ANNUAL 2019 REPORT
INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Table of Contents 00. OUR MISSION .............................................................
0.1 Letter from the Director ..................................................
0.2 Developing High-Impact Talent .....................................
0.3 Transformational Learning Experiences ..........................
1.0 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CAREERS .......
1.1 Designing YOU ...............................................................
1.2 Startup and Entrepreneurial Organization Showcase
1.3 JMH LaunchPad Program ..............................................
Letter from Student ....................................................
JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition .............................
2019 Ventures .........................................................
LaunchPad Alumni Award Reciepient .................
LaunchPad Advisory Board .........................................
LaunchPad Alumni Mentorship Program ....................
Innovator and Founders Circles ..........................................
Founders Circle ........................................................... Innovators Circle ......................................................... Monthly Innovator and Founders Circle Meetups ........
1.4 Technical Talent .............................................................
Computing Showcase Showdown ................................
Alumni Letter ......................... .....................................
1.5 Calgaryâ€™s EO Student Entrepreneur of the Year ..............
1.6 Celebrating Entrepreneurial Alumni ..............................
2.0 TRANSFORMING INDUSTRY, STUDENTS AND ACADEMICS
2.1 Growth Compass .............................................................................................
Growth Compass Community ...................................................................
Roundtable .............................................................................................. Lab ................................................................................................................
Innovation Accelerator ..............................................................................
Market Expansion & Internationalization ..................................................
A Message from our Partner .....................................................................
2.2 Sport Business Innovation ...............................................................................
2.3 Womenâ€™s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub ......................................................
2.4 Trico Changemakers Studio ...............................................................................
4.0 INSTITUTE LEADERSHIP ............................................................................
4.1 Team ................................................................................................................
Ray DePaul, Director ...................................................................................... Dr. Simon Raby, Associate Director ................................................................ Dr. David J. Finch, Associate Director ............................................................. Jenn MacDonald, Talent and Program Development Manager ....................... Emily Knight, Entrepreneur Development Officer .......................................... Alexandra Swiston, Community Engagement Specialist ................................ Tracy Pfeifer, Administrative Assistant ........................................................... Other Support ................................................................................................
0.0 OUR MISSION The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship’s mission is to support the development of the high-impact talent that is essential to the continued economic prosperity of Alberta. This is accomplished by delivering transformative community-engaged learning experiences.
0.1 Letter from the Director As one of the oldest and most respected innovation and entrepreneurship programs in the province, we face the same challenge that many growing companies and organizations face. Are we satisfied with the impact we are having? Do we push ourselves into new areas that will help scale our impact beyond what we thought possible when we started the Institute seven years ago? It would be easy to rest on our laurels and simply keep doing what we’ve been doing, but as entrepreneurs ourselves, we’re not built that way. We are constantly looking at ways we can scale our impact. By any measure, 2018/2019 was an impactful year for the Institute. It became clear to us that what we were doing was developing the high-impact talent that Alberta needs. With this broader lens, we engaged over 1900 students and 490 community members, having a dramatic impact on many of them. It’s been a busy and exhilarating year! We have always been known for helping students develop entrepreneurial careers and this year’s LaunchPad and Designing You programs continued to deliver on that promise. One statistic that I’m most proud of is the 900+ hours of personal mentorship that we delivered to students. We understand that this personalized approach cannot be lost in our desire to scale. For the fifth year in a row, we celebrated a Mount Royal student being crowned Calgary’s EO’s Student Entrepreneur of the Year. Simply put, we continue to develop remarkable entrepreneurial talent. In 2018/2019, our Growth Compass initiative moved from concept to reality. We identified a gap in the province in how we collectively support companies who have the ambition to scale and how we develop the talent necessary to help them achieve that ambition. The economic prosperity of our province depends on starting new businesses and growing existing ones. Growth Compass allowed us to provide transformational growth experiences to over 150 students while engaging over 100 companies. With programs like this, we have accomplished a rare three-for-one; our programs have an impact on students, on companies, and on academia through the publication of new knowledge that others can leverage. The Institute also identified an opportunity to have a unique and lasting effect on the city of Calgary. In partnership with our colleagues in the Health and Physical Education department, we have kicked off a city-wide collaboration that will amplify the economic and social impact of sport in the region. The global active economy is estimated at $1.3 Trillion USD and represents an exciting opportunity for Calgary. By engaging 150 students and thousands of citizens, Mount Royal is a catalyst in this public-private collaboration. We are thankful for the opportunity to scale our impact on students and on the community. This would not be possible without the foundational support of donors David and Leslie Bissett and the RBC Foundation. Program level support is also greatly appreciated from JMH & Co, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Alberta Innovates, Bridgewater Labs, LaBarge Weinstein LLP, the BUSY Foundation and ATB Financial. The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship continues to Think Bigger!
- Ray DePaul
0.2 Developing High-Impact Talent High-Impact Talent is not defined by a simple check-list of skills. Rather, high-impact talent is driven by the unique labor market dynamics of a region, sector or organization, and is anchored in an individualâ€™s capacity to effectively adapt and thrive in perpetually turbulent market conditions. These dynamic capabilities enable high-impact talent to identify emerging opportunities and reconfigure or acquire new skills to thrive. People with dynamic capabilities are future-ready. They lead trends, they donâ€™t follow. While the entire education system must ensure that we are developing future-ready students, universities have a unique role in supporting a graduateâ€™s professional transition.
0.3 Transformational Learning Experiences The Institute believes that work integrated-learning (WIL) is a critical pathway to developing dynamic capabilities of high-impact talent. Impactful WIL blends program learning with applied communityengaged learning experiences. Examples of WIL initiatives include co-operative education, work-terms, community-engaged scholarship, entrepreneurship, live-client case studies, community service learning and field schools. The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship takes an innovative approach, delivering a number of transformational opportunities that will ensure career and personal success. These transformational learning experiences are interwoven into every one of the Instituteâ€™s programs.
Capstone Experiences Capstone experiences are designed to allow practical application of the knowledge students have gained throughout their undergraduate degree. We support faculty by partnering with community members to provide students with work-integrated learning opportunities.
