March 3: AEM Healthy Foods Takes Top Prize at Nicol Competition
The University of Guelph’s College of Management and Economics hosted the fourth annual Nicol Venture Creation Competition on the evening of Wednesday, March 2, 2011. Students from varying disciplines took to the stage to compete in front of a panel of elite judges.
The judges were Doug MacMillan, President of MacMillan Marketing Group; Erin Skimson, Director of the Business Development Office for the University of Guelph; Lloyd Longfield, President of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce; and Frank McAuley, Regional Vice President for RBC.
This competition provides students at the University of Guelph with a unique opportunity to build business plans for innovative products and services based on the University’s historical strengths in food, environment and life sciences. Competitions of this type provide an exciting opportunity for students to work in teams as they prepare and present a well thought out business plan.
“It stimulates the entrepreneurial spirit and fosters crucially important skills beyond those developed by traditional academic pursuits,” said organizer of the Guelph Nicol Competition, Melanie Lang. “By presenting their ideas before high profile, expert judges, students share a rare and valuable experience that encourages them to excel.”
The winning team pitched two products, a zero sodium added chocolate milk, and the second a sugar reduced zero sodium added chocolate milk, to an audience of Guelph Centennial Collegiate high school students, members of the University community as well as family and friends. As the first place team, they walked away with $5,000 in prize money which was provided by the Wesley and Mary Nicol Charitable Foundation.
The team of Mike Lanteigne, Eric Martin and Aneta Rybak who are developing the zero sodium added, sugar reduced chocolate milk, see the initial opportunity for this product through Ontario’s school milk program by providing a healthier alternative to current chocolate milk offerings.
Kristin Etter, Bled Celhyka and Brent Johns earned second prize and $2,000 for Commercial Composting Initiative, their idea to divert local restaurant food waste from landfills.
Third prize of $1,000 went to Amy Nodwell, Krista Verberne and Laura Chapman for their plan to develop FightBAC, a bacteria identifying sponge.
Six teams from across the country will be selected to proceed to the National Nicol Award Competition held on March 28-29 in Ottawa.
For more information about the Wes Nicol Entrepreneurial Awards, visit The Nicol Entrepreneurial Award website.