innovatemru Spending quality time with fellow founders and entrepreneurs keeps me sane and motivated through the ups and downs of my entrepreneurial journey. I’ll wrap up the week by acknowledging the life long friendships I’ve made through the MRU I&E program. As the saying goes, you are the sum of the people you spend your time with. If this is true, then I’m feeling pretty damn blessed to be a part of this family. Big shout out to @rudischiebel @nikitusnady and the whole @turtlevalleybison for hosting an epic weekend. Already can’t wait for next year!!! @tiktiksinc
innovatemru Wakey Wakey it’s Saturday! I was reading some stats the other day that shocked me. 42% - The total percentage of college students who will never read another book after they graduate 80% - The total percentage of U.S. families who did not buy a book this year Hopefully the followers of this page understand the sheer power of reading. “Books are where the secrets are.” Often people ask me what kind of books I read, so I thought I’d lay out some of the books that I learned from during my year of personal development. And yes I did manage to learn some things from my author crush J.K Rowling. @allistar101 innovatemru Good morning to the to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes... the ones who see things differently. My name is Alistair Shipley and I’m a MRU alumni turned traveling salesmen. I found my passion for moving technology products when I was a door to door sales rep running around Alberta. Now I live in San Francisco, in the heart of Silicon Valley. Here I’m building out the inbound sales process for a Mark Cuban and Google Venture backed startup called Datanyze. It just so happens this will be my last month in California as I make my next move to Denver Colorado. @allistar101
LaunchPad Alumni Mentorship Program Mentorship has a profound impact on the development and success of a student’s entrepreneurial mindset and venture development. Challenges that may otherwise seem insurmountable are made to feel more attainable upon conversation with a supportive mentor. Connections made through a mentor and mentee relationship expedite learning, as well as mitigate the anxiety that is common in early entrepreneurial practice. Student entrepreneurs that have a positive experience in their first attempts at entrepreneurship will bring an entrepreneurial mindset to the companies they create or join. While the Institute strives to have student ventures launch and be successful, the true return often comes several years after graduation when a student entrepreneur joins the workforce, gains domain knowledge, identifies an opportunity and then creates a venture or new product to capitalize on this opportunity. This year, the Institute secured a $10,000 grant from Alberta Innovates to launch a new mentorship program. The LaunchPad Alumni Mentorship Program leverages the experience and success of graduates of the LaunchPad entrepreneurship program to mentor current student entrepreneurs at various stages of development. By providing student entrepreneurs with consistent access to experienced entrepreneurs who have recently gone through a similar program, MRU can not only build the entrepreneurship capacity but also the mentorship capacity of Alberta. By providing young entrepreneurs the opportunity and knowledge to mentor student entrepreneurs, the Institute is creating an environment where students and alumni gain the skills and appreciation for the value of being a mentor and a mentee. The Institute is excited to see a pipeline of entrepreneurs and mentors come out of MRU. MRU’s LaunchPad alumni have a rare combination of experience and empathy for the early stage student entrepreneurs. It is critical that these early mentor relationships are a positive and nurturing experience for students. Graduates of the LaunchPad program have already been exposed to a supportive style of mentorship and will be ideally suited to continue the thoughtful, constructive form of mentorship that is valued at MRU. In addition, by exposing students to millennial entrepreneurs who are only a few years ahead of them, it will encourage more students to view the entrepreneurship path as a viable option.
Six MRU alumni of the LaunchPad Program, including Derek Rucki, Stefan Radeta, Aisilnn Taylor, Paul Shumlich, Zachary Hartley, and Dustin Paisley, were recruited and matched with eleven current student entrepreneurs according to their availability and complementary expertise. Engagements happen at planned monthly Founders Circle meetings or scheduled directly with the mentor. Director, Ray DePaul and Entrepreneur Development Manager, Jennifer Richardson continue to remain available to both the mentor and the mentee to guide the participants and connect with industry experts. It’s also important to understand that this does not replace the role that more experienced entrepreneurs in the community have provided to MRU’s student development. As a member of the A100, the Director will frequently engage seasoned entrepreneurs as student entrepreneurs move along their journey. This new program is targeting student entrepreneurs who are early in their venture development.
