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VentureQuest Business Idea Competition

Now in it's fourth year, VentureQuest is a Social Entrepreneurship Idea Competition that gives Bow Valley College (BVC) students a chance to collaborate with like-minded people, create a network of socially focused entrepreneurs, and develop a business idea, while they compete for over $25,000 in cash and in-kind services that can help them launch their business idea. 

2017 VentureQuest Important Dates

For the complete list of Important Dates, click here. 

Congratulations to the following winners at the 4th Annual VentureQuest Gala on February 9, 2017:

  • First Place: Sara Barreto - WafflePops (check out Sara's feature on Global News)
  • Second Place: Max Jimenez Pastran - Total Supplies Canada
  • Third Place: Luke Sikora - Spiller Balance
  • Most Liked Video on Facebook: Sara Barreto - WafflePops

See and read more about the Gala in the blue box titled: 2017 Final Presentaion Gala!

Click on the blue boxes below to see even more on VentureQuest!

2017 Final Presentation Gala

We are excited to celebrate another year of VentureQuest at Bow Valley College (BVC) where students are eager to expand their entrepreneurial ideas into viable business ventures. "The VentureQuest Gala is another great show of how important college programs can be in preparing youth for their working lives," said Janet Lane, VentureQuest judge. "Entrepreneurial skills have become some of the most essential skills for success. BVC is obviously developing those skills in their students."

Congratulations to the following winners: 

First Place: Sara Barreto - WafflePops

Second Place: Max Jimenez Pastran - Total Supplies Canada

Third Place:  Luke Sikora - Spiller Balance

Most Liked Video on Facebook: SSara Barreto - WafflePops

Laura Jo Gunter, new President and CEO, welcomed the guests and shared her entrepreneurial insights as the former CEO and co-founder of Condition30 Inc. David Mitchell, Vice President, College Advancement & Chief External Relations Officer, also shared, "I was inspired to see these young emerging leaders preparing to launch their entrepreneurial passions. Their energy, talent and optimism will undoubtedly lead to successes on the horizon. It makes me feel very good about our future."

The finalists complete a series of steps before competing in the final gala that includes a showcase, development sessions, and a business plan submission. The contestants are coached by BVC's Entrepreneur in Residence, Craig Elias. "I am very proud of all the finalists as they are on their way to mastering the 4 C's of entrepreneurship: curiosity, competence, confidence and connections," said Craig.

Every gala leaves a lasting impression of progress and excitement for all who attended. It's an opportunity to support and respond to the entrepreneurial community and to allow them to see the exciting things we're doing here. Jim Hand, VentureQuest judge was impressed with the enthusiasm and the passion the young students have in their product and dreams. "I believe they are all winners and will be successful for years to come." After the event, Zahra Al-Harazi, also a VentureQuest judge, revealed that, "This is an absolutely fantastic event. I judged the Global Student Entrepreneurship Awards in Bangkok last year and we had 50 students from 50 countries around the world and this was just as much fun and exciting. All the finalists are winners and they should pursue their ideas with passion." 

Celebrity Judges included:

  • Zahra Al-Harazi - Canadian Ambassador to the UNICEF, founder and former CEO of Foundry Communications
  • Jim Hand - VP, Canadian Business Unit for Repsol
  • Janet Lane - Director, Human Capital Centre for Canada West Foundation Centre; Executive Director of Literacy Alberta
  • Roger Straathof - Managing Director, National Client Group Alberta for Royal Bank of Canada  

Business Plan Judges included: Deidre Louw from Better Business Bureau; Frank Wolever from Momentum; Kim Smith from the Town of Okotoks; Peter Fenwick, from Trico Foundation; and Steven McIlvenna from Innovate Calgary.

Other special guests included Carlos Qafaiti, Senior Account Manager at BDC; Danial Overall, Director at Trico Charitable Foundation; Gord Sawatsky, Executive Director at BusinessLink; Kurt Seredynski, Sales Manager, Small Business for RBC; Mary O'Sullivan-Anderson, President and CEO for BBB; Michael Ell, Mayor of Strathmore; and Shannon Preus, Regional Manager for BDC. 2017

VentureQuest Finalists:

Rick Alvarez
You only live once, live it right and once is enough! At Leadhero we believe in the great potential of our Canadian adolescents and young adults. We focus our efforts on exploiting this potential by inspiring, developing and preparing the next generation of emerging role models as leaders that face global challenges with exceptional commitment, responsibility and passion.

Sara Barreto - 1st Place Winner
WafflePops is the answer to an increasing demand for breakfast and snack type fast food. The concept of a cone shaped Belgian waffle on a stick uses local ingredients with your choice of toppings including fresh fruits, candies, homemade sauces, jams and ice cream. WafflePops is a unique product in the Canadian market with a focus on hiring single mothers to help offset their educational costs.

Maria Bordones
Time is everything! Especially when you are hungry. Originally from Venezuela, TEQUE CHEESE is manufactured in Calgary as a delicious appetizer ready to be fried or baked. It's perfect for bars and pubs in the Canadian market, as it is sold frozen and can be ready in only five minutes.

