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ANNUAL

2020

REPORT

INNOVATION & ENTREPRENEURSHIP


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Table of Contents 00. OUR MISSION ........................................................................................

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0.1 Letter from Director ..................................................................................

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0.2 Developing High-Impact Talent ................................................................

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0.3 Transformational Learning Experiences ....................................................

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1.0 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CAREERS ..................................

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1.1 LaunchPad ................................................................................................

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Research ............................................................................................

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JHM LaunchPad Competition .............................................................

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2020 Ventures ................................................................................

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Donors ...........................................................................................

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LaunchPad Advisory Board .................................................................

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LaunchPad Alumni Mentorship Program ............................................

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Founders Fund ...............................................................................

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Discovery Fund ..............................................................................

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LaunchPad Circle Meetups .............................................................

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Slate Innovation Lab Mural ............................................................

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Letter from Student ...........................................................................

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1.2 Calgary’s EO Student Entrepreneur of the Year .........................................

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1.3 Entrepreneurship Sprint in Adapted Physical Literacy Class .......................

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1.4 Science and Technical Talent .....................................................................

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ONBOARD ........................................................................................

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How Technology Enables Innovation ..................................................

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AI Machine Learning Workshop ..........................................................

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1.5 Celebrating Entrepreneurial Alumni .........................................................

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What’s Next YYC ................................................................................

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1.6 Building Alberta’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem ..........................................

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Entrepreneurial Educators of Alberta .................................................

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Startup Calgary’s Launch Party & the Startup Job Showcase ..............

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Calgary Innovation Coalition ..............................................................

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2.0 TRANSFORMING INDUSTRY, STUDENTS AND ACADEMIA

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2.1 Growth Compass .............................................................................................

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Innovation Accelerator ................................................................................

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Small Business Growth Roundtable .............................................................

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Podcast - Scaling Alberta Businesses ...........................................................

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Bounce Back YYC .........................................................................................

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2.2 ActiveCITY Collective .........................................................................................

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ActiveCITY Summit .....................................................................................

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Playbook 2030 .............................................................................................

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2.3 LearningCITY ......................................................................................................

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LearningCITY Exchanges .............................................................................

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High Impact Talent Roundtable ....................................................................

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2.4 Sprint-ernships .................................................................................................

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ATB Innovation ............................................................................................

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Social Entrepreneurship Sprint ....................................................................

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Future Sprints ..............................................................................................

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2.5 Women’s Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub .......................................................

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2.6 Trico Changemakers Studio ................................................................................

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3.0 INSTITUTE LEADERSHIP ...............................................................................

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3.1 Team ..................................................................................................................

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Ray DePaul, Director ...................................................................................

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Dr. Simon Raby, Associate Director ..............................................................

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Dr. David J. Finch, Associate Director ...........................................................

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Jenn MacDonald, Talent and Program Development Manager .....................

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Emily Knight, Entrepreneur Development Officer ........................................

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Tracy Pfeifer, Administrative Assistant .........................................................

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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 Director When COVID-19 disrupted all our lives, I was reminded of the famous quote from Fred (Mr.) Rogers. “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers.’” This is the attitude we tried to take at the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship - how could we be helpers. When we had to cancel our beloved JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition that attracts 300 people to celebrate student entrepreneurs, we knew that it was more important than ever to support young entrepreneurs as summer jobs dried up and uncertainty and anxiety were in abundance. Instead of delaying the event in the hopes for a return to normalcy, we decided to go ahead and have a more intimate online competition. By rewarding $75,000 to students, we can confidently say that we changed the lives of these young people as they embarked on an entrepreneurial summer filled with learning. We were fortunate that our personalized one-on-one approach to mentorship was just as effective on a video call as sitting in our Slate Innovation Lab. We then turned our attention to the struggling Experience Economy (Arts and Culture, Retail, Hospitality and Tourism, Sport and Recreation) that was being hit the hardest in the city. Led by associate director, Dr. Simon Raby and Entrepreneur in Residence Khalid Razak, we launched BounceBackYYC and hosted a hackathon with 80 students from across the city and 50 volunteers to innovate approaches that will support these sectors as they bounce back. The entire platform was then made available to anyone wishing to do a similar program in the province. Earlier this year, we found new ways to provide non-founders with transformational community-engaged experiences. We partnered with ATB on an Innovation Sprint exposing 20 students to emerging technologies in the financial sector in a paid month-long internship. We ran an Innovation Accelerator for six small businesses and engaged our students in supporting the creation of new products and services. We also kicked off a paid Social Entrepreneurship Sprint for 20 students with the support of the Trico Charitable Foundation. We supported two ambitious projects championed by associate director Dr. David Finch. ActiveCity and LearningCity are bold city-building initiatives that cut across all post-secondaries and all sectors of our economy. If we don’t think big, how can we ask our students to? As I reflect on the eight-year history of the Institute, I know that we couldn’t have accomplished what we did without the herculean efforts of the very gifted Jennifer MacDonald. Jenn joined me in building the Institute immediately after graduating from MRU in 2014 and has now moved on to apply her many talents beyond MRU. I am thankful for the impact she has had on our community and thrilled that we can develop and retain such great talent in our city. Jenn, thank you for all that you’ve done and will continue to do as a proud MRU alumna. 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, Trade and Tourism, Trico Charitable Foundation, Alberta Innovates, LaBarge Weinstein LLP, Grant Design, ATB Financial, and Fastenal. Remember, look for the helpers and try to be one if at all possible. Ray DePaul


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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 labour market dynamics of a region, sector or organization, and is anchored in an individual’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 don’t follow. While the entire education system must ensure that we are developing future-ready students, universities have a unique role in supporting a graduate’s professional transition.