What I Know Now? By Alexandra Daignault As an English major, with a minor in Indigenous Studies, I had spent very little time in the Bissett School of Business, never venturing to the upper floors. For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Mount Royal Campus, the Arts building and the Business building stand on opposite sides of the main building. Slate, a collaborative workspace for students, is situated on the top floor of the Bissett School of Business, and is somewhat hidden away. The first time I met Ray DePaul, Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, I was sitting in Slate admiring the fancy desks and soft chairs. I had never been to this room before, despite being in my fourth year of University. Unlike collaborative study spaces I had encountered before, this room was exceptionally well equipped with everything you might need for a really good ideation session. Sitting there, in this room full of students who seemed to have it all together, I felt completely out of place. Why was I here? What could I even bring to this space? Who did I think I was to march in here with my big hair and bigger ideas? All of these questions played across my mind as I looked at the posters of past LaunchPad participants. As a student, I have sometimes felt stuck. Much of my degree up until this point had been spent pouring overly theoretical texts, writing papers, and thinking critically about the world around me. However, with the exception of my community service learning courses, there had been little emphasis on how I could apply theory to the work I hoped to do outside of academic spaces. I never considered myself an entrepreneur, finding it easier to inhabit terms like community activist. Little did I know that there was a place on campus
that helped students grow something tangible from the theoretical; and that I was about to shift my whole perspective on the radical, transformative power of activist projects. I had begun the initial process of building my current business, Solidariteas, a Calgary based social justice tea company, when my business partner suggested that we meet with Ray. I had no real idea who he was, or what the Institute did. Over the course of a half hour, we discussed conscious consumerism and the transformative power of strong product. Our mission, as a company, was to bring awareness to missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, providing an easily accessible act of activism to consumers. I learned that yes, in fact, English and entrepreneurship can go hand in hand. The conversation with Ray both challenged and inspired me, pushing me to work harder and do more; since then, I have grown so much. I have learned that really no discipline or course of study can truly prepare you for starting your own venture. It really is a kick in the pants, and is probably the best thing anyone could ever do.
I feel stronger as a person, and as the founder of business, knowing that I have a profound network of support, both inside and outside academic spaces. Everyday I am inspired by the people around me. Their initiatives, projects, and voices push and support me. So, what do I know now? If I could go back to that very first meeting, I would tell myself that yes, I absolutely belong here; because, to be an entrepreneur is to be a creative thinker, a bridge builder, occupying many spaces as at once. Someone once told me that the strongest projects are collaborative and interdisciplinary. I have come to really internalize this notion. I am thankful to be an English Major, to have taken Indigenous Studies, and now to be part of MRUâ€™s entrepreneurship community. I truly believe that together we are stronger, and as a community we have an impact.
The Launchpad Accelerator Course brings together a cohort of emerging entrepreneurs, all working at different stages of their businesses. The cohort is varied, and no two ideas are the same. Through the work of my contemporaries, I have learned how to market, how to run product tests, and perhaps most importantly how to pivot or change direction! As a relatively inexperienced entrepreneur, there is something really special about having a support network around you while you lay the foundation for your projects. Being critiqued by such a small group of peers is something both challenging and rewarding. It is a delicious experience to have your ideas pushed, prodded, validated, and sometimes crushed. You become close quickly, drawing on each other for feedback and support. In this way, a strong bond of community formed, transcending academic discipline.
StartupTree Scaling is a challenge many small organizations face and the Institute is no exception. As interest for entrepreneurship flourished on campus, so did the need for mentorship. In 2015, Jenn Richardson travelled to Florida, attending the Global Consortium of Entrepreneurship Centers in hopes to find a solution to this growing problem. What she found was that she wasn’t alone. Not unlike MRU, small teams were managing their mentor lists by inputting data into excel spreadsheets collected through organic interactions, and introducing students to community members in an on-demand basis. At MRU, this meant any entrepreneur seeking mentorship or assistance had to funnel through either Ray or Jenn. As Mount Royal’s entrepreneurship community expanded rapidly, managing and making connections became an issue. In September 2017, Mount Royal University became the first Canadian post secondary institution to introduce StartupTree to their community. The platform is designed to encourage connection between students, alumni, community members, and startups. StartupTree also offers a jobboard, event registration, and access to resources. It bridges the gap between students and local organizations that provide support to startups. In the first month of launch, the founder of StartupTree notified MRU that we had been the second fastest growing online community in North America. Ray DePaul now sits on their panel of advisors. Whether you’re a student, alumni, or a member of the community, you are welcomed to create a LinkedIn integrated profile, so together we can connect in one space. Discover new startups or share your own. Keep up-to-date with events and competitions, seek and share opportunities and connect with mentors or become a mentor!
EO Student Entrepreneur of the Year Austin (Ozzy) Lang On November 18 three Mount Royal University student entrepreneurs took the stage at the University of Calgary, in front a panel of 15 esteemed judges, during the EO Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards. MRU entrepreneurs included: Kelsey Prout, Ormhel Manuel, and Ozzy Lang. Ozzy was named Calgary’s Entrepreneurs Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur of the Year. He impressed the judges with his innovative business model and willingness to share his struggles and triumphs throughout his educational career, and how entrepreneurship allowed him to differentiate himself and excel both inside and outside the classroom. Alongside his co-founder, Emily Bartlett, Ozzy launched Green Cup, a social enterprise marketing agency. Green Cup sells advertising space on compostable cups and distributes those cups in the advertiser’s target market. The honour included $5,000 and a trip to Vancouver where Green Cup competed at EO’s national competition. Ozzy is now the third consecutive Mount Royal student entrepreneur to take home the Calgary Entrepreneurs Organization’s Global Student Entrepreneur Award. Derek Rucki (TLink) and Paul Shumlich (Deepwater Farms) were the two previous winners.