Undergraduate Research A studentâ€™s academic experience is enriched by participating in a faculty-directed research project. We establish community partnerships that provide opportunities for both faculty and students to perform community-engaged scholarships that empower shared intellectually-engaged learning opportunities.
Co-curricular Projects Students who embark on the complex, uncertain process of starting their own venture or advancing an innovation will engage in a very unique work-integrated learning experience. By providing funding, mentorship, and knowledge, we remove roadblocks on their journey to ensure they maximize the learning outcomes. Many of the capabilities gained by making progress on an innovation or starting a venture are transferable, whether a graduate starts or joins an organization.
Community Engagement Community partnerships with companies, non-profits, and governments provide students and faculty with unique opportunities and access to potential employers and research partners. We establish ongoing relationships with leaders of organizations to advance university/community collaborations and remove barriers to learning and scholarship.
Mentorship Mount Royal students highly value access to faculty, staff, and alumni as part of their educational experience. We take a personalized approach to mentoring to ensure students have access to thoughtful and knowledgeable mentors and coaches. Mentorship is often cited by students as the most valuable experience delivered by the Institute and contributes to their sense of belonging at Mount Royal.
Impact: 1900+ students engaged 16 scholarly publications
72 entrepreneurship alumni engaged 9 public community events
$96,500 in student awards
490+ community members engaged
900+ hours of personalized mentorship and coaching
2 podcast series 6 university collaborations
1.0 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CAREERS
1.1 Designing YOU Alberta, like much of the world, faces a significant gap between the skills employers demand, and the skills new graduates actually possess. 66% of Canadian employers report difficulty in filling entry-level positions and 40% indicate that they cannot find candidates with the required set of soft skills. This skills gap has a significant impact on both an organization’s competitive nature and a new graduate’s ability to secure meaningful employment. To ensure that the next generation of students is able to successfully navigate the complex workforce, the Institute supports a research program that is focused on new graduate employability. We aim to advance the knowledge necessary to graduate high-impact talent in a time of disruption, where we are facing profound economic and social change. We launched the Designing YOU series, a collection of resources to help students prepare themselves for this dynamic future. All resources are freely available at: DesigningYOU.org Impact: 1000+ students engaged
11 disciplinespecific career guides
6 scholarly publications
2 podcast series
High Impact Talent (HIT) Roundtable In response to Alberta’s skills gap and the high-impact talent (HIT) challenge the Institute is hosting the first High Impact Talent (HIT) Roundtable in August 2019. At this Roundtable, community and faculty will be exploring how innovation in work-integrated learning can support the development of the high-impact talent that will thrive today and in the future.
“Producing the Designing YOU podcast was a fantastic opportunity in so many ways. Trevor and I were able to learn a ton about project management, professional interviewing, networking with MRU alumni, and of course podcast production. We were able to produce a podcast series that helps students navigate their way through their own journeys and create their own roadmap for success. We’re so grateful to have been given the opportunity to work on the project.” Kat Dulay & Trevor Chambers, Broadcast Media Studies Students, Mount Royal University
1 open access book
The Importance of Roundtables Roundtable discussions engage community leaders in debating topics central to the Institute’s core research themes. Roundtables are interactive, responsive and focus on topical issues emerging from our business and policy community. The goal of each Roundtable is not to answer the big questions - but rather to unpack and ask better questions, because asking better questions is the first step to finding better answers. The outcome of each Roundtable is a series of prioritized questions that need to be actioned.
1.2 Startup and Entrepreneurial Organization Showcase As part of the 2019 Bissett Networking Day, the Institute hosted 12 startups and entrepreneurial organizations in an effort to showcase the outstanding innovative and entrepreneurial firms and organizations that call Calgary home. The event allows students to see the abundance of roles available if they pursue a concentration or minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Included in that 12 were: 2 companies founded by MRU alumni 5 companies with LaunchPad/MRU alumni employees 2 companies that have worked with MRU students in capstone classes The representation of Mount Royal alumni as the founders and in diverse roles at these companies showcased to current students how impactful an education in innovation and entrepreneurship from Mount Royal really is.
40+ students engaged
8 alumni engaged
8 community members engaged
13 organizations engaged
1.3 JMH LaunchPad Now moving into its 8th year, the JMH LaunchPad Program supports studentsâ€™ desire to roll up their sleeves and build something - a company, a project, an idea, a network, a career, a better world. On their way, students connect with an inspiring community of ambitious peers, alumni, and mentors and put their career on a whole new trajectory. Through the LaunchPad Program, Mount Royal students have access to year-round coaching and mentorship, workshops, funding, co-working space, and connections to a thriving community of students and alumni. Impact: 900+ hours of personalized mentorship and coaching
$96,500 in earlystage funding/ student awards
615+ students engaged
70 alumni engaged
97 community volunteers
197 community members attended student showcases
Letter from a LaunchPad student While enrolled in my third year of the public relations program at Mount Royal University, I was managing an Amazon business and selling a variety of privately labelled products within Canada and the United States. Amazon sales and bartending on weekends were keeping me afloat through university, but I remember always being on the hunt for the next best product to sell. At that point, I had caught the entrepreneurial spirit and was starting to look at the world of business in a different light. I knew I needed to have a unique product to sell on Amazon in order to surpass my competition and generate more revenue. Guilty of stashing my cell phone in my bra every day, I had the idea for a cell phone pocket in a sports bra. After further research, a radiation-shielding pocket was the obvious differentiating feature I wanted to incorporate. There were no current sports bra designs on the market similar to what I had in mind and based on conversations with other women, I knew I had something special. I started poking around MRU’s entrepreneurship website and stumbled across the LaunchPad Accelerator Course (ENTR 3730). What really caught my eye was the JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition which the course aimed to prepare for. I took a chance and attended one of the program’s Innovators and Founders Circle meetups. Having no idea what I was walking into, I met the Director for the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Ray DePaul, along with other professors and student entrepreneurs. Everyone was extremely welcoming and curious as to what my business idea was. As I began sharing, I quickly realized that this community was where I belonged. I was accepted to the LaunchPad Accelerator course shortly after but the initial excitement wore off when I was faced with difficult questions and challenges from my cohort. Although these questions were always paired with respect and compassion, there was also an expectation for you to conduct extensive market research and be open-minded to the honest (and sometimes tough) truth. The program taught me that it’s important to be passionate about what you’re doing, but also to detach emotionally from your business concept in order to think rationally about the value it brings and if there is even a need for it at all. That semester, I wasn’t accepted into the pitch competition. It hurt to be rejected but that rejection fueled me to keep going and get better prepared for next year. I kept hustling and was able to pitch in the 2018 competition. I walked off the stage with $10K in branding services from Trout + Taylor and $10K in cash from JMH&Co. I cannot describe the feeling of validation for my concept; it was an incredible day and one I will never forget. These awards enabled me to purchase my first order of 500 sports bras and finally get SwearIT off the ground with confidence. As one of the winners in the competition, I was also chosen to participate in the LaunchPad Advisory Board which has been a huge help in making crucial decisions for my business. The Advisory Board is comprised of three successful entrepreneurs from the Calgary community who have dedicated their time (and very early mornings) to listen to my struggles and to help guide me through tough decisions. I’ve hit major roadblocks with manufacturing as well as with the launch strategy and the Advisory Board was there every step of the way to offer insight and encouragement. Not only did they hold me accountable for reaching my target objectives, but they also put me in touch with many of their personal contacts. Calgary is a tight-knit community and those connections can make a huge difference for a student entrepreneur who is just starting out. I gained immense value from these coaching sessions and the guidance for how to best utilize the funds and resources. Gone are the days of selling other people’s cheap products on Amazon. With help from my MRU cohort, my family and friends, and of course the LaunchPad Pitch Competition donors, we’ve successfully launched SwearIT and are receiving really great feedback. I’ve already employed an MRU PR student and I look forward to the opportunity to give back to this amazing program and its future entrepreneurs.
