The most recent PlanIt Event showcased some of the most promising early-stage start-up ideas.
From disc golf trackers to meal subscription services, there was a wide variety of unique concepts from enthusiastic entrepreneurs.
The judges for this year’s competition were:
- Rob Bennett – COO of VIATEC
- Thomas Ahn – Founder of Mad Ventures
- Lindsay Frehlick – Innovations Manager at UVic
- Ray Cao – Founder of AllSalt Maritime
- Kevin Burkett – Portfolio Manager at Burkett Asset Management
Sitting in at PlanIt is like attending commerce, biology, and an engineering lecture all at once.
You can’t help but dust off a notebook and search for a pen to take notes while the entrepreneurs are diving into their businesses.
Here are the nine businesses from this semester’s PlanIt.
The event began with a bang featuring Sanctuary Sneakers. The Founder and Sneakerhead, Eric Hasegawa, explained his business was like Trivago for high-end, collectible sneakers. It allows fellow Sneakerheads to shop for the best prices of shoes for their collections.
Did you know the market for high-end resale sneakers is a $10 billion industry? Neither did we.
Famer’s Legacy Biotech
Next, we jumped straight into BIO 400 with Farmer’s Legacy Biotech, presented by Founder Pankaj Purwar. This business is determined to provide a more sustainable and healthier alternative to vegetable oil: Brahmola oil.
The impacts of farming palm and canola oil on the forests in Africa, South America, and Mesoamerica is becoming increasingly problematic. Pankaj explained Brahmola oil could help stop this since it involves genetically transforming canola to make fatty acids similar to coconut oil. This type of oil is healthier and is a sustainable way to meet the high demand for oil. Pankaj described it as the“goodness of coconut oil and its grown sustainability.”
The post-lunch hunger hit the judges quickly when the next Founder, Mohsin Dyer, showed off his business EatCoast.
EatCoast is an online food delivery service that provides healthy meals that adhere to dietary restrictions. A problem many students, such as Mohsin, who is an international student, and busy professionals face is learning how to cook and finding the time to do so. EatCoast, however, provides a solution to this.
For delicious, ready-made meals, join EatCoast’s waitlist to be the first to know when it launches!
Have you heard of disc golf before? Well, it’s a seemingly niche sport that is actually not-so-niche and is taking the sports market by storm.
Eve Olynyk and Simon Park, Co-Founders of MeepMeep, saw a need for a Bluetooth disc golf tracker. They ran a survey, and the results confirmed that the average player spends 10 minutes per round searching for their disc. That’s 116,000 minutes per day among all disc players! But with MeepMeep, you can “search less and play more.”
With the holidays right around the corner, the next contestant’s idea was perfect. Founded by Jennifer Cawthorne, Little Egg offers a sustainable way to give a gift, such as notes, videos, or a contribution to an education fund, your children, grandchildren, etc., will remember for years to come, all while trying to “remove our focus on materials and make room for what truly matters.”
Judge Rob Bennett weighed in on his own birthday experience, saying his grandparents’ savings bond was the gift he remembered most as a kid! Not a plastic toy.
Next up were Co-Founders and student-athletes Tori Kalyniuk and Ella Stephen. They created SheTrains: an app that tracks women athletes’ periods, analyzes training plans and makes scientifically supported recommendations to coaches.
The idea sparked when they spoke with other female athletes and learned that 95.7% of women athletes reported that training negatively impacted their menstrual cycles. They realized that with SheTrains, women athletes can “work with their bodies and not against them!”
“When was the last time you did something just for fun?”
As entrepreneurs, it’s easy for us to get swept up into the hustle. The answers to this question are why Sarah Davis, the Founder of SJD Ceramics, wants to expand her pottery studio business to provide fun and simple classes in the Tsawwassen area.
Her business idea makes you question when the last time was that you did something purely for enjoyment and reflect on that answer.
Are you in the Tsawwassen area and looking for a fun activity to do with your friend, family, or partner? Join SJD Ceramics’ waitlist to be the first to know when class spots open up.
This past year, students searching for housing arrived at open houses with many other desperate students, only to be disappointed or scammed. Thousands, especially international students worldwide, have felt the effects of this housing crisis while trying to find a place to live.
Gaze Kasilag-Del Castillo, the Founder of ScoutBees, was one of those people.
Gaze developed her business to provide a trustworthy service for international students to vet houses by booking “scouts.” ScoutBees’ tailored niche of helping international students will set it apart from any impending competitors that enter the market.
Follow ScoutBees on Instagram to stay up-to-date with their launch!
Finally, it was time for the final contestant.
The sun had already set, and the Zoom slump had hit.
PolyV’s unique and necessary proposition sparked some life back into the judges. The Founder of PolyV, Tong Li, proposed a lighter-weight alternative to carbon fibre. The alternative is called polymer, and it can be used to create car seats, battery casings, and so much more.
“It’s a lighter, stronger, greener solution…” said Li, which our economy needs after a recent gas crisis and the increasing effects of climate change.
Learn more about the amazing things Li on the PolyV website!
Now, it was time for the judges to finish up their scorecards, which would reveal the top 4 winners of this semester’s PlanIt competition.
But before the judges could finish tallying their scores, the line-up of extraordinary entrepreneurs and their ideas ignited conversations between the judges. How could it not?
While all the presentations were impressive, those who ranked in the top four stayed on the top of everyone’s mind throughout the four-hour event.
Now…for the results. Drum roll, please!
In first place…MeepMeep – $3000
In second place…ScoutBees – $2500
Tied for third place…PolyV – $1250
Tied for third place…Sanctuary Sneakers – $1250
Another successful round of PlanIt for the books!
We don’t know about you, but after this PlanIt, we’re feeling confident about the bright business ideas ready to illuminate our future.
The Coast Capital Innovation Centre has been made possible through a partnership between the University of Victoria and the Coast Capital Federal Credit Union. Since 2016, Coast Capital has committed over $1.5 million to support entrepreneurs and innovators at UVic.
Written and edited by Zoe Mathers