Trico Changemaker Studio 2017 has been a big year for collaboration between the Institute and the Institute for Community Prosperity with two major accomplishments in our shared goal of supporting social innovation and changemakers on campus. Rooted in conversations that go back to 2014, the Institute for Community Prosperity took the lead on a project to establish Mount Royal University as an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus. Under the tireless direction of Jill Andres, Changemaker in Residence, Mount Royal is now one of only four Canadian universities honoured with this status. The second multi-year collaboration with the Institute for Community Prosperity also become a reality in 2017 with the announcement of the Trico Changemakers Studio. The Trico Changemakers Studio is a 4800 square foot vibrant coworking and learning space that will bring together community members and students immersed in Calgaryâ€™s social innovation space. They will work alongside each other, and collaborate on new, innovative ideas that address social or environmental challenges. Trico Changemakers Studio is more than a workspace â€“ it will serve as an incubator where students and like-minded community members can brainstorm, create, and implement new ideas. The three core values of the studio are community, learning and innovation. These core values will define which organizations join as partners and drive the mission of the studio. The Trico Changemaker Studio is made possible by a generous donation by the Trico Foundation, a sponsorship by Trico Homes, and a grant from the Government of Canadaâ€™s Post-Secondary Institutions Strategic Investment Fund.
The Trico Changemakers Studio. Where community, learning, and innovation converge, turning ripples of possibility into waves of change: For students, to research challenges; to create, test, and incubate new ideas; to be mentored by social entrepreneurs and community leaders; and to launch their careers as changemakers. For new social ventures, to work alongside each other in a supportive but critical learning environment, testing and prototyping new ways to address social and environmental challenges. For established community organizations and networks, to collaborate in a social R&D setting, upping everyoneâ€™s game and innovating to tackle complex challenges.
Enactus Mount Royal had an incredible year making it to the semi-finals at the National Exposition in Vancouver, British Columbia, presenting on Unravelled, Green Cup, and Stoke. At Regionals in Calgary, Enactus MRU placed in First place in the Scotiabank Eco-living Green Challenge (Unravelled), Runner Up in the TD Entrepreneurship Challenge (Green Cup), and Second Runner Up in the Capital One Financial Education Challenge for EmpowerU. The team improved on and created 6 sustainable, social enterprises directly impacting 87 individuals and indirectly impacting over 26,351 people. The team also reached new heights generating $15,978.05 in revenue and $6,713 in profit. Enactus Mount Royal is recognizing its ability to incubate social enterprises, empowering their members to create opportunities for themselves, while leaving a lasting impact on the community. As the ventures grow, the Institute plays a vital role in being there to mentor, provide funding, or to accelerate their learnings through the LaunchPad Accelerator Course. Success stories include Green Cup, Unravelled, and STOKE. In addition to being an ongoing resource at the University, Ray DePaul & Jenn Richardson attended the Enactus Retreat in Canmore, guiding the students and their ventures through problem discovery, validation and growth.
Other Numbers, Awards and Outcomes: Green Cup has diverted over 65,000 coffee cups from landfill Unravelled has given 1,916 shirts a second life Ensured all six projects had a sustainable, social enterprise-based, model 9 members sent to the 2016 Enactus World Cup in Toronto Faculty Advisor, Wendelin Fraser, received John Dobson Enactus Fellow of the Year Former President, Emily Bartlett, received HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow
HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow During the 2017 Western Canada Regionals Exposition, Enactus Mount Royal’s Emily Bartlett was named the HSBC Woman Leader of Tomorrow. This is the fourth consecutive win for an MRU female student, preceded by Danielle Gibbie in 2014, Paisley Dressler in 2015, and Victoria Strosky in 2016. In addition to being the 2016/2017 Enactus MRU President, Emily is also the Co-Founder of Green Cup, a social enterprise aimed to reduce the amount of coffee cup waste in Canada. They sell advertisements on compostable cups and distribute those cups in the advertiser’s target market. Emily is a driven student determined to make the best of her time. In addition to leading her team, starting a new venture, she also worked at Mount Royal’s Design For Change. Upon graduation, Emily was head hunted as a successful candidate for the Business Banking Officer at HSBC.