- Elissa Grohne, Founder, SwearIT; Public Relations Alumna, Mount Royal University
JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition Each year, the JMH LaunchPad Program culminates with a celebration of Mount Royal’s student founders in one of the largest and respected entrepreneur showcases in Calgary. The 2019 LaunchPad Pitch Competition welcomed over 300 attendees to cheer on the top Mount Royal student-founded ventures and watch them pitch for their share of $80,000 in cash and in-kind services.
2019 Ventures Gio Moros is the Founder of E-Cash. E-Cash is tackling the problem of sending money to relatives in countries like Venezuela who are experiencing hyperinflation. E-Cash partners with local vendors to permit locals to make everyday purchases using digital tokens sent from abroad. Awarded: $10,000 JMH & Co. Mooch provides pregnant and nursing women nutritious snacks that increase the production of nutrient-rich breast milk. Mooch was co-founded by Silvia Bezzi, Arielle Fitzgerald, Marc Nzojibwami and Vickie Nzojibwami. Awarded: $10,000 JMH & Co., $5,000 Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Gurpartap Baidwan is the Founder of Move N’ Store, a moving and storage company that is simplifying self-storage. Move N’ Store provides an on-demand valet storage service that guarantees an easy and affordable alternative to renting a self-storage locker. Awarded: $10,000 JMH & Co. Outlier Surf & Adventure Co is building inland surf culture as an inclusive, accessible and adventure driven community. Founded by Luke Morstad, the company offers river surfing lessons, gear and surf events, and is now expanding to take this growing community of surfers on adventures around Canada and the world. Awarded: $10,000 Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Tarandeep Singh Kainth is the Co-Founder of Sharyeo. Sharyeo leverages the sharing economy to connect creatives with underused photography and videography equipment to renters looking to try and use high-end gear. Awarded: $10,000 JMH & Co., $10,000 Bridgewater Labs, $10,000 LaBarge Weinstein Kevin Wojciak is the Founder of Venture Tech Innovations VR. VTI VR enables natural resource companies to promote their assets to potential investors using 360° VR tours and 3D visualization of data, removing the cost and safety risk of site visits.
WorkMore Inc. is a boutique consulting firm that focuses on timeless design, datadriven problem solving and enabling founders’ strengths. Founded by Vladimir Taikov, WorkMore has worked with brands like YYC Cycle, Kit & Ace, and Best of Calgary.
11 LaunchPad Alumni Award Recipient: Zachary Hartley, Burgundy Oak “By my third year I was fully immersed in the entrepreneurship program at Mount Royal and that was when things really changed for me. I enrolled in a 10-day block week course, taught by Evan Hu, where we had to come up with an idea, test it out and try to prove it by the end of those 10 days. What that course taught me is that you can do it. You can come up with an idea, you can build a product, and when you go out, no one behind that phone knows if you are a million dollar company or a fifty dollar company.” - Zachary Hartley, CEO, Burgendy Oak In 2016, Zachary Hartley pitched Smoke Barrel on the JMH LaunchPad stage and walked away with $30,000 in cash and services. Smoke Barrel started when Zac and his family turned an old wine barrel into a smoker at their cabin. Zac saw the potential to turn the project into a business and began building the unique smokers in his family’s garage, selling 21 in his first year. After graduating from Mount Royal in 2016 with a Bachelour of Business Administration and a Minor in Innovation and Entrepreneurship, Zac completed the ATBx and District Ventures accelerators, rebranding to Burgundy Oak and expanding their offerings to wine barrel home decor. In 2018, the team pitched on Dragon’s Den, and they achieved over $1M in revenue. Burgundy Oak now employs 13 people and is in 400 stores across North America. On April 3, during the JMH $80,000 LaunchPad Pitch Competition, Zac was awarded the LaunchPad Alumni Award. This award pays tribute not only to Zac’s success as a founder and entrepreneur but to his continued involvement in the innovation and entrepreneurship community as a role model and inspiration. He acts as a mentor to student entrepreneurs, participates in classes that allow students to tackle a real company’s challenges, and is a regular at the monthly student-alumni meetups. The Institute is honoured to have played a part in Zac’s incredible entrepreneurial journey.
Donors The LaunchPad Program would not be possible without the enthusiasm and generosity of our donors including JMH & Co, LaBarge Weinstein and Bridgewater Labs.
JMH & Co. JMH & Co is a regional accounting firm with offices in Calgary, Brooks and Medicine Hat who are having an oversized impact on their communities. Starting in 2012, JMH & Co has committed $550,000 over 10 years to the LaunchPad Program. Each year at the LaunchPad Pitch Competition the Institute has the pleasure of giving away $40,000 in JMH & Co awards to Mount Royal founders.
