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Check out these great business ideas from the winners of Cambrian’s Student Innovation Challenge

Kate Keaney won the competition for her business idea, Rosie Construction and Renovations
Kate Keaney of Sudbury is the first-prize winner of this year’s Cambrian R&D Student Innovation Challenge, powered by RBC Future Launch, for her business idea, Rosie Construction and Renovations, a company that encourages, supports and hires women in trades.

Cambrian R&D held its Student Innovation Challenge recently. The annual competition gives Cambrian students a platform to pitch innovative ideas, products and services to a panel of industry and college experts.

This year’s event featured a keynote address from Keely Shaw, a Para Olympic hopeful on track to compete in the 2021 Tokyo Paralympic Games.

“The competition speaks to the resiliency, creativity and entrepreneurial spirit that exists across the student body at Cambrian College,” says Cody Cacciotti, Cambrian R&D Business Developer and the lead organizer for the event. 

“Despite the challenges presented this year by COVID, the students really leaned in and invested in the process and put forth a number of innovative business ideas.”

This year’s $3,000 first place winner sponsored by RBC Future Launch is Business Administration student Kate Keaney of Sudbury. She pitched Rosie Construction and

Renovations, a company that supports and hires women in trades.

“This is absolutely incredible,” says Keaney, in a press release. “I see this as a step toward equity in the workplace and I’m looking forward to moving ahead with this initiative - one people

in the community are telling me is needed. I would like to add a thank you to my mentor, Kim Donaldson for her unwavering support, and to the Cambrian R&D team for hosting such an inspiring event.”

There were several runner-up prizes as well:

Second place ($2,000, sponsored by XPS Consulting/Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations - Glencore): Charulatha Vijayakumar - an international student from India studying in the Mobile Application Development program for CollSong, a mobile/web app for amateur songwriters, musicians and singers, allowing them to collaborate and share content with other artists around the world. CollSong also received the $500 ‘Best Use of Technology’ prize, sponsored by The Workshop – A GSU Project.

Third place ($1,000, sponsored by Ontario Power Generation): Xiangxu Teng, also an international Mobile Application Development student from China, for STU Hub - an app which provides support for international students seeking assistance as they settle into their new country, city and neighbourhoods. The app helps to not only identify student resources on campus, but also specialized resources in the community of interest to newcomers in the city.

“Congratulations to our winners; what an amazing group of student innovators this year, who really brought their A-game to the competition,” said Mike Commito, Director of Applied Research & Innovation at Cambrian. “Regardless of the industry, it is innovation that moves the needle and these students are getting a great head start on their careers by taking part.”