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From dog biscuits to bustiers, Holland College students pitch business ideas to panel of experts

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Room 21C in the Charlottetown Centre on the Prince of Wales Campus was buzzing with business ideas during the presentation of the 16th Annual Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty Business Plan Competition recently.

As part of their curriculum, all of the second year business students are required to develop comprehensive business plans based on original business ideas. The top six plans are chosen to present their proposals to a panel of seasoned business people from the Rotary Club of Charlottetown Royalty.

This year’s judges were John Barrett of Vesey’s, management consultant Joan Fleming, and well-known Charlottetown businessman Myron MacKay.

This year’s presentations could be divided into two categories: culinary (if you consider dog biscuits to be a culinary item) and entertainment (if you consider sex shops to be entertaining – the audience certainly did!).

On the culinary side, Julia McInnis and Ryan Kerr presented their concept for a mobile smoothie van that could be parked in a designated area in downtown Charlottetown or travel to local festivals and fairs. The product, a line of smoothies with names such as Strawberry Kiwi Causeway, Berry Boulevard, and Coffee Cove, would offer consumers a healthy option as they took in the sights and sounds of summer on the Island.

Food was certainly on the move with Taylor MacNeill’s Doggie Mail Incorporated, which would ship high-quality homemade dog treats to clients across the country.

Experience as a baker and an interest in gluten-free products led student Amanda Benedict to develop a concept for a line of gluten-free/preservative-free muffin batter that would be sold frozen in bulk to institutions that need to offer gluten-free options to patients or clients. Many of the ideas the students pitched were theoretical, but in this case, Amanda intends to work with chefs at Canada’s Smartest Kitchen to develop her muffins into a viable product.

The projects that fell into the entertainment category included Club Connected, a concept developed by A.J. MacIntyre and Blake Ferrish. Club Connected is a club-based app that would allow patrons to interact with DJs, view drink and food menus and specials, and post pictures on screens, while generating advertising revenue.

Kaleigh Foster and Derek Cameron presented their concept for UP Rooftop Bar and Grill. UP would literally take dining and dancing in Charlottetown to a whole new level with a sweeping view of the city. Derek and Kaleigh had an additional challenge during their presentation, as Kaleigh is now attending university in B.C., and was Skyped into the presentation. Both students remained calm and composed in spite of that complication, and presented their proposal very competently.

Patti Arsenault and Lydia Affleck presented their concept for a retail store that would offer clients a friendly, non-threatening, discreet shopping experience. Specializing in educational materials as well as a wide range of erotic products and lingerie, Sensual Desires would cater to a broad clientele, filling a high-end niche in the Island market.

All of the students were enthusiastic about their business ideas, and demonstrated that they had put a great deal of time into the research and development of their business plans.

The winners will be announced at a Rotary meeting later in the month.



Written by Sara Underwood

May 5, 2014 at 10:41 am

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