The 15th edition of Schulich Startup Night (SSN), for York University’s Schulich School of Business, took place virtually earlier in March and attracted nearly 700 registrants. The bi-annual event included a competition and fireside chat, and gave students and alumni an opportunity to pitch their business ideas to a panel of top industry professionals for a chance to win a $5,000 cash prize.
Chris Carder, Schulich’s executive director of the Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and Schulich Startup Night organizer, and Detlev Zwick, Schulich’s interim dean, kicked off the event with welcome remarks and acknowledgements.
For the first time, Myra Arshad (BBA ’18), co-Founder of ALT TEX, was the co-host for the competition and the panel of judges featured an all-female lineup, including: Snita Balsara (MBA ’12), senior investment manager and head of community at MaRs IAF; Althea Wishloff, investor at Panache Ventures; and Chevonaé Walcott, investment associate at Relay Ventures.
After a competitive round of pitches, the judges announced Ashleigh Berger (MBA ’13) and Jenna Kellner (MBA ’13), co-founders of Little Traders, as the winners in the Alumni category and for the People’s Champion Award. Bansee Dave (MBA ‘21), founder of Myoga, was the winner in the Student category.
Once the competition concluded, guests were invited to tune into the fireside chat with Schulich alumnus and CEO of Skygauge Robotics, Nikita Ilushkin (BBA ’16). The session was moderated by Carder and Daniel Warner (MBA ’12), CEO and founder of MyRemoteClinic.
During the session, Ilushkin shared his inspirational journey to raising $3.3 million in seed funding and spoke about his vision of creating a “workforce in the sky.”
“This was an amazing Schulich Startup Night on so many levels, as we celebrated the 15th edition and 30 champions,” said Carder during his closing remarks. “The return of one of our very first finalist years down the road served as an incredible keynote with two new champions you couldn’t help but cheer for.”
The event was supported by sponsors, including: the official cash prize sponsor, Audrey S. Hellyer Charitable Foundation; and supporting sponsors, Zeifmans LLP (Acceler8 Award for Little Traders), Wildeboer Dellelce LLP (Venture Award for Biiibo Inc.) and Bereskin & Parr LLP (Startup Innovation Award for Roger S. and Biiibo Inc.); and prizing sponsors, BEST Lassonde (Impactful Tech Award for Daniyal Dehleh), YSpace (People’s Champion Award) and Indochino.