Over reading week, the EPICentre team hosted our second VentureU program, a dynamic and intensive five-day skills bootcamp that aims to foster innovation, collaboration, and entrepreneurial thinking on the University of Windsor campus.
The VentureU program was not merely an educational experience but an adventure into the world of problem-solving, creative thinking, and collaboration. Over five days, students from various faculties dived headfirst into a whirlwind of learning, mentorship, and innovation. Thirty-nine graduates, representing six faculties, embarked on this transformative journey. This diverse group included students from the Faculty of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences (FAHSS), the School of Business, the Faculty of Engineering, and the Faculty of Science. Within this mix were 23 master’s students, 15 undergraduate students, and one PhD student.
Each participant in the VentureU program received a well-deserved $200 participation award, acknowledging their dedication and commitment to the program. However, the recognition continued. The program’s final pitch competition allowed two standout teams to win $500 each. These monetary prizes served as a testament to the quality and innovation the program sought to foster.
No successful program is complete without a team of dedicated volunteers. The VentureU program was fortunate to have a group of passionate and committed individuals who supported the participants throughout the journey. The volunteers, including Michelle Teno-Wachter, Michael Labiak, Wale Adenitan, Cheng Ye, Susana Martins, Marisa Conte, Lauryn Bodde, and Layan Barakat, played a crucial role in creating an environment that facilitated learning and growth.
To enrich the learning experience, VentureU featured a lineup of distinguished speakers who shared their knowledge and insights. Ameen Fadel, Dr. Nazha Ghali, and Dr. Kyle Brykman gave participants invaluable guidance and inspiration. Their wisdom and experiences added depth to the program, reinforcing the importance of innovative thinking and entrepreneurship.
The final pitch competition was a significant highlight of the program, where participants could showcase their innovative solutions to real-world problems. This phase was judged by a panel of experts who carefully evaluated the presentations. The panel included Keith Henry, Dr. Nick Vukotic, and Mackenzie Habash, individuals well-versed in entrepreneurship and innovation.
Among the brilliant ideas and presentations, two standout teams emerged as the winners of the pitch competition, each taking home a $500 prize. These winning teams are as follows:
- Amit Kumar
- Arezoo Khodaei
- Oluwatomisin Adebisi
- Rishi Bhatt
- Ritika Kaushal
Team: Crop it Out
- Bayan Abu-Libdeh
- Brahmjot Singh
- Livia Dunn
- Michael Nwachukwu
- Shen Ke
These teams demonstrated a remarkable combination of creativity, problem-solving prowess, and entrepreneurial spirit. Their success is a shining example of what the VentureU program aims to foster among its participants.
The VentureU program is a testament to the power of interdisciplinary collaboration, innovative thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit. It’s a platform that equips students with essential skills and provides them with the guidance and inspiration needed to take their ideas to the next level.
As we look back on the achievements and successes of the VentureU program, we eagerly anticipate the impact these graduates will have in their respective fields. They are the future innovators and entrepreneurs who have been empowered to think differently, work collaboratively, and drive positive change.