The Digital Enterprise Management Society relocated its annual Young Entrepreneurs’ Conference from UTM to the MaRS Discovery District in downtown Toronto to celebrate its fifth year earlier this month.
The sold-out event, hosted on February 6, featured several companies and organizations, including Robert Half Technology, OneMethod, Buzzfeed, Amazon, ASUS Canada, Deloitte Digital Canada, and IBM, as well as UTM’s I-CUBE.
The MaRS Discovery District is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping entrepreneurs expand their innovative businesses.
“The focus of this year was to bring YEC to all students, instead of just UTM students,” said YEC chair Yu Qi Sun, who hopes the event next year is even bigger.
During the IBM Case Challenge, three groups proposed an idea for an app that would use services from IBM Bluemix, the latest cloud platform from IBM. Groups presented ideas suggesting a real-time messaging system for the company Lumicison, a security system called Sherlock Securities Inc. to ensure added safety when storing one’s documents, and an app that can help one determine the correct fit and appearance for clothes when shopping, called PerfectFIT.
Lanny Geffen, VP director of strategy and user experience from OneMethod, spoke about the world’s need for designers and was one of many who talked about data in communications and technology.
“The user of design is not you. We use the designer’s sensibility to design for the customer’s need,” said Geffen. “Learn from what’s already out there. Data may make a design good, but it will never make a bad design good.”
Graham Churchill, Bluemix Leader at IBM Canada, also spoke about the importance of data and innovation in the economy.
“Data is the raw material that will drive the economy,” said Churchill. “It is reinventing the manufacturing, automobiles, and energy industries.”
ICCIT Council president Ray Khan also hosted a panel discussing entrepreneurship with Laurie Dillon-Schalk, VP of strategy and insights at Fuse Marketing Group; Niles Lawrence, the CEO of VURU; and Amanda Lynne Ballard, founder and producer of anicca studios.
“You never know where opportunities will come,” said Ballard. “Always say yes first and fake it till you make it. If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, you’ll figure out how to do it.”