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University of Lethbridge students Aamna Zia (left) and Richard Jokinen (right) took home some cash to support their new business ventures as this year’s finalists in the Southventure Business Plan competition.
Supported by the VP research and the Office of Research and Innovation Services, the applicants were challenged to convince a panel of judges their business plan has merit and is worthy of a cash investment.
Richard Jokinen received $6,000 as the first place winner. He’s a current management student and founding partner in Mexspace.com, the first segmented dating/social networking community and what he hopes is the future website of choice for young Mexicans around the world. With more than 140 million Mexicans world wide, Jokinen believes that the website is viable because Mexico is a huge market, and does not currently have its own dating or social website community.
Aamna Zia, a management student currently taking classes on at the U of L Calgary Campus, took second place and $2,000 for her work on CitizenBridge, a web-based citizen engagement system that gathers information about government resources into one location, and offers an opportunity for the public and government representatives alike to join in conversations about issues of public interest.
The panel of reviewers and judges have more than a century of business experience among them, and put the entrants through their paces at a final presentation in late February.
Thanks to the following people for their hard work:
Gordon Hunter, UofL Management; Jon Sookocheff, Manager, Entrepreneur Development Centre, Medicine Hat College; David Orr, Instructor of Law and Business Administration, Lethbridge College; Dr. Ted Heidrick, Poole Professor in Technology Management (retired), Adjunct Professor in Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta; Bill Halley, Technology Development Advisor, Regional Innovation Network of Southern Alberta, Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures; Calvin Koskowich, Industrial Technology Advisor, National Research Council of Canada.
U of L Communications and Public Relations Contact:
Bob Cooney, Communications and PR Officer (403) 382-7173