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0.3 Transformational Learning Experiences The Institute believes that work integratedlearning (WIL) is a critical pathway to developing dynamic capabilities of highimpact talent. Impactful WIL blends program learning with applied community-engaged 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.

that provide opportunities for both faculty and students to perform community-engaged scholarship 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 The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship learning outcomes. Many of the capabilities gained by making takes an innovative approach, delivering a progress on an innovation or starting a venture are transferable, number of transformational opportunities whether a graduate starts or joins an organization. that will ensure career and personal success. These transformational learning experiences are interwoven into every one of the Institute’s Community Engagement programs. We are proud to support our innovative Community partnerships with companies, non-profits, and faculty to embed impactful transformational governments provide students and faculty with unique experiences both in and outside of the classroom. opportunities and access to potential employers and research partners. We establish ongoing relationships with leaders of Capstone Experiences organizations to advance university/community collaborations Capstone experiences are designed to allow and remove barriers to learning and scholarship. practical application of the knowledge students have gained throughout their undergraduate degree. We support faculty by partnering with Mentorship community members to provide students with MRU students highly value access to faculty, staff, and alumni work-integrated learning opportunities. as part of their educational experience. We take a personalized approach to mentoring to ensure students have access to Undergraduate Research thoughtful and knowledgeable mentors and coaches. Mentorship A student’s academic experience is enriched is often cited by students as the most valuable experience delivered by participating in a faculty-directed research by the Institute and contributes to their sense of belonging at MRU. project. We establish community partnerships Impact: 960 + students engaged

598 community members engaged

11 scholarly publications

13+ public community events

370+ hours of personalized mentorship and coaching

137+ entrepreneurship alumni engaged 25 podcast episodes

5 Albertian Post-Secondary collaborations

$117,000 in student awards 75 community introductions made to students


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1.0 DEVELOPING ENTREPRENEURIAL CAREERS


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1.1 LaunchPad LaunchPad is a 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. LaunchPad 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: $91,600 in awards granted

168 students engaged

67 alumni members

75 community members engaged

370+ hours of personalized mentorship and coaching

Research Entrepreneurial talent is critical to the growth and innovation of firms and Postsecondary Institutions contribute to the development of the entrepreneurial talent that the economy requires. However, there is a lack of empirical research on the impact of entrepreneurship education, specifically co-curricular programs and their ability to develop competences. In Spring 2019, the Institute’s Jenn MacDonald initiated an academic research project, alongside Dr. David Finch and Research Assistant, Stephanie Ross, to explore how participation in the LaunchPad program affords entrepreneurial learning outcomes through the development of competencies. The research engaged 30 founders across the eight-year history of the LaunchPad program. While the research publication is expected in 2021, early insights reinforce the value of our mentor-centred approach that is core to the LaunchPad program.


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JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition The JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition is Mount Royal University’s largest student entrepreneurship celebration of the year. This year was unprecedented in a lot of ways, including this event. Since 2013, students and recent alumni from across campus have pitched their ventures for the chance to win their share of up to $80,000 in cash and in-kind services. This celebration has grown to a 300+ person event filled with eager community members, faculty, fellow students, and investors interested in hearing about the next great idea. This year, in light of the pandemic, the event had to adapt to a quarantine world. The seven student founders selected to participate adapted on the fly and pitched digitally to a panel of esteemed judges. Thank you to our students for your adaptability, and to our judges, Nan Eskenazi, Danny Way, Christy Lane, and Kevin Franco for supporting our students digitally this year.

2020 Ventures It’s Legit is an authentication service for the booming sneaker reselling industry. Founded by Matt S., It’s Legit mitigates risk for individuals investing in the shoe resale market by providing fast and accurate legitimacy checks. Awarded: $10,000 JMH & Co.; A spot in Platform Calgary’s Student Summer Incubator Karina Zapata and Sarah Green are the Founders of Femme Handbook. Femme Handbook is a print magazine dedicated to providing women with a platform to share their vulnerable stories through creative mediums. Awarded: $10,000 JMH & Co. Ryan Doel is the Founder of Paintabotics, a robotic painting solution for the auto body industry. Through automation, Paintabotics takes painters out of the toxic painting environment, reducing costs and increasing quality. Awarded: $10,000 JMH & Co.; $15,000 LaBarge Weinstein Brett Miller is the Founder of Dodge Queue. Dodge Queue is an anti-bullying platform tackling verbal abuse in online gaming by giving players control over who they play with. Awarded: $5,000 Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship; A spot in Platform Calgary’s Student Summer Incubator Home Service is a SaaS solution for the home building industry. Founded by Peter Morrison, Home Service tackles the inefficiencies in the management of home warranties and trade workers. Awarded: $5,000 Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Quest Climbing Innovations creates the ultimate home play structure for families. Founded by Logan Grasby, Quest Climbing builds customizable climbing walls that can be installed easily in any home. Awarded: $10,000 JMH & Co.; $15,000 Grant Design


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Donors

The LaunchPad Program would not be possible without the enthusiasm and generosity of our donors including JMH & Co, LaBarge Weinstein, Grant Design and Platform Calgary.

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 JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition the Institute has the honour 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 $15,000 in-kind legal services to the JMH 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.

Grant Design

Aislinn Grant and her newly launched branding firm, Grant Design, returned as a donor this year. Grant Design donated $15,000 in-kind professional branding and design services to the JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition. The Institute is especially proud to have Grant Design as a donor as founder Aislinn Grant was one of the very first LaunchPad participants.

