An­napo­lis ‘Start It Up’ par­tic­i­pants rec­og­nized for en­trepreneur­ship

High school stu­dents com­pete with univer­sity stu­dents at busi­ness start-up event

Annapolis Valley Register - - NEWS - WOLFVILLE, N.S.

A group of Kings County high school stu­dents who placed first at a re­cent busi­ness ideation com­pe­ti­tion have been rec­og­nized for their ac­com­plish­ment.

At a re­cent recog­ni­tion event for out­stand­ing com­mu­nity con­trib­u­tors in the Kings South rid­ing, MLA Keith Irv­ing pre­sented an award to Start It Up par­tic­i­pants Emma He, Ger­ald Kaulback, Max Ca­plan and Alex Petkov. They were con­grat­u­lated for plac­ing first in the re­cent Start It Up event, a busi­ness ideation com­pe­ti­tion hosted by the Aca­dia En­trepreneur­ship Cen­tre. Their idea fo­cused on de­vel­op­ing a ser­vice match­ing young vol­un­teers with op­por­tu­ni­ties in or­der for the vol­un­teers to gain valu­able ex­pe­ri­ence.

“En­trepreneur­ship is cru­cial to the fu­ture eco­nomic suc­cess of our prov­ince and with amaz­ing young en­trepreneurs like these in our com­mu­ni­ties, I think our fu­ture is bright,” Irv­ing said in a state­ment read in the Nova Sco­tia House of As­sem­bly.

The com­pe­ti­tion in­volves teams of univer­sity stu­dents work­ing to solve in­dus­try or com­mu­nity prob­lems within 28 hours. He, Kaulback, Ca­plan and Petkov took home the $6,000 top prize. To the sur­prise of the Aca­dia and Dal­housie univer­sity par­tic­i­pants, the team of four fit right into Start It Up, com­pet­ing as the only group of high school stu­dents.

“Be­ing rec­og­nized made me feel like my work as an en­tre­pre­neur is val­ued by my com­mu­nity,” said He, a Grade 11 stu­dent at Hor­ton High School. “Peo­ple can see the ef­fort that we’ve put in and they are show­ing their sup­port, which I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate.”

Petkov, a Grade 10 stu­dent at Hor­ton High, said Re­fresh “has al­lowed me to explore ar­eas that most youth would not have the op­por­tu­nity to explore un­til they be­come adults.”

The group of en­trepreneurs from Hor­ton and North­east Kings Ed­u­ca­tion Cen­tre (NKEC) are not the only young peo­ple in the An­napo­lis Val­ley com­mit­ted to en­trepreneur­ship. At the same event, two Re­fresh An­napo­lis Val­ley mid­dle school stu­dents, Solomon Ca­plan and Nathaniel Fred­er­icks, took home the sec­ond-place prize for their busi­ness idea that seeks to gam­ify lo­cal com­mu­nity dis­cov­ery.

Ten Re­fresh An­napo­lis Val­ley par­tic­i­pants took their busi­ness ideation skills to the re­cent Startup Week­end at Dal­housie Univer­sity. They formed three teams, in­clud­ing a team of two ele­men­tary school children, to de­velop and pitch their new busi­ness ideas.

Com­pet­ing against a pool of eight other univer­sity teams, the Val­ley teams took home a to­tal of $1,600 in prizes. Ca­plan, Fred­er­icks and new team­mate Car­men Peng won the third-place prize.

For these young peo­ple, in­ter­est in en­trepreneur­ship doesn’t stop at busi­ness ideation com­pe­ti­tions. They are se­ri­ous about tak­ing their now qual­i­fied busi­ness ideas and turn­ing them into re­al­ity. With part­ners at the Aca­dia En­trepreneur­ship Cen­tre and Mashup Labs, Re­fresh An­napo­lis Val­ley has been guid­ing these groups through the var­i­ous phases of busi­ness de­vel­op­ment.

Re­fresh An­napo­lis Val­ley founder Mike Ca­plan said a core com­po­nent of the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s man­date is to pro­mote en­trepreneur­ship in the dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy space. Through Hoist pro­gram­ming, they en­cour­age young peo­ple in the Val­ley to explore the world of com­puter sci­ence and its ap­pli­ca­tion to the com­mu­nity through en­trepreneur­ship. Re­fresh An­napo­lis Val­ley pro­gram­ming is sup­ported en­tirely by the com­mu­nity through do­na­tions and vol­un­teerism.


Young en­trepreneurs Emma He, Ger­ald Kaulback, Max Ca­plan and Alex Petkov are rec­og­nized by Kings South MLA Keith Irv­ing for win­ning the re­cent Start It Up com­pe­ti­tion.

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