UBC “Entrepreneurial Powerhouse” students win at 2013 BMO Apex Business Plan Competition

Two student teams from UBC’s New Venture Design course travelled to Fredericton, New Brunswick to compete at the BMO Apex Business Plan Competition, January 23-25, 2013. They returned with first and second place prizes respectively in the undergraduate categories.

The two groups also received the “Entrepreneurial Powerhouse” award for UBC for best overall performance from a university at the competition.

The UBC start-up Agile Monitoring Equipment (AME) earned first place and $5000 for winning the competition. The team consists of engineering students Daryl Pritchard (EECE), Brad Bycraft (ENPH) and Nathan Chan (ENPH) and commerce students Michal Luptak, Diana Hu and Shaan Narang.

The engineering and business students have joined forces to develop a technology that reduces the impact of pinhole leaks in the oil pipeline industry. Currently, no technology exists that can accurately detect these small yet damaging leaks. The device will use micro sensors inside the pipeline to map the size of the hole.

Second place and $2000 went UBC’s T5 Analytics team. T5 Analytics comprises engineering students Taggart Jefferson (IGEN), Jordan Balanko (MECH) and Morgan McLean (ENPH), in collaboration with commerce students Lucas Palovic, Peter Haley and Jaime Fletcher. Engineering students Balanko and McLean made the cross country trek to the event.

Their product, LiveShelf is an inventory management system, which uses radio frequency identification (RFID) tags on products within a shelving unit.

“The APEX BMO competition was a fantastic learning experience and an excellent place to start networking and get into the flow of competitions,” says Nathan Chan of AME. “It was really exciting to travel to the other side of the country and see that Canada is trying very hard to foster innovation.”

The students developed their products in the course New Venture Design (APSC 486, COMM 466) which pairs upper-level engineering and commerce students. Students complete the two semester course with the end goal of creating a viable product prototype and business plan that can ensure its success in the marketplace.

More information on the event and results can be found at http://www.unb.ca/fredericton/business/centres/ibec/competitions/apex/index.html

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