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Date: May 02, 2005

Bright Ideas Start Here

Business-minded students on Vancouver Island have a new opportunity to bring their ideas to the marketplace, thanks to a student business plan competition being launched by the University of Victoria’s Innovation and Development Corporation (IDC).

In the annual IDC Challenge, student teams will compete for more than $18,000 in cash prizes before a panel of entrepreneurs, business experts and investors. The contest is open to Grade 11 and 12 students and full-time university and college students in any age group, discipline or program.

As UVic’s technology transfer office, IDC is the link between UVic researchers, their inventions and innovations, and the marketplace. Its mandate is to move research into the public and private sectors through partnerships, licensing of technologies, and the formation of new spin-off companies.

“IDC and UVic have exhibited a significant track record in spinning off 35 companies, of which six are UVic student-based ventures,” says Dr. Doug Tolson, IDC’s vice-president. “The competition will provide an outlet for island students to jump on their business concepts and potentially convert them into companies.”

The first annual IDC Challenge starts with a launch party and information session at UVic’s Vancouver Island Technology Park from 6 – 8 p.m. on May 11. Students can network with Vancouver Island’s entrepreneurial community, meet potential teammates and learn more about the competition.

“IDC brings a wealth of experience in multiple business sectors and can guide students through what would normally be a difficult business growth path,” says Anthony Sukow, CEO of Advanced Economics Research Systems (AERS), a student-based UVic spin-off company which partnered with IDC. “Working with IDC means that students can expect hands-on involvement, mentoring opportunities and a dedicated team.”

The competition is supported by IDC, the UVic Alumni Association and the business faculties at UVic, Royal Roads University and Camosun College. However, IDC is still looking for more sponsors. For more information, visit www.idcchallenge.com, call 721-8868 or e-mail kbarber@uvcs.uvic.ca.

Media advisory: The launch event will be held from 6–8 p.m. on May 11 at UVic’s Vancouver Island Technology Park, located at 4464 Markham Street, Victoria.
Media contacts:
Dr. Doug Tolson (Vice President, IDC) at (250) 721-6398 or dtolson@uvic.ca
Kendall Barber (General Manager, IDC Challenge) at (250) 721-8868 or kbarber@uvcs.uvic.ca
Maria Lironi (UVic Communications) at (250) 721-6139 or lironim@uvic.ca

UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available on the World Wide Web at http://communications.uvic.ca/media

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