LaBarge Weinstein For three years in a row, LaBarge Weinstein has donated $10,000 in-kind legal services to the LaunchPad Pitch Competition. Having a good lawyer at your side is extremely valuable when starting a business and LaBarge Weinstein is one of the best startup law firms in the country.
Bridgewater Labs New to supporting the LaunchPad Pitch Competition this year was Bridgewater Labs. Bridgewater Labs donated $15,000 in-kind professional software development services to the LaunchPad Pitch Competition. The Institute is especially proud to have Bridgewater Labs as a donor as co-founders Stefan Radeta and Derek Rucki are Mount Royal Alumni and previous LaunchPad participants.
LaunchPad Advisory Board In 2018, with the support of the community, the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship launched a new initiative, the LaunchPad Advisory Board. Student startups that receive funding through the LaunchPad Pitch Competition have the opportunity to quickly advance their venture. This initiative establishes the first advisory board for these startups to help guide them through their critical first year. Through this process, students will learn the valuable role that an effective advisory board can play, gain a reputable network, be exposed to best practices, and have a greater sense of belonging to the Alberta entrepreneurial ecosystem. There is no denying the talent in this city; the challenge is to foster new and meaningful connections between established entrepreneurs and the next generation. This year, six mentors were hand-selected based on their expertise and eagerness to foster an entrepreneurial culture in Alberta. The Institute is grateful to our volunteer advisors: Carey Houston, Danny Way, Derek Payne, Nan Eskanazi, Rod Brown, and Stephen King. “Early in my entrepreneurial career, I had an incredible amount of support from advisors and mentors already in the community. And although there is no replacement for the hard work we all have to put in every day, the guidance from these mentors created incredible momentum for our team. Today, that community of supporters is stronger than ever. It’s great to have Mount Royal University entrepreneurship students working side by side with the community, informally at all of the events, and formally through programs like the LaunchPad Advisory Board. Each student that I’ve had the chance to meet with has inspired me to be better, watching them dreaming big, but focusing and working hard every day for their success. It’s a pleasure to be involved, and I can’t wait to see what the next cohorts of students from Mount Royal University can accomplish!” -Danny Way, Serial Entrepreneur and Angel Investor
LaunchPad Alumni Mentorship Program
“It was great to have accountability and the board really gave me a new insight and valuable information. Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, which is why not everyone does it, and this helped me through the hard times and continues to help me push in the direction I want to go.” - Daniel Smith, Founder of Connor’s Carwash; Bachelor of Business Administration Student, Mount Royal University “My experience with the board was motivating in the sense that it provided a useful feeling of accountability. It was a useful experience that I will reflect on when I’m ready to create my own board.” - Alexandra Daignault, Founder of Sarjesa; Bachelor of Arts Alumna, Mount Royal University
For the third year, the Institute offered the LaunchPad Alumni Mentorship Program. Funded by a grant of $15,000 from Alberta Innovates, the program aims to expand Calgary’s mentorship capacity by investing in the development of graduates of the LaunchPad program as mentors who can leverage their entrepreneurial experience to support current student entrepreneurs at various stages of venture creation. This year seven alumni, including Derek Rucki, Brendan Koch, Aislinn Grant, Zachary Hartley, Andrew Browne, Diane Grant-Richmond and Stefan Radeta were matched with fourteen student entrepreneurs according to complementary expertise and opportunities for both the alumni to grow as mentors and the students to grow as entrepreneurs. Impact:
7 alumni engaged
350+ hours of personalized mentorship
2 leadership development seminars
15 students engaged
Innovator and Founders Circles Founders Circle To truly understand what makes an individual entrepreneur thrive, you must consider the support network that surrounds them. The LaunchPad Founders Circle was created in 2014 as a space for Mount Royal University student and alumni founders to gather and grow. The Founders Circle is a non-credit program where 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 questions and fail with the support of the Institute and their peers. Impact: 49 student members
Innovators Circle 51 alumni members
Founders Fund Members of the Founders Circle are eligible to apply for funding of up to $2,500 through the Founders Fund. The Founders Fund supports student founders in early validation, creating a minimal viable product, or solution testing. By removing financial barriers to these activities, students take their idea to the next stage, complete with all the learning that comes along the way. Each year, $20,000 is available in student awards through the Founders Fund. In seven years, the Founders Fund has granted $97,250 to 49 Mount Royal student founders.
The LaunchPad Innovators Circle is a self-guided program for ambitious students eager to think creatively, collaborate effectively, and adapt quickly both in and out of the classroom. The Innovators Circle acts as an on-ramp for students from across campus to begin building relationships with like-minded peers, attend entrepreneurship events in their city, and develop innovation skills early in their entrepreneurial career. The Innovators Circle fosters a sense of belonging outside of class by creating a safe space for students to ask questions and build the foundations of an adaptive entrepreneurial career with the support of the Institute and their peers. As part of this support, the Institute identifies Innovators Circle members who could benefit from engaging in the Calgary entrepreneurship ecosystem. Impact: 18 student members
Sponsored 23 student tickets to community events
Monthly Innovator and Founders Circle Meetups What makes LaunchPad and its community truly unique is the spirit of collaboration. The monthly Innovator and Founders Circle Meetups embody this spirit and are an opportunity for our community to connect with one another and foster casual collisions. The meetups are a safe space to meet like-minded innovators and founders, ask questions, share stories and lessons, and get exposed to professional networking. While the majority of the meetups are reserved for unstructured and casual networking, throughout the year the Institute also invites mature mentors and senior alumni to share their stories and places of work in order to inspire current students and build ties between the LaunchPad community and the larger innovation ecosystem.
Product Management Meetup In November, in collaboration with Product Calgary, the Institute hosted a meetup centred around product management as an entrepreneurial career path. Product Managers Dave Charlton (Solium), Jordan Rindal (Solium), Jaret Hargreaves (Kent Imaging & Auxita), Natalie Hewton-Waters (ATB Financial), and Jason Zeiler (CoolIT Systems) joined 28 keen Mount Royal student and alumni to share their journey into product management and why they love what they do.
