In response to the theme The Great Canadian Energy Challenge, Shad Memorial created a reality TV show aimed at helping Canadian communities reduce their energy consumption through competition. Their innovative idea captured the top prize at the ninth annual RBC Cup, as well as silver medal finishes in the best application of theme and best business plan categories.
Gwen Mahaney, director of Shad Memorial, is pleased with the showing. “I was really proud of our students’ performance and proud that they placed in the competition, but what really struck me was the judges’ response,” she said. “Some of Canada’s top CEOs were judging the competition and they were really supportive of the idea. In fact, there are on-going discussions about developing the project further.”
The Shad Valley program is an intensive one-month, university-based program for high school students across Canada. Students spend a month at one of 12 host universities learning about a variety of topics and developing an entrepreneurship project that is judged by a panel of experts. Over 9,000 students have participated in the Shad Valley program since its inception in 1981.
Shad Memorial is one of the youngest teams involved with the Shad Valley program, and each year they’ve been more successful. Last year, they took home awards in three out of five categories. “The Shad Valley team, the staff of the Gardiner Institute, and the Memorial University community has created a safe, respectful and supportive environment for our students to learn and create,” Ms. Mahaney explained. “That, combined with a group of intelligent, motivated young leaders, has created the perfect recipe for success.”
A ceremony was held Dec. 5 to present Dr. Gary Gorman, dean of the Faculty of Business, with the RBC Cup. “I am delighted to celebrate the success of the Shad Memorial team,” he said. “Winning the RBC Cup is a tremendous accomplishment and it is a reflection of the hard work and dedication that this program inspires. It is a great opportunity for Memorial to connect with a group of bright young students from across Canada.”
At Memorial, the Shad Valley program is delivered through the P. J. Gardiner Institute for Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, an outreach centre of the Faculty of Business Administration.