Even tigers need to adapt to COVID-19
If you were expecting to read about Bengal tigers changing their lifestyle due to COVID-19, you have unfortunately been misled.
These tigers are human. They are entrepreneurs.
For 12 years, they have served as Tiger judges at the Louis Riel School Division’s Tigers’ Den Entrepreneurship Conference.
A year ago, 100 students and 12 teachers gathered in the division’s Legacy Center and immersed themselves in a day of business plan ideas and problem-solving, culminating in a series of frenzied presentations after. – midday to 30 professionals.
COVID-19 quickly put an end to this annual event. At least in its original format.
If the tiger pit of 2021 was to continue, it had to do what the world is continually doing in this pandemic: reinvent itself.
The hustle and bustle of a crowded room were transformed into two-minute virtual video presentations by 40 students from safer places, such as bedrooms or the corners of classrooms.
The top three finalists emerged from the ratings of 10 Tigers who watched the videos from the security of their computers at home or at work.
The top spot went to Kenwren Apilado, a grade 12 student in Windsor Park Collegiate’s career internship program, who created AllergyFree, an app that identifies hypoallergenic meals on restaurant menus.
Second place came from grade 11 student Boubacar Basse in the Louis Riel Arts and Technology Center’s New Media Program which produced LinkMate, a cybersecurity app that alerts users to emails, texts and odd or faulty online shopping messages.
Third place came from 11th grade student Justin Patrocinio, from LRATC’s Applied Business Program, who delivered a youth empowerment program called Yes Youth Can, designed to engage social activism and business ventures in the community.
Apilado felt that this year’s iteration of the Tiger Pit was “an opportunity to allow me to work on my problem-solving skills in real-life situations and get feedback from business leaders.”
The Tigers who generously gave of their time came from various businesses in the community: Neovation Learning Solutions; Bold trade; Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce; HP change; Futurpreneur Canada; Market peak; TechMB and RBC.
Carla Allan, teacher in the career internship program at Windsor Park, believes that “the competition fosters curiosity and confidence, a way to practice creativity and innovation as students connect to the larger community.”
Caroline Ksiazek, director of business development at Futurpreneur Canada, said the experience was the “best cure” for a persistent pandemic.
“All I can say is ‘wow’ … if it’s the next generation of entrepreneurs, we’ll be in the business for a long time.”
Going virtual could be a harbinger of future events. The event generated 30 ideas from its usual 12 to 15; more students accessed the event from various locations and an online buzz has emerged in an environment in which students feel comfortable.
You can view the winning entries here:
• AllergyFree – youtube.com/watch?v=N8-y_TDkNj0
• Linkmate – youtu.be/8M8kfUgvHVs
• Yes, Youth Can – youtube.com/watch?v=JHMULz_b04g.
Adriano Magnifico is a community correspondent for Saint-Boniface. You can contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter: @AnoMagnifico
Saint-Boniface Community Correspondent
Adriano Magnifico is a community correspondent for Saint-Boniface.
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