Burgundy Oak Meetup In February the Institute brought the meetup to the Mount Royal alumni founded business, Burgundy Oak. CEO and Co-Founder Zac Hartley gave 26 students and alumni a tour of their showroom and headquarters, showed off their exclusive Jack Daniels line, and answered questions about Dragon’s Den, government grants and the company’s recent growth.
Benevity Meetup In March, one of Calgary’s fastest growing companies, Benevity, opened their doors to the biggest meetup of the year. Benevity happens to employee dozens of Mount Royal alumni including Priyash Bista and Aneil Rajaram who guided a tour of the office and shared how their involvement in entrepreneurial projects as students helped launch them into careers in Calgary’s tech sector. Impact:
57 unique students attended one or more Meetup
42 unique alumni attended one or more Meetup
6 community members engaged
“An awesome way to network and become inspired in a friendly, casual environment.” - Quentin Ogilvie, Bachelor of Business Administration Alumnus, Mount Royal University
Research In June 2019 the Institute began a research project to gain a stronger understanding of the LaunchPad program’s impact on a student’s personal and professional development. Lead by Principal Investigator, Jenn MacDonald in collaboration with the Institute’s Associate Director, David Finch, and Student Research Assistant, Stepanie Ross, the research involves conducting interviews with past graduates of the Institution for Innovation & Entrepreneurship’s LaunchPad program. These interviews take the individuals through the journey of getting to the JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition stage and beyond to investigate how the program supported a transformational learning experience during and after their time at Mount Royal University. The research compliment’s David Finch’s research on dynamic capabilities and will support further investigation of the impact of work-integrated learning experiences. The Institute believes that this research is unique in the field. Jenn MacDonald has plans to present the research at an academic conference in early 2020.
1.4 Technical Talent Calgary’s technology sector is thriving. Calgary Economic Development reports that the city has seen a 55% increase in private technology companies in the past four years. Not only are we seeing an increase in the number of companies, but also, many startups who are moving into a stage of rapid growth. The growth and scaling up of Calgary’s technology sector demands technical talent who are prepared for employment in this new economy. Scaling companies need more than technical skill sets, they need high-impact talent who are equipped with the entrepreneurial mindset and execution skills necessary to take their organizations to the next level.
Computing Showcase Showdown For the fifth year, the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, in partnership with the Department of Math and Computing, offered an on-ramp for Mount Royal’s technical students to begin to see themselves and their co-curricular projects as entrepreneurial. The Computing Showcase is a demo-style pitch event where students at various stages of a technical project can showcase the work they have done outside of the classroom. Leading up to the event, finalists receive 1:1 coaching and mentorship on topics including early-validation and building a compelling pitch. The Computing Showcase acknowledges that there is no one-size-fits-all for computing students’ technical projects. Just like the journeys of entrepreneurial talent, each idea and project are unique. Students that apply for the Showcase may have built something cool: a game, a robot or a beta-version application, or they may be in the process of validating an idea for a disruptive innovation with promising market potential before starting to build. In both of these cases, these technical students are practicing the skills they are learning in computing and entrepreneurship courses and will benefit from the opportunity to take the project to the next level. That is why the event has two awards, the most exciting build and the most promising idea. Each of these unique awards celebrates computing students for their entrepreneurial mindset and curiosity. Supported by donations from ATB Financial and the BUSY Foundation, this year, four computing students were awarded a total of $3,500 to support the growth of their projects.
Impact: 45 computing students engaged
5 community volunteers
$3,500 in student awards
4 computing faculty engaged
30 community engaged
“I never imagined myself participating in the Showcase Showdown. But after hearing about it multiple times during the semester, I decided to go for it. I went into it with an idea that means a lot to me, and built on it from there. Two things really helped: The clarity of the offering in my own head, and excellent support from The Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The Showcase Showdown is a unique and very exciting opportunity for those in BCIS - I’m so glad I applied!” - Roli Edema-Omatseye, Founder, STEMgem; Bachelor of Computer Information Systems Student, Mount Royal University
Alumni Letter: Stefan Radeta I had a rather unique path as a student at Mount Royal University. I was enrolled in the Computer Information Systems program and quickly got connected to the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Before graduating this past June, I had co-founded two technology companies: TLink Golf where I’m the CTO and Bridgewater Labs where I’m the CEO. Both of these experiences have been transformational for me. In 2018, I was asked to be the only undergraduate student on the Government of Alberta’s Talent Advisory Council for Technology. My experience as a young technology entrepreneur gave me a unique perspective at a table with luminaries such as Evan Hu and Brad Zumwalt. Technology is rapidly affecting key sectors of our economy, including health-care, agri-food, energy, commerce and the service industries. Alberta must continue to develop a talented and adaptive workforce to diversify our economy and improve our global competitiveness. Post Secondary Institutions will play a key role in this mission, however, businesses also have a responsibility for developing talent. That is why my co-founders and I act as mentors to Mount Royal students, and it’s why Bridgewater Labs donated $15,000 in development services to the JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition. I can honestly say that the Institute changed the trajectory of my career. It’s an honour to do our part in influencing the next generation of talent coming out of Mount Royal that will contribute to the thriving technology sector in Alberta. - Stefan Radeta,CTO, T-Link Golf; CEO, Bridgewater Labs; Bachelor of Computer Information Systems Alumnus, Mount Royal University
Research Jenn MacDonald, Talent and Program Development Manager, has returned to Mount Royal and the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship while completing her final research for her Masters in Economic Development from the University of Waterloo. Her report will explore if and how Mount Royal is contributing to the development of technical talent that local firms are demanding and how the Institute can support work-integrated learning experiences through entrepreneurial initiatives. This report will focus on identifying gaps in Calgary’s technical talent pool and explore how the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship can best support the development of technical talent who are prepared for the new economy.