Oxford Global Challenge Mount Royal University Student Places Top 6! The Global Challenge hosted by Oxford University requires students to showcase their understanding of the systems landscapes surrounding a problem of their choice, and is open to students of all levels and disciplines. Ray DePaul joined James Stauch, Director of the Institute for Community Prosperity, in teaching a custom Social Innovation course around the principles of the Global Challenge. What made this course interesting was that the students were explicitly not supposed to identify a solution to the problem. They were encouraged to dive deep and truly understand the social problem and the complex systems that were at play. Students tackled social issues ranging from eating disorders, e-waste, advocacy for victims of child abuse,, and feminine hygiene in the developing world. Braden Etzerza, a second year Bachelor of Science - Environmental Science student, placed top 6 out of 80 finalists across the world in the Oxford Global Challenge 2017 for his research addressing food insecurity issues for Indigenous Peoples, with a focused analysis of the landscapes of food insecurity surrounding the communities of Metlakatla Nation on the northern BC coast. Braden’s accomplishment follows taking 1st place in the MRU Global Challenge, and placing in the top 2 at the Canadian Nationals held in March. The Institute was honoured to be part of an extraordinary educational experience for Braden.
Campus Transformation Challenge The Campus Transformation Challenge is an exciting student social innovation tournament held annually by students at Mount Royal University. Participating students work alongside mentors, including the Institute’s Entrepreneur Development Manager, Jenn Richardson, to identify challenges within the Mount Royal University community and campus, and then create solutions to those challenges. Tim Kruchkowski and Derek DiMarzo, two Environmental Science students, impressed the judges, including Director, Ray DePaul, winning first prize in the 2017 Campus Transformation Challenge for their project to reduce Mount Royal’s ecological footprint by addressing road snow melt piles through a campus wetland. The students have engaged in consultation with Mount Royal Facilities and the Mount Royal University Sustainability Committee, and are currently completing their feasibility analysis and space design. The Institute is a proud sponsor of this event and looks forward to continuing to see its impact.
Social Entrepreneurs Mount Royal is well known for inspiring and fostering social entrepreneurs that make a real difference. Paul Shumlich’s Deepwater Farms won the $10,000 Trico Social Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition. Austin Lang won the Calgary EO’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year Award along with $5,000 for his Green Cup social enterprise. The pipeline of social entrepreneurs continues at Mount Royal with inspiring students like Alexandra Daignault whose social enterprise, Solidariteas not only won $17,500 at the JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition but Alexandra was selected as one of two summer interns at the Trico Foundation to help develop her business.
Design4Change is a Mount Royal based branding agency specializing in design, strategy, video production, digital media, and website development. Since 2012, Design4Change has provided meaningful employment experiences to Mount Royal students and alumni. Design4Change has completed paid branding services for more than 80 unique clients in the Alberta market, with a special focus on catering to the high tech, nonprofit, and small business sectors in Calgary. In addition to paid work, Design4Change has completed dozens of pro bono community projects for deserving local initiatives. In collaboration with the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Design4Change has provided tens of thousands of hours of paid professional work experience to at least 40 Mount Royal students and alumni. Over the past year, Design4Change collaborated with over 25 unique clients providing over 7,500 hours of paid work experience to six Mount Royal students and three alumni. The 2016-2017 Design4Change team was constructed from a variety of different academic programs at Mount Royal, including the Marketing, Information Design, Accounting, Journalism, and Finance programs respectively.
Where Marketing Meets People
Supporting Curriculum and Faculty “This outcome [an entrepreneurial mindset] requires a highly experiential curriculum which can be a challenge to deliver. The Institute is instrumental in supporting faculty in providing this experiential environment.” - Laurie Lancaster, associate professor Entrepreneurship The Institute’s connection with classrooms is a relationship highly valued by the team and faculty. Whether inside an entrepreneurship class, information design, interior design, or computer information systems class, the Institute challenges students from across campus to apply innovative thinking to their specialized expertise. Mount Royal excels at providing highly experiential curriculum that pushes students to not only study innovation and entrepreneurship, but actually experience it. This year, 1226 different students from across campus were enrolled in at least one Innovation and Entrepreneurship course. The Institute’s cross-campus focus resulted in 46% of non-Business students taking the introductory entrepreneurship courses. This is remarkable when you consider that most universities restrict entrepreneurship to one or two faculties.
New Concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Mount Royal offers one of the most extensive entrepreneurship programs in the province. Whether a student is in Science, Computer Information Systems, Journalism, Arts, Business or anything in between, they can graduate with a 6-course Minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This unique program has been available since 2010. The mission of the Minor in Innovation in Entrepreneurship is: Graduate curious and entrepreneurial minds who bring creativity, innovation, and business literacy to the organizations that they join or start. We accomplish this with a highly experiential program that focuses on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset and creating innovative business models. Graduates with a Minor transform companies of all sizes, drive social enterprise, create new ventures, and build dynamic communities. The experience they gain as innovators sets them apart from their colleagues and peers. 20
In 2017, we received approval for a new and unique program - a Bachelors of Business Administration with a Concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship. With the input of industry, faculty, and students, this 9-course program will launch in the Fall of 2017. The mission of the Concentration in Innovation in Entrepreneurship is: Graduate curious and entrepreneurial minds who are innovative drivers of business development in dynamic, growth-oriented companies that they join or start. We accomplish this with a highly experiential program that goes beyond teaching mindset and business models, to executing product and business development strategies for the commercialization of innovative ideas. The catalyst for this program was a roundtable of growth-oriented C-level executives who identified critical gaps in the outcomes of PSE education in Calgary, Alberta and perhaps Canada-wide. These growing organizations were challenged in finding graduates who: • • •
knew how to execute in customer acquisition roles (eg. sales, business development), could step into a product manager function (defining, launching and managing success of a product), and had literacy and understanding of how technology enables innovation.
