MP Vance Badewey Visits Brock University to Talk with Students

On Friday January 27th the Niagara West MP Vance Badewey visited Brock University to answer some tough questions that our student leaders had for him. With students from all departments in attendance Badewey was asked a series of questions regarding International student tuition prices, support programs for minorities, and future money allocation for the region of Niagara.  Badewey was very receptive of the issues our student community had and left no question unanswered. After a lengthy Q&A Badeway was thankful for all the issues that were addressed, as he plans on taking them into consideration while continuing his role of MP in the Niagara Region. He encourages students with concerns to contact him and hopes to have more sessions like these to better connect with the Niagara Region and its citizens.

For more information on Vance Badewey you can visit his site here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Post-Secondary Environment

Each time I reflect, I’m constantly and consistently amazed by the value of the post-secondary environment. Maybe that’s part of why I’m still in it, (for a few more months) however hear me out. I grew up never considering university, thinking it was for people of more affluence and intelligence.

I “got lucky” because a path to PSE was illuminated through sports. That’s why I’m public about my gratefulness, successes and failures along the way. I’m excited to leave university however I’m grateful I didn’t rush out. There will likely never again be a time in your life where you are so consistently surrounded by thousands of people with similar ambitions, passions and values on learning. This is where many will develop the foundation for their personal/professional network, this is where stepping out of your comfort zone is encouraged and this can be where you discover who you want to be. Every university student should make some attempt an entrepreneurial project while in university or college because it is possibly the last time in a persons life that they will have access so as many resources paired with such little risk.

With all of that being said there are two values to the environment that I think supersede all others. The first is the “find your passion” principle. Most people who say “follow your passion” give an uninformed account for how they got to where they are. Exposure to different areas of interest and dedication to developing skills that resonate with said interest is where passion comes from more often than not. University and College can provide with in spades, if the student in question is willing to proactively pursue them. The second and probably biggest value of PSE is that there is the potential for individuals to be introduced to high performance individuals. Excellence is inspirational, being around successful people is powerful because it can evoke a desire for an individual to be passionate themselves. To compare themselves not to their peer group but to the BEST in a specific field. And that mindset can carry you to places you never thought you would get to for the rest of your life.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Niagara Sports Network Claims Victory at 3rd Annual Young Entrepreneurs Kick-Off Weekend

There was a sense of entrepreneurial spirit in the air this weekend as local youth put their business ideas and pitching skills to the test. From Friday November 4 to Sunday November 6, BioLinc (Brock’s business incubator) and Niagara College collaborated to run their 3rd annual Young Entrepreneur Kick-Off Weekend hosted at Brock University. This event targeted Niagara youth age 18-29 looking to gain skills and knowledge on entrepreneurship.

This fun educational weekend started off with a keynote presentation Friday night from former Brock Graduate and creator of Stathletes, Meghan Chayka. Meghan presented her experience as a young entrepreneur and the hardships she overcame to become the successful individual she is today. Following the keynote teams were formed based on the skills and ideas they brought to the table. On Saturday teams collaborated on their ideas to build a strong pitch that they would present to a panel of judges later in the weekend. Participants also attended training sessions on the Business Model Canvas and Pitching to Investors to better develop their ideas and presentation skills. Teams worked late into Saturday preparing their pitches that would be presented the following morning.

Sunday came quickly for the hard working entrepreneurs and the energy in Pond Inlet was electric as teams waited their turn to impress the judges in hopes to secure first place and the prize package worth $5,000. After the panel of expert judges from Brock University and Niagara College witnessed ten impressive teams pitch their business idea, it was the team of Robert Babiak and Daniel Read, founders of Niagara Sports Network that took first place. Their idea to promote local sports within their communities through web articles and live streaming of the events impressed the judges. Robert demonstrated their competitive advantage by live streaming the presentation and showing the judges his ability to display graphics and updates in real time. The judges were also impressed with their ability to scale the business quickly. Robert is currently the VP of the Lincoln Mavericks Jr. A hockey club, he also holds the record for being the youngest general manager in North American professional sports.

BioLinc and Niagara College are happy with the success of the weekend and hope that it continues to grow with more teams participating year after year.

To see highlights of the event visit here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Founder Institute helps BioLinc entrepreneur develop LENDU

According to The Founder Institute, the best way to learn is by doing, and we couldn’t agree more with their experiential approach. Student entrepreneurs who are part of The Founder Institute programming participate in a four-month journey of structured curriculum which includes weekly training courses and business-building assignments.

BioLinc student entrepreneur Lenford Morris (above) recently graduated from the fourth cohort of The Founder Institute’s Toronto program along with 16 other entrepreneurs including Goodman School of Business graduate Alex Fung (BBA ’15).

Morris’s company, LendU, is one of 59 companies to graduate from the Toronto program at large.

“Being in the fourth cohort was a very interesting experience because there was a lot of diversity when it came to people in the program and their professional backgrounds,” Lenford said.

To match the diversity within the program, mentors holding various positions came to hear the cohort pitch their business ventures. Among the mentors were entrepreneurs, CEOs, lawyers, angel investors and venture capitalists.

