MacEwan University's School of Business hosted the first lecture of its MacEwan Venture Lab on November 2 — a day that some students and community members may look back on as the moment they began their entrepreneurial journey.
The MacEwan Venture Lab, consisting of three workshops followed by a three-month mentoring period, which culminates in a pitch competition, is led by MacEwan faculty and local entrepreneurs who want to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to make their dream of starting and running a business come true.
"In the current economic environment, I believe that new ideas and inventions need to be supported," says Dr. Sherif Elbarrad, associate dean and professor in the School of Business.
"Supporting those ideas could result in the creation of many job opportunities," says Elbarrad, who sees benefits for strengthening and supporting the economy.
The MacEwan Venture Lab's first lecture, Introduction to Starting your Own Business on November 2, aimed to help participants (no pre-requisite business knowledge required) determine if the Venture Lab experience was the right fit for them. The workshops that follow will help participants develop their ideas to the point where they can pitch them to potential investors.
Throughout the Venture Lab experience, faculty mentors (Dr. Victor Bilodeau, Dr. Evandro Boccato, Dr. Monica Moreno, Dr. Noufou Ouedraogo, Dr. Tarek Salem and Neetu Sharma) from the school's four departments will work one-on-one with participants, along with Colin Christensen of THNQ, Entrepreneur Roadmap and Fuse42. The mentors will offer participants their expertise and knowledge in the process of creating a business.
MacEwan Venture Lab is offered in partnership with the MacEwan University School of Business, Alberta Innovates and Entrepreneur Roadmap and is sponsored by the Institutional Support of Entrepreneurship Education (ISEE).
"Alberta Innovates offered a grant to institutions that were positioned to promote and teach entrepreneurship in the local community," says Elbarrad. "MacEwan's School of Business is a good fit because we aim to raise awareness of and promote entrepreneurial spirit."
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