These are the roles that undergraduate business graduates need to fill. These are also the roles that lead to executive positions in growth oriented companies (compared to finance and operations experts who thrive in more mature companies). As Alberta’s economy diversifies over the coming decades, these individuals will be critical in helping new companies in new industries prosper. The Concentration introduces new courses in sales/business development, product management, and technology, in addition to the established courses in entrepreneurial mindset, creativity, pitching, venture launch, business planning, and others.
Products donâ€™t sell themselves. You sell them. â€‹ This required course for the *new* Innovation and Entrepreneurship Concentration, positions you to take on the most critical roles in any growth-oriented company - sales and business development. As the engine for most entrepreneurial businesses, the role of acquiring new customers is both exciting and rewarding. Learn More: http://bit.ly/IEConcentration
New Featured Course
ENTR 4420 - DNA of Buying, Selling and Business Development
New Faculty - Dr. Simon Raby The Institute is thrilled to welcome Dr. Simon Raby as an assistant professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Simon is an expert in the growth drivers of small and medium enterprises (SME). His BIG initiative (Business Improvement Growth) is a commercial suite of executive development programs and tools for ambitious owners to improve and growth their business. BIG grew from an applied research and engagement model that captured data on the growth of SMEs while fostering collaboration between academic and industry. Dr. Raby has recently conducted a rigorous program of research to understand how SMEs are achieving growth across Alberta. Combining survey data from over 500 SMEs and in-depth interviews with business owners, presidents and CEOs of growth-oriented SMEs, Professor Raby will be publishing the practices that more successful SMEs adopt to deliver enhanced levels of growth success. He is an exciting addition to Mount Royal and Alberta. Dr. Raby joins a dedicated faculty that includes professors Patricia Derbyshire, Wendelin Fraser, Laurie Lancaster, Douglas MacDonald, and a team of accomplished part-time faculty.
Designing YOU Dr. David Finch, Associate Professor of Marketing, had published research identifying the skills employers were looking for in new grads. The top skills were dominated by “soft skills” such as listening and communicating. It reinforced the belief that a student had to go beyond technical skills to be successful. Somewhat independently, Ray DePaul was asked to speak to an Interior Design class on the topic of personal branding. Ray decided to present a concept he had been working on called the Whole YOU which was followed up with a popular blog called “You are way more than your degree”. Designing YOU takes well understood design, entrepreneurship and product management principles that have been used on all of the products that we love and applies these concepts to designing “you”. It encourages students to view their university career as developing a product that they will launch when they graduate - that product being themselves. This will ensure that when they walk across the stage at their convocation, they have designed the Whole YOU that will not only be employable but will also put them on the path to success - however they personally define success. With support from Mount Royal Career Services, David and Ray co-wrote the book, Designing YOU. To compliment the book, Finch and DePaul co-taught a course with the same name in the Fall of 2016. To ensure the student’s voice was not overlooked in this project, 2016 Valedictorian Amanda Schaufele was brought on as a Research Assistant to build a Student Advisory Board to offer advice to the authors. In addition, to ensure the book was sensitive to gender-related issues, Leah Hamilton, Assistant Professor of Human Resources has contributed an invaluable gender perspective to the book. This project has truly been “made at MRU”. The book is now in the hands of over 1300 individuals but the work is not done. Dr. Finch is taking the lead on publishing discipline-specific guides for students in programs such as Marketing, Sports Management, Journalism and Computer Science. Investigation has also begun on an online tool that can support students as they go through their post secondary journey.
