Entrepreneurship

SMUEC helps Canada’s first airport honesty shop open in Halifax

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In an effort to promote Nova Scotia’s locally grown products and the cultural values of honesty and trust in the region, Mabata – Glocal Eatery, supported by the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre’s program The Runway, launched Canada’s first airport honesty shop, located at the arrivals foyer of the Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

Introduced by the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre in April of 2018, The Runway is an incubator that provides local businesses the opportunity to promote and grow their enterprises through product sales and new product testing activities at the airport. The Runway has since worked with 14 local businesses, providing business support and a rent-free space to set up their shop at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport. Each month, The Runway airport kiosk features a new local business, with past companies ranging from apparel brands to plant-based nutrition bars.

The new honesty food pop-up shop, launched on July 10th, is a world pioneering concept that entrusts customers to pick the food, snack and drink items they wish to purchase, punch in their order using a touch screen and pay via a self-service checkout that accepts credit/debit cards, cash and mobile payments, with no one serving or watching customers during their purchase experience.

Mabata’s new Honesty pop-up shop will operate during the summer months of 2019 as a 24/7 un-manned shop and offers a 24/7 remote support helpline to assist any customer that requires further help to make their purchase.

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SMUEC's social enterprise training goes national

The Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre (SMUEC) is bringing its entrepreneurial enterprise across Canada, starting in Saskatchewan and the Yukon.

Last month SMUEC team members Mitch Harrison and Jason Turner traveled to Saskatoon to deliver the first installment of The Pipeline’s train-the-trainer program.

The Pipeline is SMUEC’s social enterprise development service that helps students and community groups conceive and launch sustainable businesses that address community challenges. The program uses the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals as a framework for exposing global challenges, and uses social innovation as a stimulus for creating community solutions.

A total of 17 participants from Saskatchewan and Manitoba participated, representing organizations including the Saskatchewan Economic Development Alliance, Women Entrepreneurs of Saskatchewan, the National Aboriginal Council Corporations Association and numerous chapters from Community Futures Canada. 

Participants walked away with a toolkit of processes, methodologies and activities as well as a certification that will enable them to facilitate Pipeline training in their communities. 

The Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre will continue to work with each organization as they begin to facilitate Pipeline training and support the development of social enterprises in their region.  

The next Train-The-Trainer session is scheduled for early September, when the team will travell to Whitehorse to work with members of the Entrepreneurship and Community Innovation department at Yukon College. 

For more information , please contact  mitch.harrison@smu.ca

MassChallenge Picks Ashored

Ashored co-founders and Saint Mary’s alumni Aaron Stevenson, Ross Arsenault and Maxwell Poole .

Ashored co-founders and Saint Mary’s alumni Aaron Stevenson, Ross Arsenault and Maxwell Poole.

After fielding 3,000 applications, MassChallenge this month accepted 100 startups into its international accelerator for 2019, and it included only one Canadian company – Ashored Innovations of Dartmouth.

In an interview after the announcement, Ashored CEO Aaron Stevenson said he was thrilled to be accepted into the Boston-based program and spoke about the doors it will open for the company. But he was more eager to discuss another aspect of his company’s experience – the opportunity to join the global discussion on protecting marine environments.

Ashored is developing commercial fishing equipment that aims to avoid harm to sea life and the marine environment. Stevenson said the company is still “firmly in research and development mode”, but as it develops the product Stevenson and his five colleagues have been involved in events around the world discussing how to better protect our oceans.

“In so much of the commercial fishery, there’s a gap between where they are today and . . . and where the public would like to see the wild fishery,” said Stevenson. “The whole idea of sustainably caught wild fish . . . that’s where people want to go. It’s clear that the old ways of doing things are not going to be tolerated for much longer.”

Read more about Ashored Innovations, the MassChallenge and more at Entrevestor.com.

New Saint Mary's space at Volta innovation hub

A new partnership between Saint Mary's University and Volta, an innovation hub in downtown Halifax, will see the university become the first post-secondary institution to provide its students and faculty direct access to Volta's community of innovators with a dedicated work space onsite.

Saint Mary’s will have a permanent office space at Volta, dubbed the Entrepreneurship Connector, that can house up to 6 people. The space allows SMU's community to build stronger relationships within Halifax's innovation district, while providing access to resources, help create new experiential learning opportunities, and enable Saint Mary’s faculty, researchers and programs to better reach and engage with the community and local businesses.

Volta, now in its sixth year of operation, tripled in size last year to 60,000 square feet. Spanning across three floors of the Maritime Centre, the innovation hub is creating a place for entrepreneurs and innovators to work, learn and connect with each other.

"Universities play an important role in driving innovation in Atlantic Canada, and they help attract the talent the region needs to thrive," said Jesse Rodgers, Volta's CEO. "This partnership will infuse Volta's community with the creativity, enthusiasm and innovative thinking that SMU students exemplify."

“We are passionate about helping our students, and our region succeed,” said Dr. Rob Summerby-Murray, President and Vice-Chancellor. “We know that it is by working together, with like-minded partners, that we will have the most impact and do the most good…where we will drive innovation and entrepreneurial thinking to the benefit of our province, and far beyond.”

“Saint Mary’s University is excited to have a permanent physical space at Volta,” said Michael Sanderson, Director of the Saint Mary’s University Entrepreneurship Centre. “At SMU, we believe entrepreneurship is for everyone, so this space and partnership creates a direct pathway for students, faculty and staff from across all disciplines within the university to engage in entrepreneurship and help grow and support the start-up ecosystem.”

See also:

Dr. Ellen Farrell releases research findings on Atlantic entrepreneurial ecosystem