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Students organizing 'Impact' conference on entrepreneurship

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October 26, 2005

Source: University of Waterloo:

Students organizing 'Impact' conference on entrepreneurship

WATERLOO, Ont. -- One of the largest student-run events in entrepreneurship is set for Toronto next month, organized by a group founded at the University of Waterloo and now involving students at other universities as well.

The second annual Impact entrepreneurship conference, set for Nov. 18 and 19, will bring together industry representatives, educational partners and more than 300 students from coast to coast to meet, learn, network and offer exposure to job opportunities.

Keynote speaker will be men's wear tycoon Harry Rosen. Also speaking will be Bill Tatham, an entrepreneur who sold his tech start-up company Janna Systems for a Canadian record of $1.76 billion to rival Siebel Systems in 2000.

Conference organizers have secured two $5,000 scholarships to UW's Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program that will be granted to Impact attendees.

The conference, with a fee of $129 to attend, offers students the opportunity to meet with presenters, speak with them and ask questions during meals, between conference sessions and at after-hours social events. Organizers said that in addition to high-profile speakers, students will have the opportunity to meet passionate, ambitious like-minded students from across Canada, all interested in entrepreneurship.

The weekend event will also feature workshops, breakout sessions and a silent charity auction. One highlight is a case study competition, pitting teams of participants against each other, challenging them to come up with the best solution to a real-life entrepreneurship problem.

The conference serves as a flagship event for Impact, a student-led organization committed to promoting educational and professional development by allowing students to explore and learn more about the entrepreneurial world.

Impact's mission is to foster innovators, thinkers and economic movers to stay competitive in a global economy.

The organization is also working on launching a national entrepreneurship magazine, national student "Apprentice" competition and high-school outreach. Already, it has partnered with Shad International, DECA (Distributive Education Clubs of America) -- an international association of marketing students -- and other projects.

The first conference of its kind was held in Kitchener last year, organized by UW software engineering student Kunal Gupta. It drew about 100 students. This year, 300 are expected for most of the conference and 600 for the banquet at which Rosen will speak.

The not-for-profit Impact organization involves about 30 student volunteers from across Canada.

"It gives me great pleasure to be involved with Impact, as I am confident that this organization is an ideal vehicle to kindle the entrepreneurial flame in tomorrow's leaders," said UW president David Johnston, who is on the Impact Advisory Board.

For more information, go to: link

Kunal Gupta, President and Founder, Impact;
kunal.gupta at; (519) 635-7586
Jim Fox, UW Media Relations, (519) 888-4444;
Release no. 237 -- October 26, 2005

2005-10-26 12:09:39



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