Max Jimenez Pastran - 2nd Place Winner
At Total Supplies Canada, we act as a link between homebuilders and Chinese building material manufacturers. Our customers cut out the middle man, while still receiving the highest quality and reliability that would be expected from a North American supplier - offering you excellent service and peace of mind.

Luke Sikora - 3rd Place Winner
The Spiller is to skateboarding what training wheels are to a bike. Spiller Balance makes the learning process simpler and safer for skateboarders by allowing fundamental balance to be practiced year round with minimal equipment and space required.  

Lida Soghrati
Panel Sculpture is an art-based business that combines traditional art skill, pottery, modern art composition and visual communication. We bring an exquisite beauty to living rooms, pedestrian areas, lobbies, and city walls with reasonably priced, environmentally-friendly panel sculptures.

2017 VentureQuest Milestones

Meet our top ten finalist for the 2017 VentureQuest competition.

VentureQuest 2017 top ten finalists

December 1, 2016: VentureQuest Showcase for the Top Ten Finalists

This year's Showcase was a huge success with over 2oo students participating in the voting. The event was an opportunity for the top ten finalist to showcase their business ventures to their peers who then voted on who should receive the first place prize in the VentureQuest competition. 

VentureQuest Showcase 2017

2016 Final Presentation Gala

We're honoured to shine a spotlight on the five finalists who were well-prepared with engaging pitches captivating the 150 guests at the VentureQuest 3rd Annual Business Idea Competition Final Gala on February 11, 2016. The winning students go on to transform their business ideas into social business ventures. They completed months of preparation that included a video submission, a showcase, and a business plan challenge before presenting in last night's final gala. Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Craig Elias, said, "It was the best gala yet and I'm proud of their achievements. The finalists are very deserving as they stepped way out of their comfort zone last night to make the magic happen."

Celebrating the achievements and passion for their business venture, we would like to congratulate the following winners: 

First Place: Andrei Banu - LightBox 

Second Place: Martial Nounezi - Cameroonian Food 

Third Place:  Sheriff Saliha - Innovative Mobile Apps Coding for Youth 

Most Liked Video on Facebook: Mitra and Ali Kalantaian - Unique Rice Cakes

The VentureQuest competition provides an opportunity for business communities to participate in recognizing BVC students in their entrepreneurial venture. "It is fantastic to see every year that community leaders are extremely generous in getting engaged in experiential learning with our next generation of community leaders," remarked Natashca Doiron, CSB Coordinator, Social Entrepreneurship and Innovation.  The final gala judges included Geeta Sankapannavar, President and COO of Grafton Funds; Kurt Seredynski, Sales Manager, Small Business for RBC; Debby Carreau, CEO and founder of Inspired HR; and Gord Sawatzky, Executive Director of Business Link. Our Business Plan judges included Bev DeSantis from Business Link, Frank Wolever from Momentum, Neetu Sidhu from ATB, Rob Driscoll from Business Edge Magazine, and Sean Sandhurst from Post Media.

Other special guests included Bill Robertson, Mayor of Okotoks; Kent Rupert, Team Leader for Economic Development Airdrie; Michael Ell, Mayor of Strathmore; Peter Garret, President of Innovate Calgary; Shelley Vandenberg, President of First Calgary; and Sharon Carry, President of Bow Valley College.We would like to thank everyone for participating and helping us showcase the inspirational, entrepreneurial spirit at BVC! This is powerful recognition of what can be accomplished when you believe in yourself and we look forward to seeing the impact these entrepreneurs can bring to the community and economy.

VentureQuest Business Idea Competition Gala

Past VentureQuest Winners

3rd Annual VentureQuest Winners

First Place: Andrei Banu - LightBox 

Second Place: Martial Nounezi - Cameroonian Food 

Third Place: Sheriff Saliha - Innovative Mobile Apps Coding for Youth 

Most Liked Video on Facebook: Mitra and Ali Kalantaian - Unique Rice Cakes

VentureQuest Winners 2016

2nd Annual VentureQuest Winners

First Place: Malika Hamel - Malika's Mushrooms 

Second Place: Nadeem (Aly) Jiwa - BeefWings  (Check out Aly's interview on Global News)

Third Place: John Contois - Home School 

Most Liked Video on Facebook: tied between Malika Hamel and victor Lawrance 

VentureQuest Winners 2015

From left to rigth: David Allwright (Dean, Chiu School of Business), Malika Hamel, Nadeem Jiwa, and John Contois

1st Annual VentureQuest Winners

First Place: Kayla Sollid - Books With Benefits  (Check out Kayla's interview on Global News)

Second Place: Gillian Rouleau - Calgary Jam Scene 

Third Second Place: Kaitlyn McKenney - Robbyn Hood  

Most Liked Video on Facebook: Arash Niazi 

Official VentureQuest Rules

Only entries that follow the Offical Rules and Regulations will be considered for the contest.

Important Dates

Download the VentureQuest Important Dates 2016/17 here. 
VentureQuest Important Dates 2017

Selection Criteria

Download the VentureQuest selection criteria and process here

VentureQuest Process 2017

Most Popular Video

The most popular video submission, as voted on by the public by way of Likes on Facebook, opens November 6, 2016 and closes 11:59 p.m. February 5, 2017

Venture Quest Facebook





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