1.5 Calgaryâ€™s EO Student Entrepreneur of the Year In November 2018, Tarandeep shared his lifelong journey as an entrepreneur and his current venture, Sharyeo, with a panel of esteemed judges and was named Calgaryâ€™s EO Student Entrepreneur of the Year. Tarandeep is the fifth Mount Royal student to be given the honoured title in the past five consecutive years. His predecessors include Ryan Wenger, the Founder of Barrow Espresso, Derek Rucki, the Founder of TLink Golf, Paul Shumlich, the Founder of Deepwater Farms, and Ozzy Lang, the Founder of Green Cup. This is a true testament to the fact that Mount Royal has created a platform for the next generation of successful entrepreneurs to launch themselves and their business into the world. This year, Tarandeep was also matched with Alumni Mentor Derek Rucki, showcased Sharyeo in the 2019 JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition and walked away with $35,000 in cash and in-kind services; he is now participating in the LaunchPad Advisory Board.
1.6 Celebrating Entrepreneurial Alumni Alumni from the Insitute’s programs go on to contribute in huge ways to Calgary’s economy and innovation ecosystem. We are proud to celebrate the accomplishments of the following entrepreneurial alumni in the last year. This is just a small snapshot of the outstanding innovative and changemaking work that entrepreneurial alumni are contributing.
Aislinn Grant Aislinn Grant pitched in the very first LaunchPad Pitch Competition in 2013. This year, Aislinn founded a new company, Grant Designs. Aislinn also volunteers as a mentor, business strategist and pitch advisor at both UofC and Mount Royal supporting student founders.
Alexandra Daignault Alexandra Daignault pitched Sarjesa Tea (formerly Solidariteas) at the 2017 LaunchPad Pitch Competition. While she continues to grow her business, she was hired as the Trico Foundation’s first Liasion for Student Social Entrepreneurs.
Andrew Browne Alumnus and 2018 LaunchPad Alumni Award recipient Andrew Browne was named Program Director of Calgary Innovation Coalition. Andrew continues to be a key player in the advancement of Alberta’s Innovation Ecosystem.
Dustin Paisley Dustin Paisley, a LaunchPad Alumni Award recipient, continued to win entrepreneurship awards even while holding down a demanding position at ATB Financial. Local Laundry, the company Dustin co-founded, won the Entrepreneur’s Choice Award at the 2019 Startup Canada Awards.
Jennifer MacDonald Jennifer MacDonald is a 2014 Mount Royal Alumni. Immediately following graduation Jenn joined the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship to support the developed and growth of the programs. In September, Jenn moved to Waterloo, Ontario to complete a Masters in Economic Development and Innovation at the University of Waterloo.
Mike MacDonald Mike MacDonald is a serial entrepreneur. This year he built and sold Corq Yoga, a highperformance and environmentally friendly yoga mat company. Mike also joined the growth team at Plankk, one of Calgary’s sportiest tech companies.
Ryan Wenger Ryan Wenger pitched Barrow Espresso in the 2017 LaunchPad Pitch Competition. Since then, Barrow has open two new micro-cafes and started roasting their own coffee beans. This Spring, Barrow released True Blue Coffee, a line of coffee beans that supports the growth of the True Blue Scholarship for MRU students.
Wade Lahring, Grant Lahring, and Jessie McLean Wade Lahring pitched his first venture in the 2017 LaunchPad Pitch Competition, Jessie McLean is the Co-Founder of two companies Field Media Lab and Play4Them, and Grant Lahring is the Sales and Marketing Manager at alumnus founded company, Deepwater Farms. This dream team of MRU alumni recently founded HeyHiker, a non-profit working to get Calgarians into their backyard, the Rocky Mountains.
2.0 TRANSFORMING INDUSTRY, STUDENTS AND ACADEMICS
2.1 Growth Compass Growth Compass is a community-engaged learning and scholarship initiative that delivers evidence-based insights and intelligence on how companies successfully scale. Growth Compass collaborates with experts and engages students to deliver scholarly and industry outcomes. The program engages a community of growth-oriented organizations to build and disseminate knowledge and has a Lab for designing and piloting curriculum for growing and scaling companies. Growth Compass has provided a platform to connect with numerous industry-engaged partners, such as Calgary Economic Development, the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade and highly innovative companies such as ATTAbotics, Fiasco Gelato, Eau Claire Distillery and Spirit Hills Winery. In total, grant funding of $360,000 was awarded to support growth initiatives. To learn more visit: growthcompass.org
Impact: 150+ 100+ students community engaged leaders engaged
100+ business leaders engaged
7 4 1 submitted scholarly community scholarly collaborations events article
Community Growth Compass Community
Small Business Growth (SBG) Roundtable
The Growth Compass Community is a forum that listens to the challenges and opportunities facing growing and scaling companies. It is powered by a membership group of impassioned business leaders and employees of provincially-based companies who believe in the power of evidence-driven decision-making to drive the growth of their organizations and the province.
The Small Business Growth Roundtable is centered around debating topics central to business growth and scaling. At the first SBG Roundtable, held in October 2018, the Growth Compass explored the triggers that led Alberta companies to experience a growth episode through a set of facilitated conversations across three main community groups:
As part of the community, members will actively participate in inquiries on growth and scaling, in return for exclusive insights and intelligence to support future business growth. The inquiries provides the Growth Compass research team with data from which to generate aggregate insights and intelligence on growth. â€œAs a Ecotourism and Sport and Recreation Management student, my opportunity as a Growth Compass directed reading student has not only allowed me the chance to gain first hand experience working in the field of business, but has allowed me to develop future employment connections. I had the chance to work outside of the traditional sport setting and it pushed me to develop skills I would have never thought I needed. I strongly recommend to any student who has an interest in business to seek involvement in this type of learning experience, as it extends student learning far outside the classroom.â€? - Stephen Fanstone, Ecotourism & Outdoor Leadership Student, Mount Royal University
Leaders of growth-oriented companies shared their experiences of growth and identified the triggers that led to experiencing a growth episode. Representatives of public business support providers and policy makers discussed how the existing business support ecosystem targeted business growth. Scholars actively researching business growth discussed the new forms of evidence required to inform policy and practice on business growth. The next Small Business Growth Roundtable will be held in 2019 and will focus on the talent needs of growth-oriented companies.
