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Local campus teams take top three spots in entrepreneurship challenge

By Nikola CameronAnne McDonah, who was one of six organizers for a Nova Scotia Entrepreneurship Challenge held at NSCC was ecstatic when she found out on Monday that all three first-, second- and third-place winners were from the Pictou Campus.

From left are Anne McDonah, organizer, with Janine Hawes, Kelsey Levy and Janey MacLean, first-place winners in the Nova Scotia Entrepreneurship Challenge.

“I might be a little tiny bit competitive but I was really hoping that I would have at least a first, second or third, and when I found that out, that all three students were from Pictou Campus, I’m so proud I feel like I could burst.”

The challenge was for students to split up in groups and create a website to try to convince entrepreneurs to come set up shop in Nova Scotia.

In previous years, the students had 24 hours to complete the challenge, but this year because of a snow storm, the challenge was whittled down to a 12 hour challenge.

“I think the most challenging part came up last week when we got the call for the forecast for the snow storm, because it was supposed to be a 24-hour time period. So we were going to start at 10 on Friday and finish at 10 on Saturday, and then when we saw the forecast we knew that responsibly we couldn’t be letting students who had been up for 24 hours in a row, to drive home.”

It was a much different experience for the students because they didn’t have as much time to go through the highs and lows that the competition gives them, when they are trying to come up with an idea and work together with a virtual team from other campuses and get to know them and form their group effectively, she said.

The winning team which included Janine Hawes, Kelsey Levy and Janey MacLean focused their website on trying to convince international students who came to Nova Scotia for post-secondary education to stay after they graduate. See

Levy said that for those students who are already planning to come to the province to be a student that’s who their group are mostly focusing on.

“Well we did the video on Friday, we thought it was a good idea, and I guess that’s what other people thought too because we won.”

The most difficult part of the challenge was connecting with other teammates, she said.

“We ended up not having any other teammates from other campuses, because they backed out or they joined a different team, so that was the most challenging part.”

MacLean said she was surprised when she found out her team won because she heard a lot of other great ideas from some other people who were on other teams.

What she found the most difficult part of the experience was coming up with the initial idea.

“The research was fine, I don’t mind doing research, and once we got the idea in motion, it was easy after that.”

She said her team came up with the idea by doing a lot of research, and the idea they chose was the one that stood out the most to them.

“We thought it would be easy to accomplish within the amount of time that we had, so we just went from there and it started flowing.”

She said she is very grateful her team won, but she is mostly just grateful to be a part of the experience.

“We had some really good feedback from the mentors that were there, so we were pretty excited just to be involved, it was great.”

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