Venture Design Studio Finals In the Innovation and Entrepreneurship introductory course, ENTR 2301 - The Entrepreneurial Experience, students experience what it’s like to discover and validate ideas from the ground up. Throughout the semester, teams pitch their idea to a panel of judges on four separate occasions. Judges provide insight and feedback. Students then iterate and improve their venture each time. Approximately 500 students participate in this exciting journey of entrepreneurship each year. To celebrate, we end each semester with a bang during the exciting Venture Design Studio finals where 10 student teams pitch their ventures in front of 200 of their peers and a panel of seasoned entrepreneurs. Winter 2017 • First Place Winner, Re-Lather • Second Place Winner, Reel Easy • Third Place Winners, Voyage • People’s Choice: PairUp Fall 2017 • First Place: One Shoe • Second Place: Spinning Threads • Third Place: OwnIt Recruitment • People’s Choice: Supplement Bin & One Shoe
Art of the Pitch Experiential education isn’t always the easiest to deliver, but this didn’t stop instructor Carolyn Sternberg from bring real world experience into the classrooms by pairing groups of students with local startups to help develop and refine their pitch. Supported by the Institute, Carolyn’s students helped 28 startups this past fall and winter, 24 from ATB booster and 4 from Mount Royal, improve how they communicated their value to investors or customers. Along with the educational value, this engaging, project exposes growing businesses to the pool of talent Mount Royal University has to offer. 25
Entrepreneurship is way more than a pitch By Ray DePaul
A few years ago, I was asked to coach a group of entrepreneurs who were getting ready for a Startup Calgary pitch event. A young man got up and gave a decent 2-minute pitch about providing a delivery service for consumers who wanted a broader choice when ordering takeout food. It was a classic, and somewhat overused, “Uber for xyz” pitch and the coaches went into our standard mode of refining his message. Then my fellow coach and angel investor extraordinaire, Randy Thompson, asked a simple question: “Have you launched and do you have any traction?” I expected the typical answer about having a prototype but needing money to launch a full product. Instead, I was floored to hear that they were in six cities and had $14M in revenue! Somehow this little fact didn’t make it into his pitch. The entrepreneur was Andrew Chau and his company was Skip the Dishes. In December 2016, they were acquired for $110M. In the last decade, there has been a shift in entrepreneurship towards a pitch culture - call it the Dragon’s Den effect. While it has really helped raise the profile of entrepreneurs, I sometimes worry that a good pitch has overtaken the primary goal of building a good company. Business isn’t done on a stage. If you can deliver something so valuable that your customers not only pay you but also tell everyone they know about the difference you’ve made in their life or business, your pitch writes itself (apparently with a little coaching). As MRU approaches its 5th annual $70,000 JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition, I know that all of the preparation that our students put into the competition is rooted in building their business. It’s why many of our student entrepreneurs are already engaging customers and have revenue. As I reflect on the previous four years, the true standouts have always been great businesses. It turns out that if you have a great business, a great pitch follows pretty effortlessly. This is never more clear than in the Q&A portion of the pitch. If all you’ve done is crafted a great pitch, the weakness of the business comes through in your answers. If you have lived and breathed your business for months or years, then your answers are full of depth and understanding. Those are the entrepreneurs that inspire me. Don’t get me wrong. The ability to articulate your value proposition to an audience of hundreds of people is a great way to market your business and it’s worth learning the finer points of pitching. But if forced to choose, I pick the entrepreneur who struggles with pitching but has a lineup of customers and advocates who can’t live without their product. 26
Mentorship starts with a coffee I had a coffee or beer this week with five different entrepreneurs who reached out to me to talk through a challenge they were having. I didn’t have many answers, but that’s not what they were searching for. . . Tuesday, June 27, 2017
What do you do for fun? When I was 10 years old, I considered myself an amateur chemist. I had received a chemistry set for my birthday and couldn’t wait to mix different chemicals together in an effort to rival my first vinegar and baking soda experiment. . . Tuesday, March 28, 2017
The Picks and Shovels Strategy I was reading Fast Company and came across an article that reminded me about the “picks and shovels strategy”. . . Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Stop window gazing Just before my mother passed away a few years ago, I published a book of her short stories . . . Wednesday, March 1, 2017
Wanted: Entrepreneurial Employees When I was the CEO of a tech startup, there were two employees that took up more of my mental energy than they should have. At the time, I blamed them for “not getting it”. I now blame myself. . . Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2017
Engaged In The Community “The impact of post-secondary institutions as economic engines in our city is extraordinary, and is highly underappreciated. Higher education’s benefit is that it inspires Calgarians to the innovative thinking that drives our progress as a great place to make a living and a life is immeasurable.” - Mary Moran, President & CEO of Calgary Economic Development.
