A digital music company, a plan to conduct market surveys for wineries and a project to bring an Arabian nights event to Glendon, were the three winning student ideas honoured at this year’s Glendon Business Plan Olympiads May 22.
This second annual event, the initiative of Glendon Business Economics Program coordinator Professor Robert Despatie (BA ’81, MA ’84), was aimed at providing real-life experience to students aspiring to a future in business.
Participants were invited to submit a detailed business plan for a project of their choice, including goals and objectives, a marketing and an operating plan and a detailed financial plan supporting their vision.
A three-member jury comprised of Alan Redway (LLB ’61), partner in the law firm of Redway and Butler; Glendon alumnus Thomas Guillot (BA ’08), former president of the Glendon Entrepreneurial Club and currently working in the accounting field; and Denise Picard, partner in a financial consulting firm, reviewed the seven plans submitted by students.
The first place prize of $1,000 was awarded to second-year Glendon business economics student Roberto Molina (right) for his plan to officially launch a digital music company – Sound District Entertainment. Molina and his business partner have been creating computer-generated soundtracks of urban music, which they want to market to companies to use as background music for various products, such as videos and commercials.
Included in Molina’s prize was an hour of legal consultation with Alan Redway as well as an hour of financial consultation with a member of the National Bank of Canada’s staff.
The second prize of $500 went to fourth-year Glendon business economics students Jonathan Lebon, Jessica Erskine and Mayer Elharar for their proposal Wines ’R’ Us. Their plan is to conduct market surveys for wineries, focusing on topics such as tasting, pricing and comparing samples. Their approach is to sample two groups – both connoisseurs and the public at large. They would then tally the gathered information and present a formal report to participating wineries.
The third prize of $250 was awarded to a thematic evening project, Glendon Arabian Nights. Second-year business economic student Maggy Youssef and third-year student Manewa Kamgueu Kamga presented their proposal and had already lined up a number of prospective performers, but the event did not take place as a result of the strike.
“Most of the proposals were very interesting, but some were too optimistic or elaborate for the scope of a start-up project,” said Picard. “We, the judges, wanted to ensure that those who received an award had a real chance of putting their proposals into practice.”
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Professor Robert Despatie (left), Roberto Molina and Glendon Principal Kenneth McRoberts at the awards ceremony
Molina expressed delight at receiving the award, which will help him and his partner make Sound District Entertainment a reality. “I have been creating music ever since I was given a beat-machine when I was 13,” said Molina, who received a musical education as he was growing up and can play the piano and the drums. In addition to his business courses, Molina is currently taking music courses at the Keele campus. “Glendon’s business economics courses are practical, applicable and provide a great combination of hands-on subjects such as accounting and more theoretical courses, such as economics,” he said. His future goal is to pursue an MBA.
Picard praised Molina’s submission as being well organized, detailed and goal oriented, with a clear mandate and well-developed ideas. “This project’s financial statement was very professional and very realistic,” she said. “When Roberto [Molina] made his presentation to us, we were impressed with his communication and presentation skills. There is no doubt that he has a good chance of being successful in business.”
“The Business Plan Olympiads are a very useful experience for our students, for guiding them in the ways of the business world,” said Despatie. “In the future, I would like to include students from any other specializations which are compatible with the Business Economics Program at Glendon. No matter what their future plans, everyone can learn and benefit from this experience.”
Submitted to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny