Reality TV shows and reducing energy consumption are hot topics these days, and for Shad Memorial, a group of enterprising high school students, combining the two has resulted in a big win at the RBC/Shad Entrepreneurship Cup.
In response to the theme The Great Canadian Energy Challenge, Shad Memorial created a reality show The Great Canadian Energy Diet aimed at helping Canadian communities reduce their energy consumption through competition. Their innovative idea captured the top prize in the ninth annual RBC cup, as well as silver medal finishes in the best application of theme and best business plan categories.
Gwen Mahaney, the director of Shad Memorial is pleased with the showing. She explained, “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 at 12 host universities spend a month 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.”
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.