Chamber of Commerce Innovator in Residence “In an era of disruptive and global changes at a breathtaking pace, companies need to be creative, agile and adaptable to succeed and not be left behind.” - Calgary Chamber of Commerce In July 2016, Ray DePaul was named the Calgary Chamber of Commerce’s inaugural Innovator in Residence with the goal to bring his knowledge and experience to the broader Calgary community. This honour was an affirmation of the reputation that the Institute has built over the last five years as a thought leader on innovation and entrepreneurship. The critical gap that Ray and the Chamber identified was very little was being done to support existing small and medium businesses as they faced challenges in adapting their business to the new realities of the economy, the competition, and the impact technology is having on all industries. In response, the Ignite Accelerator Program was launched. The program provides Chamber members with similar support that is normally reserved for startups and first-time entrepreneurs. Under Ray’s mentorship and direction, 8 companies were guided through the process of turning their fuzzy ideas for growth into a validated business model over a 90 day program. At the Chamber’s popular 1000-person Onward event in June 2017, Ray and one of the companies in the program reported on the success of Ignite. Based on the response, it is clear that the initiative has moved companies to actually engage in innovating within their existing businesses. Ray’s work with the Chamber of Commerce landed him the Volunteer of the Year award. It’s meaningful interactions like this with the community and Calgary’s businesses that put Mount Royal University at the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to innovation, growth, and economic diversification. The Institute will continue to look for ways that it can leverage the knowledge and experience of Mount Royal staff, students, and faculty to support the economic prosperity of Calgary. http://bit.ly/IEIgnite
“Ray De Paul has been an incredible contributor to the Calgary Chamber, and to so many entrepreneurs in Calgary. We in Calgary are immensely fortunate to have him part of our community. He is someone who I genuinely can say does what he does with absolute love, passion and selflessness. He teaches, coaches, mentors, advises, counsels, supports and strategizes with an immeasurable number of people in our community. He gives of his time, expertise and wisdom endlessly and without expectation. He has given so much to the Calgary Chamber. He speaks to our audiences whenever we ask him to – Onward, Fast Growth Champions. Last year’s AGM. He is always there. Sharing ideas that are meant to make you and I better. And he never, ever, asks for anything in return. He is truly selfless. And when we wanted to build an innovation accelerator program, Ray said yes. Working with Ray we created Ignite, the Innovation Accelerator Program. Ray became not only our first Innovator in Residence, but he helped shape, craft and guide the curriculum and is acting as a guide and mentor for the companies currently in the program. For these, and so many other reasons, we were thrilled to present Ray with the 2017 Volunteer of the Year Award from the Calgary Chamber. “
Adam Legge President and CEO
Calgary Entrepreneurship Ecosystem The Institute continues to be a valued member of the broader Calgary entrepreneurship ecosystem. In addition to Ray’s involvement with the Chamber of Commerce, his ongoing role on the board of directors of Innovate Calgary, and his mentorship as a member of the A100, the Institute is also called upon to bring our knowledge to the community. Examples of this engagement include: • • • • • • •
Trico Social Entrepreneurship Award selection committee Inaugural Rainforest Summit in Banff University of Calgary MBA guest speaker Networking workshop for donor employees Sponsor and speaker at Innovation Exchange focused on high school innovation and entrepreneurship education Small business workshop on innovation during Small Business Week Trico Social Enterprize judge for $200,000 Canada-wide prize
RBC Youth strategy forum
Calgary Innovation Coalition In Summer 2016, members of the Calgary entrepreneurship ecosystem joined forces with a mission to enhance awareness, expand capacity, improve and optimize the delivery of programs for entrepreneurs across the city, while creating synergy amongst stakeholders. Mount Royal University played an important role in the initial stages. Entrepreneur Development Manager, Jenn Richardson, lead the storytelling team with the goal of sharing how stories can increase the interest and capacity for entrepreneurial activity in Calgary. The efforts of the Calgary Innovation Coalition (CIC) members resulted in the first ever collaborative proposal to the Government of Alberta. Funding will be used to create an ecosystem map, allowing entrepreneurs to navigate the ecosystem with ease, reducing duplication and encouraging collaboration among key stakeholders, while stimulating Calgary’s economic diversification. A second result of the Calgary Innovation Coalition is support for the Rainforest Alberta Initiative. Rainforest Alberta is an informal organization of people working together to improve Alberta’s innovation ecosystem. The goal is grow the same invisible infrastructure that underlies successful tech communities like Silicon Valley, to ensure Albertans know that they don’t have to move away to invent, prosper, and move their ideas forward.