LAB Innovation Accelerator The Innovation Accelerator works alongside Alberta SME corporate teams to cultivate an innovation mindset and capacity to take a new product or service from an idea fragment to a purchase order. The program leverages both in-class face-to-face engagement, coaching/mentoring and webinar-based milestone reviews. This year, the Growth Compass was commissioned by the Manufacturing and Transportation Division of Alberta Economic Development and Trade, to deliver two Innovation Accelerator programs, of which we engaged 8 companies intensively through this process. “Everyone has grand ideas, the trick is to break that vision down into simple, manageable next steps. Too often, that trick eludes companies like mine because we don’t have the time or the process to execute the ideas. The innovation process we learned through the Alberta Manufacturing Innovation Accelerator program taught us this magic trick in a way that is repeatable: they taught us to fish, you might say. This helped us build product pipelines into other provinces within 6 months of the program, as well as provided a repeatable framework that has resulted in a number of concrete, revenue-generating innovations since the program’s conclusion. They took us fishing, taught us to fish, taught us to make our own fishing gear, and set us loose on a blue ocean of possibility.” - Jeff Neufeld, President, Trimet Building Products Inc., Innovation Accelerator participant In January 2020, the Innovation Accelerator will invite a new cohort of manufacturing companies to participate alongside Mount Royal students in a newly developed experiential course, “Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship”.
Export Compass Export Compass provides company leadership with intelligence and insights on market expansion. The flexible program model is designed to go beyond traditional generic resources and provide a customized support program for companies at different stages of internationalization. In partnership with the Manufacturing Division of Alberta Economic Development and Trade, we have delivered the Export Compass for organizations including: ATTAbotics, Fiasco Gelato, Eau Claire Distillery, Spirit Hills Winery and Burgundy Oak.
“My capstone marketing course, Market Driven Strategy, served as an introduction into an exciting Calgary company. My time as an RA and an Intern helped me really get to know the incredible people behind that company. Through the program, I was able to work closely with key members of the organization whose positive endorsements later secured me a full-time position. This experience would be invaluable to any student who is close to graduation, as it helps them discover and prove the value of their skills developed during their time at MRU.”
“Working with the students at MRU has been a very positive experience for ATTAbotics, we were pleasantly surprised by the professionalism, quality, and information of the senior student presentations. ATTAbotics has been able to implement a large amount of the MRU research in our expansion planning, even in a recent exploratory trip to a possible new market. While putting together growth strategies is never an easy or straightforward task, it was refreshing to see the students learn to adapt when encountering informational or procedural roadblocks. We recommend the MRU program to any organization who is looking to take the first steps of expansion into new markets.”
- Erin Griswold, Bachelour of Business Administration Student, Mount Royal University
- Brad Simpson, Director of Growth, ATTAbotics Inc.
A Message from our Partner â€œIndustry Development has been working closely with MRU over the past two years. Helping firms navigate the dynamic factors they are faced with is a complicated task. The collaborative nature of the Growth Compass team allows the government to approach long standing and recurring issues in novel and strategic ways. The team at MRU is not only open to finding creative avenues to support economic development, but they are also willing and able to achieve targeted outcomes that many other organizations would not consider. The firms we have supported through the Innovation Accelerator and the Export Compass, not only have high praise for the programming, but they also report growth in actual purchase orders and new market opportunities. The added element of having students participate in the process, not only increases the management sophistication of future leaders, but the programs have also created jobs for several of the alumni. If these benefits were not enough, MRU is also developing real data and research on Alberta companies that not only generate publications for the university, but it allows the government to gain insight into the Alberta economic landscape without having to use aggregated literature based on out-of-market firms. The overall approach should not only be applauded, but provides a template for economic development that other jurisdictions should case study and try to emulate.â€? - Tom McCaffery, Director, Manufacturing, Government of Alberta
2.2 Sport Business Innovation The 1988 Olympic Games positioned Calgary as one of Canada’s leading sport cities. Today, sport business is being disrupted by technology, big data, and demographic shifts that are creating both challenges and opportunities for the regional sport business ecosystem. The Institute is taking an innovative and collaborative approach to lead a community-engaged learning and scholarship program to support sport businesses and the active ecosystem in Calgary. In addition to the health and social benefits of sport, the global active economy is projected to be $1.3 Trillion USD and represents an exciting economic opportunity for Calgary. Sport Business and an active ecosystem incorporates the diverse but interdependent elements of sport, sport business, health & wellness, sports media and public policy. Over the past year, the Sport Business Innovation program has collaborated with organizations such as the Calgary Sport and Entertainment Corporation, Calgary 2026, the Calgary Stampede and the MRU Cougars. The program has welcomed nine scholars from six universities across Canada and the United States. These partnerships have allowed the Institute to explore the role of sport in Alberta’s economy.
Impact: 150+ students engaged
8000+ Calgarians engaged
6 university collaborations
3 scholarly publications
3 1 community forthcoming events book
Sport Business Roundtable After the November 2018 Olympics plebiscite, many in the sport business community questioned the city and region’s vision for sport and recreation. Many of us asked ourselves where we go from here; this question became the genesis of the Sport Business Roundtable. In March 2019, the Institute held the first Sport Business Roundtable that tapped the expertise and passion of the ecosystem’s community leaders to reflect on the role of sport in community building. The Roundtable reflected on how Calgary’s rich regional sport business ecosystem contributes to a larger community vision.
ActiveCITY In September 2019, the Institute will host an ActiveCITY 2019 event, in which a group of community volunteers passionate about leveraging the active ecosystem to make Calgary Canada’s most livable region. The input from ActiveCITY 2019 will contribute to a larger regional grassroots planning process to develop a framework for an Active Calgary strategy that reflects the diverse wants, needs and activities of all Calgarians. The ActiveCITY Project will map out and measure the economic and social impact of the active economy on a community.
“The partnership between students and faculty from the Department of Health and Physical Education and the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has allowed us to both broaden our perspectives and understanding of how health and physical activity fit within the broader economy and society. We have benefited from the welcome and willingness to share and enjoyed the camaraderie and passion for creativity.” - David Legg, Chair & Professor, Department of Health and Physical Education, Mount Royal University
2.3 Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub (WEKH) is building a national network and accessible digital platform for sharing research, resources, and leading strategies. With nine regional hubs and a network of more than 75 partners, WEKH is designed to address the needs of diverse women entrepreneurs across regions and across sectors. The WEKH Alberta Regional Hub is led by Mount Royal University and the Bissett School of Business and will engage with and contribute to both national and local entrepreneurship ecosystems. The Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub is led by Ryerson University’s Diversity Institute, in collaboration with Ryerson’s Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship and the Ted Rogers School of Management and is funded by the Government of Canada. The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has had the opportunity to support so many of the incredible women entrepreneurs at Mount Royal University and is proud to support this knowledge sharing initiative.
