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Morrissette Institute for Entrepreneurship

Managing contract workers prove big winners at Ivey Business Plan Competition

Jan 25, 2022

Group Shot

Student teams tackling part-time and contract workers through digital platforms were major winners at the 2022 Ivey Business Plan Competition on January 21, 2022. The virtual event attracted student teams from seven universities across Canada and the United States and included a graduate and undergraduate competition with a prize pool of $45,000.


Graduate Edition

The 24th graduate edition of the Ivey Business Plan Competition was won by Team Worxstr from Appalachian State University. Represented by James Wheeler and Jackson Sippe, Worxstr is a fully integrated, intuitive management software platform for the growing independent contractor labour economy. The platform fosters transparent and effective management practices that have resulted in increased worker satisfaction and retention, along with a 30% increase in workforce management efficiency.

Second-place was secured by the University of Manitoba’s Difinity Solutions. Led by Roh Amromanoh, Difinity Solutions pitched a patent-pending interchangeable cartridge-injector system for delivering medication. Titled NeedSwitch, the product’s unique design reduces the number of steps involved while increasing speed, ease of use, versatility and reduction in medical errors.

Western University’s Next Bottling Solutions took third place in the competition with their solution for the growing shortage of glass wine bottles. Represented by MBA ’22 Candidates Connor Batchelor, Jenny Zhang, and Osheen Mehta, Next Bottling Solution aims to supplant the over-reliance on glass bottles through an innovative and sustainable paper-based wine bottle. The team is currently developing their idea through the Accelerator program at Western.


Undergraduate Edition

The 6th edition of the undergraduate competition was won by LocalStudent. Represented by Katherine Gotovsky, Daniel Joseph, and Matt McCoy, LocalStudent connects students to homeowners in need of yard work services, including on-demand lawn mowing, leaf cleanup and snow removal services at a competitive price point.

Second-place was secured by Homeable, a venture that is seeking to design and build affordable, rapid, and modular, small home communities on Ontario’s Indigenous reserves through relationships with federal and provincial governments. The business was founded by Western students Ruan Badenhorst and Colin Bryan. Homeable also won the Pembroke Asset Management Prize in Social Enterprise.

Wheel Easy, a digital platform to connect mobile tire and technician services directly to consumers, saving them time and money, took third place at the undergraduate competition. Founded by Ivey HBA ’22 Candidate Dennis Ho, Wheel Easy began as a standalone business, offering seasonal tire change and other minor vehicle maintenance at the customer's home or place of work.

Team Homeable represented by Ruan Badenhorst and Colin Bryan

The 2022 virtual competition included student teams from the Appalachian State University, Michigan State University, University of Arkansas, University of British Columbia, University of Manitoba, University of Waterloo and Western University.

The competition judging panel included Albert Behr (BehrTech), Deniz Edwards, MBA ’12 (Western University), Grant Fraser, MBA ’91 (Golf Management Institute of Canada), Ashraf Ghadban (Mandil Ventures), Jenny Goldsmith, HBA ’14 (Bazaarvoice), Nicole Haney (Western University), Michel Hepp (BehrTech), Fenton Jagdeo, HBA ’16 (faculty), Thomas Kalafatis, HBA '97, MBA '02 (KalNes Capital Partners), Bruce Lamb, HBA '85 (Avalanche Search Marketing Inc.), Tori Lamb, MBA'14 (GoodLife Fitness), Erik LaPointe, MBA '17 (Tidal Health Solutions), Davie Lee (TechAlliance), Andrew Leest (TechAlliance), Rajah Lehal, MBA '07 (DealPrep / Cobalt Lawyers), Jacoline Loewen (UBS - Wealth Management), Mark Mauleesan, MBA '16 (Mauleesan Inc. / MedSckool Reviews), Joshua Melchers, HBA ’13 (CIBC), Adam Noyek, HBA ’10 (LAVVAN), Ilham Punjani (Ontario Centre of Innovation), Joshua Reding, HBA'19, BESc'19 (MakerBars, Western University), Morgan Rosenberg, HBA '15 (University Health Network), Martin Carmen Soltys, HBA ’76 (Magnify Global Capital Ltd.), Steve Suske, MBA '77 (Suske Capital Inc.), Shari Walczak, HBA ’94 (The Garden North America) and Karen Wright, BA’81, MBA ’84 (Parachute Executive Coaching).