Student entrepreneurs from across Canada at Saint Mary’s for business development conference

Pictured here are (l-r): event organizer Kaitlyn Touesnard; Dr. Patricia Bradshaw, Dean, Sobey School of Business; Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax; Michael Sanderson and Sarah Meany, both of the Sobey School Business Development Centre.

Pictured here are (l-r): event organizer Kaitlyn Touesnard; Dr. Patricia Bradshaw, Dean, Sobey School of Business; Andy Fillmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax; Michael Sanderson and Sarah Meany, both of the Sobey School Business Development Centre.

Andy Filllmore, Member of Parliament for Halifax, helped welcome more than 180 budding business owners to the Starting Point Entrepreneurship Conference running at Saint Mary’s from Feb 20-22. Student entrepreneurs have come from across Canada to develop their business ideas, learn from experts and vie for business funding.

The conference brings student entrepreneurs from post-secondary institutions and high schools from across the country together to work with entrepreneurs, CEOs and start-up experts. The students have the chance to work directly with the entrepreneurs to help bring their business ideas to fruition or grow an existing business. At the end of the conference, students have a chance to win cash investments for their businesses.

“Young entrepreneurs play a crucial role in growing the Canadian economy and, as such, help ensure our country’s long-term prosperity,” said Andy Fillmore, MP for Halifax, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). “Giving this latest generation of innovators the tools they need to succeed is critical to building a strong and vibrant future for all Canadians. The Government of Canada remains committed to supporting business start-ups and creating jobs for the middle class and those looking to join it.”

This conference wouldn’t be possible without the support of the local business community, key partnerships and financial support. This includes an investment of more than $150,000 over two years from the Government of Canada through ACOA’s Business Development Program.

The conference is organized by the Saint Mary’s University Sobey School Business Development Centre (SSBDC). Over the past five years, SSBDC programs have provided opportunities to more than 4,500 students, allowing them to be engaged in curricular and extra-curricular activities.

To learn more about the Starting Point Conference visit www.startingpointconference.com.

Conflict resolution team heads to Northern Ireland

Saint Mary's President Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray (front-left), SMUSA President Ossama Nasrallah (second-centre),with the Saint Mary's University Conflict Resolution Society, and their Senior Program Coordinators

Saint Mary's President Dr. Robert Summerby-Murray (front-left), SMUSA President Ossama Nasrallah (second-centre),with the Saint Mary's University Conflict Resolution Society, and their Senior Program Coordinators

A record-setting team of 28 Saint Mary’s University students representing a cross-section of undergraduate and graduate students within the faculties of Arts, Science and Commerce are departing today for Northern Ireland to facilitate peace education workshops.

These students will begin working with elementary school children throughout Belfast, Northern Ireland, once they arrive.

This long-standing and unique experiential program is a remarkable collaborative effort, coordinated through Saint Mary’s University, Peaceful Schools International and the student-led Conflict Resolution Society.

Learn more about Saint Mary's role in conflict resolution in Northern Ireland: A conversation with Bridget Brownlow, President of Peaceful Schools International.

Saint Mary’s Faculty of Arts welcomes first cohort of students from Chinese university

Saint Mary’s Faculty of Arts Welcomes First Cohort of Students from Chinese university

Saint Mary’s Faculty of Arts is the first Arts faculty in Canada to welcome a cohort of students from China to its campus. For the next two years, Saint Mary’s University will be a home-away-from-home for 37 students from Beijing Normal University - Zhuhai (BNUZ), who will complete the final two years of their undergraduate degree at Saint Mary’s.

See also: Between Two Worlds The unique exchange between Saint Mary’s and Beijing Normal University – Zhuhai is creating extraordinary opportunities for students, and professors like Dr. Cecilia Qiu

See also:
Between Two Worlds

The unique exchange between Saint Mary’s and Beijing Normal University – Zhuhai is creating extraordinary opportunities for students, and professors like Dr. Cecilia Qiu

“Saint Mary’s is the first university in Canada, and maybe first in the world, to have implemented a 2+2 Program in Arts,” said Dr. Margaret MacDonald, Dean of Arts at Saint Mary’s.

The program is a result of a unique and longstanding partnership with BNUZ. The first partnerships date back to 2002, and since then, hundreds of students from BNUZ have attended Saint Mary’s. Saint Mary’s is now expanding its 2+2 agreements to all three campus faculties—Business, Science, and Arts faculties, enabling BNUZ students to complete the first two years of university study on campus at BNUZ, and transfer to Saint Mary’s to complete the final two years of their degrees in Halifax.

“The links between China and Canada are growing with each passing year, and the next generation of leaders from both our countries will benefit from the international exchanges we establish today,” said Dr. Eric Henry, an Assistant Professor in Saint Mary’s Department of Anthropology. “Having the BNUZ cohort integrated with our regular classes is definitely fostering those connections.”

Jonathan Shaw, an Educational Developer for Intercultural Learning at Saint Mary’s Studio for Teaching and Learning, is a part-time instructor with the Faculty of Education teaching a course entitled “English as an International Language”. Last semester, he had 11 Chinese students as part of the BNUZ 2+2 Arts cohort, majoring in disciplines such as International Development Studies, History, and Asian Studies.

“Although they are really excited and interested to learn about Canada, they really see their time at Saint Mary’s as part of a global experience,” said Shaw. “These students chose to come here to be part of a very outward-looking, international campus.”

Yajie Cao, a third-year Asian Studies and History major, says that her cohort feels that the variety of support they have received – from the university, individual faculty and staff, as well as Canadian and other international students – has greatly eased their transition to life on campus. “We got to know everyone really quickly. The university really made us feel welcome, and the other students from Canada and abroad are so friendly and helpful. But when we do need some extra help, I know we can always rely on our mentors and tutors!”

Beijing Normal University - Zhuhai is located in Guangdong province near Hong Kong and Macau. BNUZ has 35,000 to 40,000 students studying a number of courses including economics, management, law, and engineering. Its location in Zhuhai places it in a steadily growing business and financial region.

Saint Mary’s takes a close second in New England venture capital competition

Premier Stephen McNeil acknowledges Saint Mary's team during 2018 State of the Province Address: "You demonstrated to us what's possible."


A team of Sobey School of Business graduate and undergraduate students took second place in the Venture Capital Investment Competition (New England region), held in Boston.

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On February 2, the Saint Mary’s students joined teams from MIT, Babson, Yale, Rochester and Dartmouth in evaluating three entrepreneur’s pitches, and completing a term sheet describing which they would invest in, and why.

Finalists Saint Mary’s and Rochester then negotiated with their entrepreneur. Industry professionals judged the competition based on the quality of analysis and insight and the calibre of the final deal. The final judging was 6/6, meaning Saint Mary’s had tied with Rochester. To determine a winner, the judges referred back to initial discussions with the entrepreneurs, which gave Rochester the edge.

The students who competed were chosen from Saint Mary’s venture capital program and the multi-university Venture Grade student venture capital fund.  Competing were Findlay Hilchie and Anu Gupta, from the Master of Technology Entrepreneurship and Innovation program; Stephanie Fitzner, BComm; and David Hatcher and Avi Chandrapati of the MBA program.  Stu Clow (MBA) was the shadow.

In March, Sobey School will host the Canadian VCIC at Saint Mary’s University.

Recognition is accorded to team coach Ellen Farrell and local business leaders who helped the students prepare: Rob Barbara, Build Ventures; Andrew Ray, Innovacorp; and Chris Legg, Progress Partners of Boston and CENE member.

 

Celebrating business excellence among alumni at the Halifax Business Awards

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Dave O’Connor, winner of the Gold Award for Business Leader of the Year

Dave O’Connor, winner of the Gold Award for Business Leader of the Year

Saint Mary’s University is celebrating the success of the Saint Mary’s alumni and business leaders who were a part of the 2018 Halifax Business Awards.

Joe Metlege (left) receives the Silver Award for Business Leader of the Year

Joe Metlege (left) receives the Silver Award for Business Leader of the Year

The sold-out award ceremony from the Halifax Chamber of Commerce took place in the brand new Halifax Convention Centre. It was a spectacular night of entertainment, prestige, and celebration, recognizing risk takers and the success of Halifax’s thriving business community.

It was a particularly spectacular night for Saint Mary’s University alumni. Saint Mary’s University is pleased to congratulate Christopher Webb, BA’97, and Dave O’Connor, BComm’92, who both took home top prizes. Mr. Webb is the Co-owner of PAVIA Gallery – Espresso Bar & Café. PAVIA won the 2018 Gold Award for Business of the Year. Mr. O’Connor is the President of GLOW The Event Store and was the recipient of the Gold Award for Business Leader of the Year.

The University is also celebrating:

  • Joseph (Joe) Metlege, EMBA'12, President, JONO Developments Limited & Templeton Properties Ltd., who was the recipient of the Silver Award for Business Leader of the Year;
  • Leah Skerry, BComm'09, CEO, Squiggle Park, who won the Silver Award for Innovative Business of the Year; and
  • Jean Paul (JP) Furey, Bcomm'03, CEO, BlueLight Analytics, who won the Silver Award for Export Business of the Year and the Bronze Award for Innovative Business of the Year.
Jean Paul Furey (left) receives the Silver Award for Export Business of the Year

Jean Paul Furey (left) receives the Silver Award for Export Business of the Year

Also worthy of praise are the contributions of the Santamarians whose business acumen was recognized by being nominated.

Congratulations to:

  • Ross Argante, BA’01, a Partner with Integrated Staffing Limited, who was nominated for Business Leader of the Year;
  • Chris Robertson, Bcomm'02, Owner, Home Instead Senior Care Cape Breton, nominated for Business of the Year;
  • Steve Davies, EMBA'98, President, Third Wave Consulting Inc., nominated for Innovative Business of the Year;
  • Jeff Farwell; BComm'00, Owner, J Farwell Sailing, nominated for New Business of the Year; and
  • the great group of Santamarians at B4Checkin, nominated for Export Business of the Year, that includes:
  • Martin Mackinnon, MBA'88, CFO and Co-Founder
  • Steve Miles, Bcomm'84, Vice President – Operations; and
  • Greg Thompson, EMBA'04, VP - Customer Relations