The Digital Enterprise Management society hosted its sixth annual Young Entrepreneurs Conference, featuring various companies and organizations including MoveSnap, Nova Solution, Patio Interactive Inc., Investor Group, TD Canada, and Mirage Coaching.
In an interview with The Medium, Yap Cheng Siew, the president of the DEM society stated that the purpose of the event is to introduce a platform for any student who takes interest in branding themselves, regardless of their academic program, to learn how to market themselves, monetize their skill, and become young entrepreneurs.
The event as run since 2012 and features networking opportunities, meeting industry leaders, and competing for prizes in the case competitions.
Ameerah Razac, who co-founded the conference with her friend Niwaz Mann in 2012, explained that they came up with the idea for the conference after their frustration with how finance-based the DECA competition was. According to DECA’s website, it’s “an international professional development program where members compete and network with like-minded young professionals in every field of business.”
“Our ideas were brilliant but we didn’t focus on financial aspects. So, we thought, why don’t we do our own thing?” said Razac. “We wanted people to know that [DEM students] were students they should seek after.”
“It’s [attending conferences] like school without the homework. You get to decide what it is you take away, internalize, and become,” Razac added.
The event also consisted of Twitter and Instagram challenge giveaways for tech prizes, panel discussions, networking, and case competitions. The case competitions this year were sponsored by Spotify, and according to Siew, first place winners received an exclusive company tour and a sponsored dinner with the company.
As this year’s event was relocated to the Rotunda in the Kaneff Centre, the ticket sales were limited compared to previous years.
“This event is much more intimate due to the location. Usually if it’s in IB, it’s a bigger capacity, [but] unfortunately it was booked […] We wish we could’ve expanded but we hope to next year,” Siew said. However, he added that the environment of this year’s event allowed for more one-on-one conversations, as well as more networking.