2.4 Trico Changemakers Studio The Trico Changemakers Studio is a vibrant co-working and learning space located on Mount Royal’s campus. This one-of-a-kind co-working space is open not only to Mount Royal changemakers but those from across Calgary and from around the world. Born from the minds of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Insitute for Community Prosperity, the Trico Changemakers Studio opened its doors May 2018 and has since welcomed a dynamic community of changemakers including students, alumni, social entrepreneurs, activists, artists, and leaders from across sectors making a difference for people and the planet.
148 students engaged
“Women entrepreneurs will bring different competencies
3 workshops and events with 550 participants
17 member organizations
3.0 INSTITUTE LEADERSHIP
3.1 Team Ray DePaul, Director Ray DePaul was appointed as the inaugural Director of the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in February 2012. Before joining, 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. Today, Ray DePaul is a valued member of the Mount Royal and Calgary community as a mentor and advisor to students, founders, startups and businesses. He is also a volunteer board member of Platform Calgary, an organization committed to making Calgary a global hub for startups and innovation. Ray holds a Bachelor of Mathematics from the University of Waterloo and a Masters in Business Administration from Wilfrid Laurier University, where he was awarded the alumni award for Innovation in 2011. In 2016, Ray was named as one of three finalists for the national BDC Mentorship Award and was the recipient of the Calgary Chamber of Commerce Volunteer of the Year Award in 2017.
Dr. Simon Raby, Associate Director Dr. Simon Raby is a “pracademic” working as an Assistant Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University Bissett School of Business and co-founder of Business Improvement and Growth (BIG) Associates Ltd. BIG identifies the drivers of growth, challenges convention and offers practical ways for ambitious business owners and their organizations to achieve sustained growth and performance. Simon’s research program is focused on uncovering the strategies, practices, and methods of support that enable business growth, leadership transitions, and people’s performance. Most recently, Simon delivered a program of research on the growth of Alberta’s small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to understand the drivers of growth, innovation, and diversification for these firms. This research has since led to the creation of The Leader’s Growth Mindset. Simon is a trustee and board member for the Institute of Small Business and Entrepreneurship, a large, well-established network that enables excellence in small business and entrepreneurship, and builds bridges between research, policy and practice. Simon serves on the editorial board of the International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research.
Dr. David J. Finch, Associate Director Dr. David J. Finch’s professional background reflects a commitment to the convergence of theory and practice. David holds a Ph.D. in management and is an active educator, scholar and practitioner. David currently holds several academic appointments including Associate Professor at Mount Royal University Bissett School of Business in Calgary, Alberta, a visiting Professor at Ohio University and Visiting Fellow at the Henley Business School at the University of Reading in the U.K. Prior to joining academia over two decades ago, David held progressively senior roles in areas of corporate strategy in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. with Bell Canada Enterprises, Rogers Communications and Harris Corporation. In addition, David was a founding partner at T1 Agency, Canada’s largest sports and sponsorship marketing agency supporting brands such as Esso, Nike, Hudson’s Bay, the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, BC Ferries, the Calgary Stampede and Yellow Pages.
32 Jenn MacDonald, Talent and Program Development Manager Jenn MacDonald joined the Institute in 2014 and continues to be instrumental in building a community of students and alumni from across campus. She has contributed to the development of high-impact talent in the city and the province through work-integrated learning opportunities and primary business creation. Jenn is passionate about spreading the entrepreneurial mindset across campus to support the development of confidence and agile skill building in students. She is also keen to help revitalize and re-imagine Calgary’s job market. Jenn holds a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with minors in Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Marketing from Mount Royal University and is completing a Masters degree in Economic Development and Innovation from the University of Waterloo.
Emily Knight, Entrepreneur Development Officer Emily Knight is a Mount Royal University Alumni who joined the Institute’s team in 2017 during her final year of study. As a student at Mount Royal University, she focused her studies and extra-curricular involvement on Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Today, she plays an integral role in fostering community and opportunities for innovators, entrepreneurs, and changemakers from across campus. Emily believes that entrepreneurship is a unique opportunity to explore curiosity and play, unlocking the bold child within each of us and ultimately leading to the world’s most impactful innovations. She is energized by the opportunity to help students develop their entrepreneurial mindset, leading them to exciting careers, new venture ideas and roles as changemakers in their communities. Emily holds a Bachelors of Business Administration Degree with minors in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Alexandra Swiston, Community Engagement Specialist Alexandra Swiston joined the Institute in 2018 as a Project Coordinator for the Growth Compass program. Today, Alexandra is the Institute’s Community Engagement Specialist responsible for overseeing and growing a number of research initiatives focused around the Institute’s community-engaged scholarship. This includes managing strategic initiatives related to the Institute’s High-Impact Talent, Sport Business Innovation and Growth Compass research programs. Alexandra values problem-solving and building relationships to contribute to the continued success of students and community members wishing to embrace an entrepreneurial mindset. Alexandra holds a Bachelors of Business Administration Degree in Marketing with minors in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Mount Royal University. Prior to joining the Institute, Alexandra was a Team Coordinator at Shell Canada and Project Coordinator at Calgary Sports and Entertainment Corporation.
Tracy Pfeifer, Administrative Assistant Tracy Pfeifer has dedicated over 17 years to Mount Royal University. She provides administrative support to both the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Institute for Community Prosperity. Tracy plays the critical role of being the interface between the Institute’s team of impatient entrepreneurs and the university’s many policies and procedures. This year, the Institute team was supported by two Mount Royal alumni who also both happened to have launched ventures through the LaunchPad program. We are thankful to Ormhel Manuel, Founder of CarBerri, who sat as the Entrepreneur-In-Residence and worked tirelessly to support and mentor students; and Kelsey Prout, Founder of Good and Wild, who stepped up to support the Institute’s growth in a time of rapid change and encouraged students from across campus to get involved.
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