Student/Alumni Success Stories • • • • • •
• • • • •
Paul Shumlich, Deepwater Farms, wins $10,000 during the Trico Social Entrepreneurship Pitch Competition; Green Cup also competed. Rudi Schiebel, Turtle Valley Bison Company, keynote speaker at Hong Kong- Canada Business Association event. Ozzy Lang, Green Cup, was awarded a pro bono spot into Carey Houston’s 321 Sales Academy course. Ozzy was the only student in the community orientated course. Allan Lu was the recipient of a $30,000 in-kind scholarship to participate in Hamish Knox’s Sandler Sales Training. Allan was also the only student in the community orientated course. Emily Bartlett, Green Cup, travelled to Halifax, Nova Scotia to compete in the Canadian Business Model Competition. This is the fourth year an MRU student has competed in this national competition. Nathaniel Scott was the first Albertan and first Arts alumni to be accepted as a Fellow in Venture for Canada. Venture for Canada is a not-for-profit that recruits, trains and supports top recent graduates to work at Canadian startups in need of talent. Fellows spend two years working at one of the partner startups, where they gain the skills, network and experience necessary to launch their own firms. Alexandra Daignault, SolidariTeas, accepted into HEC Social Business Competition and also as Trico student social entrepreneur summer intern. Ormhel Manuel and Abby Mejia, co-foundes of Carberri, were accepted into Alberta’s 150 Startups program. The program culminated in an Innovation Rodeo where they won $3000 for being the top team in Calgary and an additional $5000 for second overall in Alberta. Zac Hartley’s Smokebarrel accepted into Arlene Dickinson’s District Ventures accelerator program Stefan Radeta named one of Canada’s Top 30 Developers under 30 Alumni founded companies TLink, DeepWater Farms, and TikTiks have all received external funding to fuel their growth. The founders of these companies are all part of the LaunchPad Alumni Mentorship program and are sharing their experience from both successes and failures with current students. Three Mount Royal students pitched during the March 16th ATB BoostR Postsecondary edition pitch competition. Students included, Zac Hartley Founder of Smoke Barrel, Talia Murchie Founder of Ad Artis, and Kelsey Prout Founder of Be Muse. Zac won first place, while Talia Murchie was named runner up. Five students and alumni completed ATB’s ATBx accelerator program including: Andrew Browne (Alumni, TikTiks), Kylie Toh (Alumni, Chic Geek), Zac Hartley (Student, Smoke Barrel), Green Cup (Student, Green Cup), and Talia Murchie (Student, Ad Artis). The 2017 LaunchPad winner, Ormhel Manuel is among the startups in the second cohort currently running.
“We’re continually impressed with the calibre of student entrepreneurs from MRU. The support from their professors, peers and community is evident in these young entrepreneurs’ tenacity and confidence to build a business alongside their academic journey” - Neetu Sidhu, Senior Manager ATB Boostr
The Team Ray DePaul
Director The Institute is led by Director Ray DePaul, a strategic visionary with 25-years of experience working in high-tech and innovation. Before joining the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ray was the President and CEO of RapidMind Inc., a spin-off company from the University of Waterloo. Ray steered RapidMind through $11M of venture funding, significant market growth, and turned the company into an industry leader, resulting in the acquisition by Intel Corp. Prior to Rapidmind, Ray spent five years with Research In Motion (now BlackBerry) and was responsible for product management of the iconic BlackBerry. Ray developed and executed RIM’s business plan, product strategy and product launches to help to guide BlackBerry through the exciting early adopter stage in 1999; ultimately establishing the BlackBerry brand as the smartphone market leader. Ray holds a Bachelors of Mathematics degree in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University. Ray was the recipient of the 2011 MBA Alumnus Award for Outstanding Innovation and Achievement.
Tracy Pfeifer Administrative Assistant
Tracy moved from Winnipeg to Calgary in July 2001 and started with the Institute in August 2001 when it was originally created. She left her position working with the dean of the Faculty of Education at the University of Winnipeg to make the move with her husband. Tracy’s motto is “change is good” which has served her well as her roles are always changing and she loves the diversity her position brings. Tracy feels very fortunate to work with such an amazing team at the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Community Prosperity.
Jenn Richardson Entrepreneur Development Manager
After graduating from Mount Royal University in 2014, Jenn joined the Institute eager to further establish a thriving community of students from across campus looking to step outside their comfort zone, to learn through experience, and to validate, launch and grow their idea. Jenn is also a successful entrepreneur with her own photography business, Azra Images.
Forward Thinking Mount Royal currently offers a highly respected entrepreneurship program within Alberta. The partnership between the Institute and faculty has tremendous impact on students, many of which have gained recognition in the broader community. As we reflect on our first five years, the focus in the coming five is to continue to deliver the programs that have made us successful, while looking at how we can scale our impact. Scaling will happen in two dimensions: scaling up and scaling out. Scaling up challenges us to provide more support to those we currently impact - additional financial support, mentoring, and expanded learning opportunities. Scaling out challenges us to impact more and different stakeholders - social entrepreneurs, students from across campus, and looking beyond the institutionâ€™s walls. The priorities that will guide the Institute in the next five years are not designed to take us in a dramatic new direction. Instead it acknowledges that we are on the right path, are having a substantial impact on students and focuses on how we can scale the great work already underway at the Institute. The next year will see us open the doors of the Trico Changemaker Studio and support both student and community social innovators. We will launch our new BBA with a Concentration in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and cement our reputation for the most extensive entrepreneurship program in the province. We will leverage our new faculty resources to bring our knowledge and expertise to a community of small and medium enterprises with growth aspirations. And we look forward to starting our second 5-year partnership with JMH & Co and continue to give our most entrepreneurial students the financial and mentorship support they need to stand above their peers and help secure the future of Alberta. Above all else, we look forward to staying as entrepreneurial and innovative as our students.