One of the top presentations in the competition, School of Business student An Tang’s Behold Mobile Beauty Services looked to market to seniors who would like to have professional estheticians come to their home, opposed to traveling to a traditional brick-and-mortar spa.    

The fall semester climax for students in the Selkirk College School of Business saw learners rise to the challenge with exciting small business concepts.

Held over Zoom in early-December and facilitated by Entrepreneurship course instructor Cibylla Rakestraw, the Business Plan Tradeshow Competition functions as a key piece of each student’s capstone project. 

Individually or in groups of two, students in the Post-Graduate Business Management Program spend their semester creating a business plan that can be implemented into the real world. The class is divided into two sections and the top-four plans of each section are selected to compete before a panel of four judges. Judges evaluate all aspects of student business plans, such as market feasibility, financial planning, marketing and promotions, pricing and industry competition. Judges also offered comments and suggestions on how students could enrich or enhance their business plan.

“The judges are real people in real jobs who deal with entrepreneurs—they see the best and the worst that can happen with businesses,” says eight-time judge Tammy Verigin-Burk. “Every year that I judge, it seems that people offer even more in-depth feedback.”

Although students may or may not pursue their business idea beyond the competition, the planning process transformed academic theory into something practical.

Every business plan was unique at this year’s contest and was based on a rich diversity of interests. Yvone Azarcon and Gaganjeet Singh looked to create a high-tech gaming arcade in downtown Castlegar called Virtulo. The arcade would feature virtual reality and artificial intelligence-based gaming that is often inaccessible to the general gaming community.

An Tang’s Behold Mobile Beauty Services looked to market to seniors who would like to have professional estheticians come to their home, opposed to traveling to a traditional brick-and-mortar spa.

Sheyla Laplant placed first in contest one with her business plan Rent-A-Local—a tour-guide agency that focuses on creating unique tours of the West Kootenay’s geography. Second place was awarded to Milan Bhadani for his business plan HandleBar—a bike rental and coffeeshop hybrid that functions as a hangout location for Castlegar youth.

The Business Plan Tradeshow Competition brings students and community members together. The competition functions to offer an outlet for students to see how their studies can manifest outside of academia.

For more information regarding the Selkirk College School of Business, please visit selkirk.ca/program/post-graduate-business-management