Platform Calgary

New to supporting the JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition this year was Platform Calgary. Two funded spots in Platform’s newly launched Student Summer Incubator Program were awarded to support the continued acceleration of student founders. While two funded spots were awarded, three additional Mount Royal student founders were also accepted into the program this summer. “Year after year, I am so impressed by the creativity and courage of students in the LaunchPad program. The city is in good hands with this next generation of entrepreneurs. I have had the pleasure and rewards of volunteering with these energized students.” - Nan Eskenazi, Founder, Good Earth Coffeehouse


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LaunchPad Advisory Board This year, five advisors were hand-selected based on their expertise and eagerness to foster an entrepreneurial culture in Alberta. The Institute is grateful to our volunteer advisors and their flexibility moving the advisory board online in the spring: Chris Kneeland, Jim Gibson, Joseph King, Kelly Long, and Nav Dhunay. Impact: 14 hours of personalized mentorship

5 student founders engaged

5 community members engaged

LaunchPad Alumni Mentorship Program In four years of running the Alumni Mentorship Program, we have supported 12 LaunchPad alumni to develop their skills as mentors and leaders while mentoring 40 student founders. This year, two past mentees from the program who have since graduated, came back to become mentors. Thank you to Marc Nzojibwami, Zachary Hartley, Aislinn Grant, Mike MacDonald, Ormhel Manuel, and Elissa Grohne for supporting the next generation of Mount Royal founders. Impact: 6 alumni engaged

72+ hours of personalized mentorship

1 leadership development seminars

13 students engaged


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Founders Fund Members of the LaunchPad community 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 eight years, 59 students have removed financial roadblocks through the Founders Fund. This year, eight student founders accessed the fund.

Discovery Fund As entrepreneurship booms in Calgary and area, so has the number of organizations hosting events and workshops open to post-secondary students. Despite the plentiful opportunities to engage, students face many barriers to attending community events including the financial barrier of ticket prices. From conversations with students, Entrepreneur Development Officer Emily Knight discovered that even a discounted student ticket of $25.00 could be the roadblock directing students to focus on one of their many other priorities instead of attending a community event. Informed by these conversations and observations in our student community, this year the Institute launched the LaunchPad Discovery Fund. Through the Discovery Fund, Mount Royal students are eligible for funding of up to $100 per academic year to cover the cost of event, workshop and conference tickets. This Fund is designed to support students’ exploration of innovative ideas and inspire them to think bigger. This year, 54 Mount Royal students from departments ranging from Science and Technology, Information Design, Marketing and Entrepreneurship accessed $950 in event admission through the Discovery Fund. Impact:

54 students engaged

8 community events attended

The Discovery Fund is proud to make community events offered by partners like the ASTech Foundation, Startup Calgary, and ATB Financial affordable for students.


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LaunchPad Circle Meetups The Institute’s monthly Circle Meetups are one of the cornerstones of the LaunchPad program. Every month, students, alumni, and community members gather. Whether guests are pursuing an innovative career or starting a social enterprise or a for-profit business, we know they will benefit by learning from their peers and immersing themselves in a community of like-minded individuals. The Circle meetups are an opportunity to casually connect and to be exposed to the phenomenal organizations headquartered in Calgary. In April 2020, these meetups were adapted to be hosted digitally.

Plankk Meetup

In October, in collaboration with Plankk and Product Calgary, the Institute hosted a meetup centred around product management as an entrepreneurial career path. Plankk Technologies, a tech company that is developing custom fitness apps for fitness influencers around the world. Product Managers from Plankk’s team along with members of Product Calgary shared their unique journeys into a career they love.

Attabotics Meetup

In January, one of Canada’s fastest-growing companies, Attabotics, opened its doors to our community. Attabotics Founder and CEO Scott Gravelle (Scott #1) guided a tour of Attabotics behind-the-scenes robotics lab and shared his journey from making skateboards in 2008 to founding Attabotics in 2015. Attabotics also employs many Mount Royal alumni including Alistar Shipley and Scott Thompson (Scott #4) who shared their experience leading venture-capital fundraising outside of Canada.

atVenu Meetup

In February, Mount Royal alumni Dan Ordze and Renato Niro hosted the meetup at atVenu. atVenu has become the industry standard platform for managing merchandise sales at live events and is used by over 12,000 Artists, Venues and Festivals including major names like Ed Sheeran, Beyonce and The Rolling Stones. Dan and Renato shared what it’s like to work for a tech company in the music industry and how they bridge the gap between the technical and business aspects of their roles.

Calgary Heritage Roasting Meetup

In March, the Institute brought the meetup to the Mount Royal alumni founded business, Calgary Heritage Roasting Co. Founders Jamie Parker and Mike Wenzlawe welcomed us into their brand new Inglewood coffee shop and shared their story and how their unique backgrounds in Science and Outdoor Leadership led them to join Calgary’s coffee scene. Impact:

54 unique students attended one or more meetup

51 unique alumni attended one or more meetup

9 community members engaged


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Slate Innovation Lab Mural Named for the blank slate that all entrepreneurs face before creativity fills it with good ideas, the Slate Innovation Lab is the heart of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University. This February, a brand new mural was unveiled in the space. Commissioned from local Calgary artist, Nicole Wolf, the mural is a testament to the diverse and inspirational Mount Royal students and alumni who have called the Slate Innovation Lab (Slate) home. Slate is home to the minds, projects, and startups of Mount Royal University’s brightest entrepreneurial students. Through thoughtful design and an engaged student community, Slate has become the best spot on campus for brainstorming, innovation, and collaboration. By offering whiteboards, shared office space, reconfigurable furniture, and a comfortable atmosphere to students, faculty, and entrepreneurs, Slate is seen as both a catalyst and incubator for innovation and entrepreneurship in Calgary. The new mural builds on this design to showcase the diversity of students and ideas that make use of the space and will act as creative inspiration for new ideas and projects.

“The images in this mural were inspired by a series of interviews with Mount Royal University students. Poised to be Canada’s up-and-coming entrepreneurs, they shared their anticipations and dreams about post-graduation, and some of the things they’ve learned in the process of launching their ventures.”

Nicole has created public art in collaboration with The City of Calgary, the Calgary Zoo, Parks Canada and the Recycling Council of Alberta. Her work can be found on Instagram @nicolewolfdesign.

- Nicole Wolf


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Letter from Student I like to call myself an accidental entrepreneur. In my second year of the journalism program at Mount Royal University, I was challenged to conceptualize a hypothetical media outlet that fills a gap in the market. Alongside Sarah Green, my co-founder, I founded Femme Handbook — an annual magazine and platform dedicated to empowering women’s creativity across North America. We had no idea that two years later, this school project would bring us to the (digital) stage of the JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition. When we founded Femme, we had one goal in mind: to provide unestablished women creatives a platform for their voices and experiences to finally be heard. Now, our magazine, published annually, is filled with creative content from our contributors across the continent. But it wasn’t until we began accepting submissions for our first issue that we began to recognize how essential this platform is. From sexual assault to emotional abuse to grief, our contributors tackled deeply vulnerable and oftentimes painful experiences, which some say they were able to process and heal through their art. After publishing the first issue, Femme Handbook started to seamlessly transition from a school project to a running business — but it wasn’t until we began working with the folks at the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship that we began taking this business seriously. The first time we were told to apply for LaunchPad, a pitch competition we knew very little about, we were only several months into our venture. We laughed it off. We truly didn’t think that two journalism students who understood virtually nothing about running a business could do well in a pitch competition — especially two women who run a feminist publication. It took a lot of encouragement from our friends, family, peers, mentors, and even the entire team at the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, to believe we were worthy of being in this space. With the support of our community, we eventually applied and were selected to be one of the six ventures to pitch in the 2020 JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition. Due to COVID-19, the ordinarily 300-person event was cancelled and we had to transition to a digital space. On top of that, Sarah moved back home to B.C. to be with her family, meaning we had to prepare for an $80,000 pitch competition over Facetime. It was extremely nerve wracking to know that we wouldn’t have the physical support of our community during the pitch, but seeing everyone’s faces through Google Hangouts gave us the motivation we needed. After countless hours of preparation, daily Facetime calls, months of pep talks about being the only women in this year’s competition, and navigating a global pandemic, we walked off the digital stage with $10,000 in cash from JMH & Co. Hearing our names didn’t only validate our concept, but it also validated the fact that women belong on big, scary, male-dominated stages. This award makes it easier for us to continue doing what we love the most — empowering creatives to uplift their voices, and giving readers authentic and vulnerable art to hold space for. With this award, we’re able to print Issue 3 (coming 2021), expand our platform across different mediums and different cities, and sustain ourselves as a print publication. This is a luxury we did not have before, and a luxury we will forever be grateful for. Above all, LaunchPad taught us that you don’t have to know the lingo or be a business expert to truly succeed at being an entrepreneur — accidental or not. - Karina Zapata, Founder, Femme Handbook; Journalism Student


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1.2 Calgary’s EO Student Entrepreneur of the Year In November 2019, Mount Royal University hosted the Entrepreneurs Organization’s Calgary Regional Global Student Entrepreneur Award Competition and heard from five student founders, three of which were Mount Royal students. Ryan Doel, computer information systems student and founder of Paintabotics, shared the compelling traction he has gained so far with the venture, along with his personal life journey which ultimately led him to start Paintabotics. Although that story is his to share, suffice to say that none of his accomplishments have come without extraordinary effort. Ryan was named Calgary’s EO student Entrepreneur, an honoured title held by Mount Royal student founders for what is now six consecutive years. Ryan also showcased Paintabotics in the 2019 ONBOARD Science and Technology showcase with the award of Most Promising Idea, and walked away with $25,000 in cash and in-kind services from the JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition; he is now participating in the LaunchPad Advisory Board. Ryan was supported throughout the year by Alumni Mentor Zachary Hartley, which was a key reason for his many successes.


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1.3 Entrepreneurship Sprint in Adapted Physical Literacy Class

While it may not seem obvious at first, innovation and entrepreneurship are deeply embedded in every aspect of sport and recreation. The Adapted Physical Literacy class is building a movement to accelerate disability innovation to support an inclusive world. Students are challenged to create an innovative solution to a challenge faced by a person with a disability in pursuing sport or recreation. By identifying a problem and exploring a solution, students are exposed to problem-solving, empathy, business literacy, critical thinking, customer/user discovery, design thinking, and pitching. These skills are critical to the student’s future careers. Calgary has a thriving Active Economy that these students will engage with and transform, regardless of whether they start a business, join an established organization or a startup. To support this unique learning experience, community leaders, including former Paralympians, alumni, and scholars from around the world, attend class to ask thought-provoking questions, and provide feedback. At the end of the semester, groups pitch their innovative solutions during a five-minute presentation at the Canadian Sport Institute at Winsport. “ I really enjoyed participating in the innovation project. It taught me how to think outside of the box and apply the knowledge I’ve learned in HPED to solve real-world problems.” - Colleen Moffat, HPED student Impact:

180 students engaged

60 community mentors engaged

“The support and leadership provided by the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship has completely transformed the entire Department of Health and Physical Education. By incorporating a new Innovation project in our core course ‘adapted physical activity’, ALL of our students have been exposed to innovation and entrepreneurship at a time when this is crucial and needed for their career and personal development. Jenn and her colleagues were supportive, enthusiastic and willing to engage with our students. And for that, I’m most grateful.” - Dr. David Legg “The innovation project in our Adapted Physical Activity class was one of the most creative and unique projects I have ever done at MRU! It was so interesting having so many different attributes come together, from physical education knowledge to entrepreneurial and creative skills, all to create something exclusive, innovative and most of all, applicable to the adapted community. The passion that was put into this project was something that I have never experienced before!” - Miguel Klassen, HPED student