The intensive program was first started in Silicon Valley and now has chapters all over the world. The Founder Institute walks entrepreneurs through the idea stage to developing a minimum-viable-product and getting customers, a walk that Morris found to be beneficial.

“I benefitted the most from the acceleration process and learning how to validate and test my product offerings,” he said. “The structure of the FI curriculum really pushed my business to new heights by prompting me to ensure what I am offering is a real solution to the problem that I am solving and that the problem is actually a real problem.”

The curriculum started with idea and customer development, then moved to company and team formation, product development and distribution and go-to-market, bootstrapping and fundraising.

Beyond the acceleration process, Morris highly values the peer-to-peer connections he made within the program.

“Being connected with people who shared the same mindset was important because building a startup into a company can really wear you down physically and mentally at times, being around the right people can help point you in the right direction,” he said.

Morris highly recommends the program to anyone who has a startup idea or is ready to start conducting market research.

“The Founder Institute is a good way to help validate and test your idea, and then built it up to its fullest potential,” he said.

Morris has spent the summer on marketing, building his product and raising funds for LendU and is planning on partnering with alumni associations and hiring ambassadors across Ontario to target their customers.

LendU has already accomplished so much this summer and with a number of exciting things ahead, we can’t wait to see the company continue to flourish.

Full list of startup companies that graduated from the fourth cohort of The Founder Institute:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

BioLinc Student Entrepreneur Joins Lincoln Mavericks

Niagara based student entrepreneur and 2015/2016 Kick-Starting Entrepreneurship program participant, Robert Babiak, was recently named Vice-President of Operations of the Lincoln Mavericks Hockey Club. The Mavericks, owned by Jeff and Therese Tallman, are a Junior “A” hockey team, which will be playing out of the Greater Metro Junior “A” Hockey League (GMHL).

“I am very excited to be part of the Lincoln Mavericks and the GMHL. Together, we will do great things. Our owners and coaching staff are all great people with strong hockey backgrounds. Together, we will make the Lincoln Mavericks one of the premier Jr. “A” hockey franchises in Ontario.” Babiak said.

He continued, “Our coaching staff is very experienced. Head Coach, Mark Barrick, has a long history of coaching Jr. hockey. The Mavericks will be operating a development focused program that will provide our athletes everything they need to succeed.”

Robert, who recently completed his third year of Brock University’s Sports Management program, has been pursuing a business venture of his own. He has been running his sport agency, Silverhawk Sport Management, out of BioLinc over the last eight months. His agency currently represents the baseball interests of twelve professional baseball players. Prior to launching Silverhawk Sport Management, Robert was the General Manager of the Road City Explorers of the North Country Professional Baseball League, where he made history by becoming the youngest General Manager in professional baseball at age 20.

Our team at BioLinc is excited to see where Robert’s entrepreneurial spirit and passion for sports will take him next, and we’re proud to announce his most recent accomplishment. We wish him luck on his new journey as Vice-President of Operations!

The Mavericks will drop their first puck this September at the Fleming Centre in Beamsville, ON.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Niagara Hosts Entrepreneurship Week

Brock University celebrated the second annual “Entrepreneurship Week” last month from March 21- 24th, with many major entrepreneurship advocacy forces joining the party this year. This year, the ripples have been expanding to younger age groups and a wider geographical range of youth from across Niagara participating in activities throughout Entrepreneurship Week. We, at BioLinc, have been v pleased to collaborate with Brock University Students’ Union, Niagara College’s ncTakeOff, Niagara College Student Administrative Council, Brock Innovation Group and many other supporting organizations to make this happen! Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Updated FAQs about BioLinc

1. Where is BioLinc located?

Brock’s business incubator BioLinc (Cairns 209), is located in the Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex (CFHBC) on Brock University’s main campus. The CFHBC advances Canada’s science and technology infrastructure and houses world-class work by researchers in areas like cancer, infectious diseases, biotechnology and green chemistry. With BioLinc located in the CFHBC, BioLinc’s residents will be able to capitalize on the innovative research and knowledge transfer that happens in the complex. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Niagara young entrepreneurs took stage during “Improve Your Pitch” weekend hosted by BioLinc

(Left to right: Adrienne-Marie Lloren, founder of GetAmped; Madi Fuller, founder of Campus Brainiac)

It was an exciting time for entrepreneurs last weekend! Nineteen Niagara-based young entrepreneurs participated in the “Improve Your Pitch” weekend hosted by BioLinc, Brock University’s business incubator run by the Goodman School of Business. This weekend event was part of the BioLinc’s Kick-Starting Entrepreneurship Program, a program designed for Niagara-based young entrepreneurs aged 18-29 to sharpen their entrepreneurial skills. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

GOULBOURNE: Niagara’s turn to take its shot

(A crowd gathered last year to watch Airbus Helicopters and Niagara Helicopters announce their new partnership in Fort Erie.)

Wayne Gretzky once said, “I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Brock’s BioLinc receives provincial funding to support young Niagara entrepreneurs

Young entrepreneurs in Niagara will reap the rewards of provincial funding for BioLinc, Brock University’s incubation facility run by the Goodman School of Business. Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment