Today SHAD will host the 17th annual SHAD Cup event in Waterloo, Ontario, recognizing the top simulated startup projects created by SHAD 2014 participants from across Canada. The national event is the culmination of dedicated work by exceptional students who tackled the theme of ‘Living large on a small footprint’, a challenge to apply scientific principles to solve a weighty problem affecting society.
Students formed teams on each of our 12 program campuses to tackle an entrepreneurial solution to the theme. Each team carved out a niche, developed a prototype product, crafted business and marketing plans, and created a website. For those teams selected to move forward in the competition, students continued to refine their solutions following the July SHAD program with mentorship from SHAD supporter organizations. Finally, prototypes were submitted for review along with the full suite of plans and programs for judging by expert panels of judges from Christie, Microsoft Canada, Pilot PMR, RBC, Sustainable Waterloo Region, and Teledyne DALSA.
SHAD’s focus on STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and math) is reflected in the depth and complexity of the 15 projects on display for the SHAD Cup event. For many students, the SHAD Entrepreneurship Challenge is the first time that they have experienced an entrepreneurial mindset that enables innovation and creativity. In the startup ecosystem, the transformational experience of SHAD is the first step in what becomes for many, an extraordinary path to innovation and change-making.
According to surveys conducted by SHAD, almost 20 percent of SHAD alumni have launched at least one startup, with 60 percent of alumni startups focused on Information and Communications Technology (ICT), digital media, clean tech, life sciences and engineering. With 85 percent of SHADs living and working in Canada, SHAD is demonstrably contributing to the STEM innovation culture of Canada.
Tonight as we toast the winners of the SHAD Cup, we truly celebrate the accomplishments of the more than 14,000 alumni who have made a difference in the world as innovators and change makers. Here’s to the ongoing SHAD journey and to more exceptional students finding their Uncommon Purpose.