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1.4 Science and Technical Talent ONBOARD ONBOARD is a demo day designed to celebrate the ideas, creations, and experimentations of Mount Royal University’s Science and Technology students. These students are Calgary’s emerging talent; our economy’s future makers, creators, and innovators. ONBOARD, previously known as the Showcase Showdown, proudly expanded after five years running to include students from Biology, Chemistry and Physics, Earth and Environment, along with Math and Computing. The name ONBOARD signifies the incredible scientific and technological expertise that must be onboard the startup ‘rocket ship’. The students who participate in the competition are the experts who are enabling innovation and often founders in their own right. This year alone, three students who pitched at ONBOARD went on to pitch in the JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition. Thank you to the judges, Emily Hixs, Jason Zeiler, Taylor, and Dr. Jonathan Withy for their support of this initiative. Impact: $4,500 in student awards

30 community engaged

5 science and technology faculty engaged

31 science and technology students engaged

4 community volunteers

“Science and Technology students naturally embrace innovation. Many of our world’s great advances have been a result of scientific discovery. It’s great to see the Institute provide our students with a platform to celebrate their innovations.” - Dr. Jonathan Withey, Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology.

How Technology Enables Innovation

AI Machine Learning Workshop

Offered for the first time as part of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Concentration, How Technology Enables Innovation (ENTR 3360) was taught by Dr. Sharon McIntyre in the fall semester. This course addresses the ever increasing competitive advantage technological innovation offers organizations. It is critical that business professionals entering the workforce understand the capabilities and potential of technology to drive product and business model innovation. This course improves students’ understanding of technology, what it can enable, and stimulates thought on how technologies can be applied to innovative offerings.

Hosted in partnership with Mount Royal’s Department of Mathematics and Computing, the Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning workshop allowed students, alumni, faculty and industry professionals from various STEM disciplines to get hands-on-experience with AI and ML. Facilitated by Alberta’s top AI and ML leaders and experts, the two-day workshop exposed participants to cutting edge ecosystems, research leading the charge in these fields, and conversations surrounding the social impact of AI.

Thank you to the industry leaders who joined the course to share insights from their field including those from: IBM Natural Resources Solution Centre, The City of Calgary, TerraHub, 4iiii Innovations, Climate Smart Group and Carbon Credit Solutions Inc.

Thank you to the event’s sponsors IEEE Women in Engineering and the Chair for Women in Science and Engineering for making the event possible. Impact:

Impact:

13 students engaged

6 community engaged

28 students engaged

20 community engaged


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1.5 Celebrating Entrepreneurial Alumni Brad Williamson

Brad Williamson pitched in the 2016 JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition. Since then, Brad served as the Chief Marketing Officer for local Calgary startup, MicoMech, for two years before stepping out as a founder once again this year. Brad is the founder and the Lead Strategist of a digital marketing agency called Catch Digital. Catch Digital is a full-service growth agency, specializing in ROI-accountable lead capture and nurturing of customers through modern marketing technology implementation.

Bryton Udy

Alumnus Bryton Udy is a creative entrepreneur who graduated from Mount Royal in 2016. Bryton is the Founder and Head Brand Coach at At Heart Branding Co. which supports small business owners and creatives build strong brand voices. Bryton is also the Co-Founder of Play4Them, a fundraising tool for today’s changemakers.

Danielle Gibbie

Danielle Gibbie was the president of Enactus Mount Royal in 2012 and has been implementing scalable and sustainable social innovations ever since. In 2019, Danielle became the Director of International Partnerships at Operation Eyesight. Danielle is an active member of MRU’s alumni community and gives back to MRU through her seat on the Alumni Council.

Elissa Grohne

Elissa Grohne pitched SwearIT in the 2018 JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition. While she continues running and growing SwearIT, Elissa also founded a digital marketing agency called Upper Brand Marketing.

Emily Knight

Emily Knight pitched in the 2018 JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition. In 2019, Emily and a team were granted seed funding for a social enterprise called Feed Your Flat which makes gardening simple for Calgarians. In 2020 the organization donated 15% of their sales to The Alex Community Food Centre to support Covid Relief efforts.

Peter Njongwe

Peter Njongwe graduated from Mount Royal’s Computer Information Systems program with a minor in entrepreneurship. Peter co-founded Alora Boutique with his wife Jameela Ghann, another MRU alumna, and is currently the founder and behaviour designer at Lapis Heath, a digital health platform supporting the next generation of cardiovascular health.


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What’s Next YYC Mount Royal social entrepreneurs are investing in making the world a better place in Calgary and beyond. Four Mount Royal alumni-founded businesses presented in the 2019 What’s Next YYC event hosted by the University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business and the Trico Charitable Foundation. These founders took home three of the four $25,000 prizes.

Fresh Routes

Deepwater Farms

Beaverlodge

Universal Access

Anna Johnson is the co-founder of Fresh Routes, a mobile grocery store addressing food security in our city. In response to the economic challenges facing Calgarians during the Covid outbreak, Fresh Routes organized a fundraiser to assemble food boxes for the city’s most vulnerable families.

Tim Lipp is the co-founder of Beaverlodge, a volunteer-owned tech company making it easy for families to get bulk discounts with their neighbours on common needs. After a few funky pivots, they’re now generating revenue and learning from delightful customers.

Paul Shumlich is the founder of Deepwater Farms, a stateof-the-art aquaponics operation that produces fish, greens and herbs within Calgary city-limits with little to no waste. Paul pitched in the 2016 JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition and was awarded $25,000. Deepwater Farms now employs 16 people, including other Mount Royal alumni.

Sean Crump is the CEO of Universal Access, which helps businesses understand the nique relationship between spatial layout, social inclusion and bottom-line impacts of accessibility. Universal Access is a member of the Trico Changemakers Studio located on campus and has employed Mount Royal students.


