Budding Central Okanagan entrepreneur students honoured

iGen 2020 contest sees projects evaluated by judges at the Kelowna Innovation Centre

  • Jun. 15, 2020 9:00 a.m.

Nature’s Nibbles proponents Katrina Laurila and Ashlyn Gardiner present their business idea at the iGen 2020 contest held at the Kelowna Innovation Centre. The duo were one of the final award recipients for the contest. (Contributed)

After the 10 finalists presented their projects at the Kelowna Innovation Centre on June 11, judges selected the top projects of iGen 2020.

The top five student entrepreneurs were:

• Alltrek – Zane Halperin, Sam Bekkering, Keiren Rice for app to share love of outdoors with other community members

• Drone Movies – Sebastian McDonald, Valentin Rainer for drone footage promotional videos for businesses

• GPSpeed – James Ropotar, Eric Cho for regulating top speed of a vehicle in relation to speed limit

• JDH Naturals – Jaxon Hicks for Natural Auto Care Products

• Nature’s Nibbles – Katrina Laurila, Ashlyn Gardiner for plant-based dog treats

The iGen challenge is for Grade 7-12 learners who want to engage with entrepreneurship.

Local business mentors guide students through a startup process to create enterprises, find funding, build a network, and make an impact in the innovation ecosystem in the Okanagan.

The program has been remarkably effective in launching student enterprises; past participants have gone onto success on CBC’s Dragon’s Den and started successful local businesses in niche markets.

“We are grateful for the local business leaders and entrepreneurs who mentor over 200 Central Okanagan students on the skills required to launch a new business, while trying to achieve some of the United Nations’ sustainability goals,” said Kevin Kaardal, Central Okanagan Public Schools superintendent of schools/CEO.

“This program gives students practical experience solving real world problems and providing services the community finds valuable. I am always impressed by the participants’ critical and creative thinking.”

READ MORE: Central Okanagan school buses to remain parked through the summer

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