Startupfest: Unforgettable + Unconventional: Promoting Entrepreneurship and Inspiring Social Change

Located in Montreal, Startupfest is a three-day long event featuring the best and brightest entrepreneurs, founders, investors, and mentors. Attendees are exposed to high-class content through interactive roundtables, inspirational speakers, and valuable how-to sessions. Genesis employees, clients, and graduates are present at Startupfest this week to absorb all it has to offer. This article is the second of three installments that will feature Genesis representatives and how they fit with this year’s Startupfest theme: Unforgettable + Unconventional.

A passion for entrepreneurship and social change is an invaluable trait a person can have; at Genesis we’re proud to have an agent for social enterprise on our team. Anna Collis is currently completing her final work term with Genesis this summer. This fall, she’ll be heading into the last year of studies for her Bachelor of Commerce (Co-operative) degree at Memorial University. In addition to her studies, Anna is presently the Vice-President of the highly acclaimed student-run organization, Enactus Memorial. The organization is a group of 55 students, who aim to improve individuals’ lives through various entrepreneurial initiatives. With her broad exposure to the entrepreneurial environment, it seemed a perfect fit that Anna attend Startupfest on behalf of Enactus Memorial and Genesis.

 

 Anna Collis and Dana Parsons attending Startupfest on behalf of Genesis.

Anna Collis and Dana Parsons attending Startupfest on behalf of Genesis.

Enactus Memorial harnesses the power of entrepreneurship to influence social action and create sustainability. Their efforts focus on creative solutions and programs to aid social issues and the community at large.

The organization’s newest program, Project SucSeed, is arguably their most innovative and unconventional solution yet. This project was developed to address the staggering need for fresh, affordable produce in Northern Canada. The group realized that they not only needed a method to solve this issue, but also a strategy to ensure their solution was both economically and environmentally sound. Through a partnership with the Engineering Faculty of Memorial University, the group developed a hydroponic system that allows individuals to grow fresh produce from their own home. For the construction of the units, Enactus Memorial engaged Choices for Youth, a local non-profit committed to supporting at-risk youth. The project has since employed six youth, providing them with meaningful employment and job training.

This past October, Enactus Memorial beat out more than 1,700 other campuses around the world to win the prestigious Enactus World Cup with their Project SucSeed. The group was fortunate enough to win the title on home soil, as the 2016 competition took place in Toronto. The group regularly competes on a regional and national basis, and has represented Canada on multiple occasions at the Enactus World Cup.

 

 Taylor Young, Anna Collis, and Emily Bland attending Startupfest on behalf of Enactus Memorial.

Taylor Young, Anna Collis, and Emily Bland attending Startupfest on behalf of Enactus Memorial.

Taylor Young, Anna Collis, and Emily Bland attending Startupfest on behalf of Enactus Memorial.

Here at Genesis, Anna regularly works with our portfolio companies to ensure their success. She has completed meaningful work for Genesis; implementing metric initiatives, assisting with the roll-out of new programs, and holding responsibility for social media marketing.

With her varied contributions to the entrepreneurial ecosystem touching on technology, innovation, and social responsibility, we have no doubt that Anna is destined for an unforgettable and unconventional future.