It has been a busy year for Goodman School of Business student Johnathan Holland. The third-year bachelor of business administration co-op student has already pitched his business plan to the stars of CBC’s Dragons Den at the Monster Pitch competition, attended eight student competitions and debated Chancellor Ned Goodman at the annual Goodman Alumni event.
Now he is starting his own company with the help of an alumna’s generous donation.
Holland has been selected as the inaugural recipient of the Deborah E. Rosati Entrepreneurship Co-op Fund Award. Thanks to the award, the young entrepreneur will spend his four-month co-op term turning his winning Monster Pitch idea for “The $tudent Currency Exchange” into a successful start-up. The new company’s goal is to negotiate better currency exchange rates for international students studying in Canada.
Earlier this year, Rosati (BAdmin ‘84) created the fund with a generous donation of $100,000. Recognizing the impact of her own co-op education on her career, Rosati was motivated to develop a co-op award to help support student entrepreneurial ventures and start-ups. The fund helps co-op students turn their business ideas into reality by providing financial support and access to business development resources. Recipients of the award will spend four months working with BioLinc, the Goodman School of Business’s on-campus business incubation facility. BioLinc will provide the co-op student with business development support and mentorship and an office space in the Cairns Complex.
Rosati’s contribution to building Goodman’s entrepreneurship culture included a spot on the Monster Pitch judging panel. She is thrilled that the first recipient of her scholarship was also the winner of the student-run competition.
“The essence of this award is to help develop the next generation of entrepreneurs,” said Rosati. “Johnathan is a great example of that. He has the passion that an entrepreneur (needs).”
Don Cyr, dean of the Goodman School of Business, considers the co-op fund an important example of Goodman’s spirit for entrepreneurship.
“We believe in investing in the success of our students,” he said. “The fund, along with easy access to resources like BioLinc, our business pitch competitions, our entrepreneurship club and our entrepreneurship concentration, are what make a difference to ambitious students.”
Holland is in the first week of his co-op work term and has already developed a detailed work plan to build his business. He is looking forward to a summer of innovation and collaboration.
“The services that the award provides are an asset. Plus, I’m surrounded by like-minded individuals at BioLinc,” said Holland. “I couldn’t have done this without Deborah.”