In Ottawa

Dickson and I arrived here in Ottawa this morning at 9:30 AM and quickly had to get to the hotel to get started for the Wes Nicol competition. It’s been a packed day, which I wrote about at our VenturePrize Experience blog. We think our presentation went very, very well!

We’re just waiting for the dinner to start now, which is where the winner will be announced. Following the dinner is a party, and then probably bedtime, considering we only slept around 4 hours yesterday and those 4 hours were on a plane. The good news is that we got our travel plans changed, so we are departing from Toronto on Sunday rather than from here tomorrow morning. Gives us time to make a few business calls in TO.

Anyway, will update more later. Wish us luck!

VenturePrize Finals Complete

Post ImageWe just got back from the final event, and unfortunately, we didn’t win. We’re really proud that we made it to the finals of VenturePrize however, and we have our sights set on the Wes Nicol competition tomorrow in Ottawa. Congratulations to Chris and Don at Leading Edge Technologies for winning this year’s competition.

We’ve got lots of pictures and stuff to post, and we’ll do that slowly over the next few days. Our flight to Ottawa leaves in about five hours, so we’re getting ready for that. We’re a little disappointed about VenturePrize obviously, but we’re going to take what we’ve learned and do our best tomorrow evening.

You can read my post on today’s event at our VenturePrize blog.

Read: VenturePrize Experience

VenturePrize Experience by Paramagnus

Post ImageDickson and I have been working on a blog specifically for VenturePrize (and Wes Nicol too) and it’s finally ready for public consumption! Basically you can read all about our experiences in the two competitions, starting way back in October 2005 when we first decided to take part in VenturePrize. The address is:

With the exception of the March posts, all entries have been posted after the fact. So a post from November was actually written in the last two weeks, even though the post itself seems like it was written in November. We did our best to go back in time and remember what we were thinking and feeling so that the blog is authentic. I don’t think we’ll be adding any more “back posts”, unless we remember something worth sharing, so the blog is “live” moving forward.

There are two main reasons for this blog. First and foremost, it is for us, so that we can look back and remember the experience. It should also come in handy when asked about timelines in the future, as it is often difficult to remember when things happened. The second reason is that we hope our experience will be useful to future participants of the VenturePrize and Wes Nicol competitions. Learn from our mistakes, and improve upon the things we did!

The blog is entirely comprised of text posts right now, but we’re planning to add some media content at some point too, podcasts, pictures, etc. Enjoy!

Read: VenturePrize Experience

Paramagnus and Business Plan Success

Post ImageEverything is public now, so it’s time for an update on our business plan competitions! As you may recall, Dickson and I entered Paramagnus into two business plan competitions – VenturePrize and Wes Nicol. We had back to back presentations in February, and have been waiting patiently to find out how we did. We’ve known for a couple days now, but it was announced today that we’re a finalist in the VenturePrize competition, and we won first place in the local portion of the Wes Nicol! Congratulations especially to our fellow finalists in VenturePrize, and indeed to all of the competitors we’ve met thus far. We’ve learned so much already!

We’re now preparing for the final VenturePrize showdown which takes place at the annual EEDC luncheon on March 22nd. We’ll be among the first people to see the brand new extension to the Shaw Conference Centre. The following day we need to be in Ottawa for the national component of the Wes Nicol competition, so it’ll be a very busy two days! We’re looking forward to it.

Actually the next few weeks will be busy. We did a brief interview tonight that will air on CBC Radio tomorrow morning. Tomorrow afternoon we’re filming our three minute video that will be shown at the luncheon on the 22nd. We’re presenting to a class at the University next Friday. Over the next two weeks we’ll be putting together an “insider’s blog” for our experience in VenturePrize. And of course we’ve got to update our business plan, prepare our second presentations, and keep our business running (not to mention school, volunteering, etc). And it won’t stop there – we’ve already got interviews and the like lined up into April. Definitely good for the business!

We’ve met a lot of people lately, and while it was nice to meet all of you, sometimes it’s hard to get down contact information or remember everyone. If you’d like to get in touch, you can reach me via email or at 780.619.3864. Or of course you can simply subscribe 🙂

Paramagnus Finalists in Wes Nicol Competition!

It’s been a great week for Paramagnus! On Wednesday it was announced that we were semi-finalists in the VenturePrize competition and last night we found out that we were selected as finalists for local part of the Wes Nicol Entrepreneurial Award, also a businss plan competition!

The Wes Nicol Entrepreneurial Award is a national non-profit competition designed to promote entrepreneurship with Canadian University students. Now in its 9th year, the program is launching its second national Wes Nicol Entrepreneurial Award ceremony, to be held March 23rd, 2006 in Ottawa.

We present to the judges on Saturday, and if we win the local competition we get to travel to Ottawa to compete against the rest of Canada. Needless to say, we’re pretty excited!

If you’re going to participate in a business plan competition, you might as well compete in another. There ends up being quite a bit of overlap in terms of the work you need to do, but you meet different people and learn different things from each.

Hopefully a week from now we’ll be making travel arrangements for our nation’s capital!

UPDATE [10:02 PM]: I fixed this post to say “semi-finalists in the VenturePrize competition” as I had erroneously put “finalists”. I’m getting ahead of myself 🙂

Read: Wes Nicol