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1.6 Building Alberta’s Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Entrepreneurial Educators of Alberta The Entrepreneurial Educators of Alberta (EEA) was established in 2018 for the purpose of becoming the junction for post-secondary entrepreneurship education, including centers, programs, departments, and experiential learning opportunities across Alberta. The EEA will collaborate, communicate, and jointly advance excellence in entrepreneurship in academic communities and beyond. The EEA aims to function as a vehicle linking established and emerging groups for the purposes of sharing best practices and advancing, strengthening, and celebrating the impact of entrepreneurial education and experiences. The goal of the EEA is to create a network of entrepreneurial educators and establish a strong community of practice. EEA focuses on strengthening entrepreneurial education through supporting educators and mentors of studententrepreneurs.

Startup Calgary’s LaunchParty & the Startup Job Showcase The Institute partnered with Startup Calgary and Alberta PostSecondaries to create the first Startup Job Showcase as part of the annual LaunchParty event. On November 12, more than 40 Mount Royal students and recent alumni joined hundreds of their peers at the 10th-annual LaunchParty event. To kick off this citywide celebration of technology and entrepreneurship in Alberta, students attended the Startup Job Showcase, which connected them to 19 local tech-enabled startups who were actively hiring. The Job Showcase created a space for students to ask future employers about the types of skills they are seeking in new hires. Students were also introduced to emerging and in-demand roles. Impact:

80 students from across the city engaged

19 startups engaged

Calgary Innovation Coalition The Calgary Innovation Coalition (CIC) is a coalition of community support organizations based in and around Calgary that share the common interest of increasing the volume and velocity of knowledge and innovation-based entrepreneurs and startup ventures in our region. The entrepreneurial journey is non-linear, and so is entrepreneurial ecosystem development. Through a common understanding of what we are trying to achieve, we can guide our collective efforts through a long-term, high-level, and aspirational lens. The CIC’s collective goal is to increase the number of active tech startups in Calgary from ~200 currently to 1,000+ by 2031. This year, the Institute’s Jenn MacDonald was chosen as a member of the Calgary Innovation Coalition’s Fellow Board.

“Startups don’t typically post their jobs to common platforms, like Indeed, because they can’t handle mass intake. The end result is that so many opportunities to work in tech fly under the radar, creating a misperception that these jobs don’t exist. Putting talent in a room with almost 20 companies made it impossible to ignore the opportunities that exist.” - Danielle Torrie, manager at Startup Calgary


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2.0 TRANSFORMING INDUSTRY, STUDENTS AND ACADEMIA


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2.1 Growth Compass In 2017 Associate Director, Dr. Simon Raby, published a report titled “What Drives SME Growth: Introducing the Leader’s Growth Mindset” bit.ly/2QrTbbf. This seminal report revealed insights to the growth challenge facing Alberta businesses and the roles that leaders need to champion to catalyze high growth. Only 7% of Alberta business leaders were found to be employing a Leaders Growth Mindset bit.ly/34wIFrg. From this research Growth Compass was launched; 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. To learn more visit: growthcompass.org Impact: 117 76 students community engaged leaders engaged

11 business leaders engaged

2 visiting scholars

6 6 scholarly community publications and events presentations

Innovation Accelerator This year, as part of Mount Royal’s concentration in innovation and entrepreneurship, a new credit course, Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship was launched. This course is a work-integrated learning experience and runs in parallel with the Growth Compass Innovation Accelerator. “The Innovation Accelerator was the perfect catalyst for us during this time. By pivoting, we have sold $250,000 in PPE, such as sneeze guards/partitions and floor decals. We have also moved our full business online. What we learned in the program was invaluable” - Brain Kroeker, President, Little Rock Printing

“Thanks again for facilitating the innovation accelerator – our company learnt A LOT and we really enjoyed our time in class!” - Frances Teves, Digital Marketer, Virtuoso Energy

18 senior entrepreneurship students worked with 6 companies dedicated to seeking out new growth opportunities for their organizations. “This ENTR course is probably the best class that I have taken in my university career. In this class you work with real companies to go through the innovation cycle from dilation to sales.The impact that you have with companies is real and changing, I felt this was a great class to sum up my entrepreneurship journey at Mount Royal.” - Anonymous ENTR Student


24 Small-Business Growth Roundtable

Alberta, like Canada, has a scale-up gap. While half of all startups survive over 5 years, only 0.1% of small firms become mid-sized, and only 2% of mid-sized firms become large. The 2019 Small Business Growth Roundtable was organized to examine why. The event brought together 35 business leaders from High Growth Firms, those scale-ups with at least ten employees, sustaining an annual growth rate of 20% or greater over a minimum of three consecutive years. Keynote speakers Dr. Mark Hart, Director of the UK’s 10,000 Small Businesses Program and Dr. Norris Krueger, renowned entrepreneurship educator and scholar joined to share insights and best practices to fuel the conversation. This event resulted in a convergence on the ‘scaling success factors’ and the innovative and strategic actions leaders prioritized to successfully scale-up. The event also explored the competencies that graduates require to become ‘growth enablers’.

Podcast - Scaling Alberta Businesses

In November 2019, the Institute released the first episodes of the Scaling Alberta Businesses podcast. Hosted by Ray DePaul, the podcast tells the startup and scaleup stories of Alberta born companies. The podcast dives into origin stories, past and present struggles related to expansion, and overall entrepreneurial practice. The first few episodes feature Attabotics Founder and CEO Scott Gravelle, Fiasco Gelato CEO James Boettcher, and Burgundy Oak Founder and CEO Zachary Hartley. Listen on Spotify and Apple Podcasts: bit.ly/scalingalberta

BounceBackYYC Hackathon

In March, COVID-19 led to the closing of all non-essential organizations in Alberta. One of the hardest-hit sectors is the experience economy, which accounts for 15,000 organizations in Calgary. It is this sector that faces one of, if not the toughest challenge in restarting. At the same time, the COVID-19 restrictions led to the employment rate for those under 25 dropping by 20%. Moreover, the restrictions led to the widespread cancellation of scheduled postsecondary experiential education initiatives, including work placements, co-operative education, field schools, clinical practicums, and apprenticeships. The result: tens of thousands of students in Calgary who were unable to work and develop their skills. BounceBack YYC saw the challenging closure of the experience economy and postsecondary experiential education as an opportunity to leverage the creativity and innovation of Calgary’s postsecondary students to support the restart of the Calgary experience economy. The BounceBackYYC Hack was an intense multi-day virtual hackathon that brought together the brightest minds and future leaders of our city to build impactful solutions that will accelerate the restart, recovery, and return of the Calgary experience economy. Impact: 130+ applications from Calgary-based postsecondary students

80 student participants

50 volunteer mentors

250+ hours of learning consumed

1 winning project launched in 2020


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2.2 ACTIVECITY COLLECTIVE The ActiveCITY Collective is a collaboration of not-for-profit, commercial and public-sector enterprises and individuals engaged in Calgary’s regional active economy. The active economy incorporates all enterprises who participate in, or contribute to, improving individual and/or community level well-being through the development and delivery of sport, physical activity, and active recreation experiences. The ActiveCITY Collective’s objective is to facilitate collaboration, debate, learning and connection to shape system-wide solutions. The ultimate goal is transforming Calgary into Canada’s most livable region by maximizing the potential of our natural competitive advantage – the active economy. The ActiveCITY Collective is committed to being the most community-engaged organization in the city’s history. To date, we have surveyed over 21,000 Calgarians, held digital forums with 70 people attending each week, and released a podcast series featuring community leaders. The ActiveCITY Collective is administered by the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and governed by a Board (activecityproject.org/boardmembers) of diverse community leaders. To learn more and to read the reports by The ActiveCITY Collective visit: activecityproject.org Whitepaper: Calgary’s Regional Active Economy: An Exploratory Study of the Role of an Active Ecosystem in Generating Community Value bit.ly/ActiveCityCollective Whitepaper: The Future of the Live Experience Economy: Exploring the Impact of Covid-19 On Calgary’s Live Experience Economy https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5a668a99bce1765a27495af0/t/5ef4cb413696224 f6e07b5b6/1593101138030/Future+of+Calgary%27s+Live+Experience+Economy+FINAL+6.25.pdf

ActiveCITY Summit In September 2019, the ActiveCITY Collective hosted a sold-out Summit attended by 300 community leaders. This event brought together community leaders and experts to debate the future of Calgary’s active economy. Through dynamic speakers, panels and hands-on working groups, the summit tackled the biggest questions facing our active economy. Impact: 3 university collaborations

80 students engaged

300 community members engaged

3 scholarly publications

Playbook 2030 The ActiveCITY Collective launched an ambitious project to develop a globally leading vision for our regional active economy and an integrated framework to deliver on this vision. Playbook 2030 enables the focusing of resources from across the almost 4000 commercial, non-profit, and public enterprises in our regional active economy on a unified vision. Our goal is not simply to be good. It is to be the best. In December 2020, the Playbook 2030 Steering Committee will submit their final recommendation to the ActiveCITY Board for approval. Following this, the members of the Collective and our community partners will move forward to operationalize Playbook 2030.


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2.3 LEARNINGCITY Today, a city’s ability to attract, develop and retain talent is the greatest predictor of social and economic prosperity. That means how cities grow and develop their talent pool is crucial. Today, a person’s capacity to adapt in new roles and embrace uncertainty demands new skills. These skills must transcend industries and professions. If there were such a thing as a defining competency, it would be adaptability. To start the process of re-envisioning our learning system, a broad range of community partners, facilitated by Calgary Economic Development, and including Mount Royal University, Calgary Chamber of Commerce, Canada West Foundation and others, established the LearningCITY Project to explore how a city-wide learning system could redefine the future of our city. Learn more about this project and read the reports here: learningCITY.ca

Calgary on the Precipice Reports Report 1: Calgary on the Precipice: Learning our way Forward: bit.ly/COPReport1 Report 2: Calgary on the Precipice: Path to a LearningCITY: bit.ly/COPReport2 Impact: Multiple 20 250 industry professionals, postsecondary students policymakers and institutions engaged engaged educators engaged

LearningCITY Exchanges LearningCITY also launched a series of exchanges through webinars and podcasts featuring diverse community leaders. All are available at LearningCITY.ca

LearningCITY: High Impact Talent Roundtable In August 2019, the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in partnership with Calgary Economic Development (CED) hosted the 2019 High-Impact Talent Roundtable, with 110 attendees from 88 different organizations participating. At this Roundtable, industry professionals and educators explored innovative approaches to develop the talent of the future. To provoke active discussion and debate, two pre-reads were developed for participants: Report 1: A Dynamic Capabilities View of High-Impact Talent: bit.ly/LearningCITYReport1 Report 2: Exploring the Potential of Universal Work-Integrated Learning: bit.ly/LearningCITYReport2


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2.4 Sprint-ernships ATB Innovation Sprint In January 2020, the inaugural iteration of the Internship Sprint launched in partnership with ATB’s Innovation team. The opportunity engaged 20 Mount Royal students from computer information systems, information design, entrepreneurship and health science degree programs in a unique entrepreneurial work-integrated learning experience (EWIL). EWIL provides transformational learning experiences for students by engaging them in early-stage startup development or enabling them to develop ideas that solve real-world needs. The ATB Internship Sprint utilized ideas from ATB’s pipeline and leveraged support from mentors from their LEAP and AI teams. Participating students worked in multidisciplinary teams with support from ATB mentors to validate and “hack” a solution for one of the organization’s actual ideas or problems during a paid, one-month design-sprint style internship. After four weeks of intensive research and ideation through a condensed Design Sprint, the teams presented their solutions to a panel of ATB’s product managers, senior leaders and researchers. Their solutions tackled opportunities in energy sharing, small business data, digital identity, and IoT. ATB left with valuable connections to some of Mount Royal’s brightest talent and with headway on new solutions for their product team to explore. Students left with paid experience working on out-of-the-box ideas, an expanded professional network and connections to other students outside of their own faculty. “The MRU teams were very eager to learn the concept of Design Sprints and did an excellent job of working with their ATB mentors to break down ideas and understand what is required to turn an idea into a product and a business. The experience was not only beneficial to students, but it gave ATB team members an opportunity to mentor and work on their coaching skills - in addition to exploring new ideas with some creative thinkers”

“Working in an interdisciplinary team and tackling a topic/technology was deeply outside my comfort zone! I gained an understanding that sometimes finding out an idea doesn’t work isn’t a failure and is extremely important to the design/collaborative process.” - Meagan McIntosh, information design student

- Nav Dhunay, Managing Director, ATB Innovation “The sprint taught me a lot about working on an actual project team to create an actual idea for consideration, instead of just working on a project for a class. That, alongside being in constant contact with people from ATB, provided very valuable insights on what working in that kind of environment is like.” - Matthew Fudge, computer information systems student Impact: $10,000 in student 20 honorariums students granted engaged

12+ ATB staff engaged


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Social Entrepreneurship Sprint The Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship launched the Social Entrepreneurship Sprint with the first cohort starting in August 2020. This Sprint accelerates high-impact talent and equips them with the tools, networks and confidence to tackle social and environmental challenges using social enterprise solutions. The Social Entrepreneurship Sprint matches multidisciplinary student teams with unique local problems submitted by Calgary’s network of social innovation and community building leaders. Student teams are also matched with a Problem Mentor who has experience working in the specific problem space. These volunteer mentors provide insights, resources, connections and other valuable tidbits that will help the team through the Sprint process. Participating students will be paid $1,000 for the one-month Sprint-ernship. This funding was designed to support students that may have lost traditional internship opportunities due to the pandemic. The program, supported by a generous donation of $25,000 from the Trico Charitable Foundation, was designed to empower students with the foundational skills required to brainstorm, validate, and launch a social enterprise.

Future Sprints Two future Sprint-ernships have been confirmed for the 2020/2021 academic year, generously supported by a $25,000 donation from the RBC Foundation.


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2.5 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. The WEKH Alberta Regional Hub is led by Mount Royal University and the Bissett School of Business and engages with and contributes 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. Impact:

2 MRU students hired

5 women-focused entrepreneurship events

180 Albertan community members engaged

Mapping the Alberta Ecosystem

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day November 19, 2019, was the first official Women’s Entrepreneurship Day in Alberta. To celebrate, Mount Royal University hosted the inaugural Women’s Entrepreneurship Day Summit. Hundreds of supporters gathered at the event to hear from local entrepreneurs who shared their stories and experience with the intersections of starting a venture, gender, race, and parenthood. To wrap up the afternoon, three student entrepreneurs were awarded scholarships based on essays they submitted about their own experience as female founders. One of these students was Mount Royal’s, Arielle Fitzgerald. Arielle’s award of this scholarship could not be more fitting being that her most recent venture, Mooch, co-founded with Vickie Nzojibwami, Silvia Bezzi (MRU Alum), and Marc Nzojibwami (MRU Alum), tackles new mothers’ struggle with the quantity of nutrition-rich breastmilk and brings awareness to the experience of postpartum depression. The team pitched Mooch at the 2019 JMH LaunchPad Pitch Competition and walked away with $15,000 in cash to begin the process of bringing their snack bites to market.

This year, the WEKH Alberta hub collected data on the organizations and key stakeholders involved in the support of entrepreneurship and innovation within our province (including business support organizations, education + research institutions, financial institutions, and government). To date, WEKH Alberta has compiled a comprehensive and diverse list of approximately 300 organizations and stakeholders. Building on this mapping, WEKH Alberta and Mount Royal University partnered in the hiring of two MRU students (under the supervision of Dr. Amanda Williams and Anita Kemp). Areas of study to date have been focused around the programs and initiatives being created that directly address the barriers women entrepreneurs face in Alberta, including access to financial, social, and entrepreneurial capital. A case study on crowdfunding for women entrepreneurs began in June, conducting qualitative interviews with female entrepreneurs and a partner organization


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2.6 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 Institute 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. The Institute was grateful to borrow the Trico Changemaker Studio’s unique Hive Mind Circle gathering for the digitally adapted LaunchPad Circle Meetups this summer. Hive Mind Circle is a custom program made to support changemakers on campus who are facing a challenge in their work. The MRU community has an amazing collection of people, organizations and creative minds and the Hive Mind Circles are a way of tapping into this collective genius to support each other and elevate our work together. They are a combination of Peer Input Circles and Wise Crowds. Thank you to the Trico Changemakers Studio for your collaboration and support while we all adapt to unprecedented times!


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3.0 INSTITUTE LEADERSHIP


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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.


34 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 a Masters degree in Economic Development and Innovation from the University of Waterloo. This year, Jenn closed her chapter with Mount Royal and accepted a new role at University of Calgary.

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 MRU, she focused her studies and extracurricular 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.

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 one Mount Royal alumnus who had previously launched a venture through the LaunchPad program. We are thankful to Ormhel Manuel who supported the team as a Program Coordinator and 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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THINK

BIGGER

mtroyal.ca/innovate | @innovatemru


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