Students prove that a Memorial education fosters innovation and success and can help change the future

Students with a penchant for dreaming big and a passion for volunteering have proven that a Memorial education can take you anywhere – and change the world.

In late September 2016 Enactus Memorial earned its second World Cup title on the strength of Project Sucseed, an initiative that uses hydroponics to address food insecurity in Canada’s North. The student group, working with Memorial’s Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science and the Botanical Garden, developed a hydroponics system that allows people to grow fresh produce in their homes. The team also partnered with Choices for Youth, a program for at-risk youth, to manufacture the units. The systems use 90 per cent less water than traditional agricultural means, can produce up to 480 pounds of produce per year and run just $105 in annual operating costs.

Enactus Memorial spent the next year working on enhancing Project Sucseed and won the right to once again represent Canada at the Enactus World Cup. The team travelled to London, U.K., for the competition in September 2017 and finished second in the world.

Enactus is an international non-profit organization that mobilizes university and college students to improve the quality of life and standard of living for people in need through social entrepreneurship.

Group Photo:Enactus Memorial

Enactus Memorial earns 10th national title in spring 2017.

Resilience through social innovation

In May, Memorial unveiled the Centre for Social Enterprise, a campus-wide initiative led by a partnership between the Faculty of Business Administration, the School of Social Work and the School of Music. This centre will act as a catalyst in developing new social entrepreneurs, strengthening existing social enterprises and building resilience through social innovation to foster economic success and sustainability throughout Newfoundland and Labrador.

President Kachanoski explained that social enterprises are an innovative form of organization that are increasing in impact and importance worldwide.

“The Centre for Social Enterprise capitalizes on the long history of social innovation in Newfoundland and Labrador and further advances the reputation of Memorial University as a national leader in understanding and advancing social enterprises and social entrepreneurship,” he said. “At Memorial, we aim to equip our students to engage with such emerging fields and this centre is an important element in fostering that innovation and success.”

Group Photo:Paradigm Team

The Paradigm Hyperloop team with their pod.

Historic hyperloop win

Memorial students again made history in August when Paradigm Hyperloop, a team that designed a high-speed, air-levitating ground transport vehicle, took second place for speed at the SpaceX Hyperloop Competition in Hawthorne, Calif.

The team is comprised of 40 post-secondary students from Memorial University, Northeastern University and the College of the North Atlantic and was the only North American finalist in the global competition.

The team was one of 30 teams selected from 1,200 teams to move forward in the multi-year competition. Their innovative approach used compressed air for their suspension system — the same suspension concept originally put forward by billionaire inventor and entrepreneur Elon Musk in his white paper on hyperloop as a new system of transport that could drastically cut transportation time.

Paradigm Hyperloop’s pioneering approach to a brand-new form of technology is emblematic of the entrepreneurial spirit fostered at Memorial.

Building an entrepreneurial ecosystem

To further the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Memorial, and throughout Newfoundland and Labrador, the Memorial Centre for Entrepreneurship was created in 2017 to promote entrepreneurship, support students, faculty and staff in developing their startup business ideas, and contribute to developing an attractive entrepreneurial ecosystem in the province.

By fostering innovation among our students from the moment they enter our doors, Memorial University plays a critical leadership role in developing the entrepreneurs who will contribute to the future of this province, country and beyond. President Kachanoski

The centre offers individual coaching and mentorships, entrepreneurial work terms, startup funding programs, a student ambassador team, events and networking opportunities.

“By fostering innovation among our students from the moment they enter our doors, Memorial University plays a critical leadership role in developing the entrepreneurs who will contribute to the future of this province, country and beyond,” said President Kachanoski.

Students in Enactus Memorial and Paradigm Hyperloop have proven they have the ability to make a difference in the world and Memorial is committed to creating an environment that helps them, and all students, successfully follow their passion.

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