OppFest at the Surrey campus

April 02, 2019

OppFest is an annual event at the Surrey campus that brings together students pitching their product ideas to more than 60 faculty, staff and community judges. This year we even had a judge who came all the way from New York to participate in this amazing celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation. The judges connected with more than 250 students, including 15 teams of junior innovators from local elementary and secondary school programs: PowerPlay and Young Entrepreneur Leadership Launchpad (YELL), and heard more than 50 pitches, the majority from SFU students representing nearly every faculty.

OppFest is run by SFU’s amazing Sarah Lubik, who has grown this celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation to include not only business school students but all of the students engaged in interdisciplinary entrepreneurship programs at SFU, and also include pre-university programs inspire the student who might one day innovate here.

We do more than 1,000 events every year at the Surrey campus, and no event walks the talk of the Surrey campus vibe or SFU’s engagement strategy quite like Oppfest. From the opening bell to the announcement of winners, there is an amazing buzz in the Mezz that is contagious, not only for participants, but also for the passersby from the upper levels who stop and watch from above the Grand Hall.

It may be trite to say, but it is true, while there are formal award winners (congratulations!), everyone is really a winner at OppFest.  The chance for students to pitch their ideas to experts, to get supportive but directed feedback and to learn how to fail forward, it truly is a great opportunity for many students.

I do want to give a shout out to the winners in each of the categories. In each category, the first, second and third prize team won $500, $200 and $100 respectively, as well as $500 from the Entrepreneur’s Choice Award (Participant Favourite) and the $1000 Triple Bottom Line Grand Prize from presenting sponsor of the event: Westminster Savings Credit Union.

Future of Work and Networks Category  - PINE-Creates a platform around environmental sustainability, social responsibility, and awareness. First approach: 100% recycled material snow goggles.

Community Health Category -Team Real-A platform for non-Indigenous students to become more civically engaged with truth and reconciliation in Vancouver.

Waste Reduction Category - Team 'Ohana - tackles the space issues  of helping newcomer immigrant entrepreneurs with a side business/hustle expand their ventures into a sustaining small business.

Social General Category – Loopd – Helps students know more about what is happening in their area & increase their participation!

Junior Innovator – From the YELL program –Foodprint- Their product is a scanner that can be inserted into  refrigerators to scan items as they are placed inside, allowing it to fit consumer’s lifestyles without any disruption and to further food waste reduction. It provides a current inventory of fridge contents and gives a daily summary, with recommendations for recipes with ingredients present in your fridge.

From Power Play - Delightful Donuts - For a fun and scented time in the bath, try Delightful Donuts. It is a soap you will be tempted to eat.

Entrepreneur Choice award: Mentors- focus3e on matching university students with successful mentors.

Triple Bottom Line Grand Prize: Food Savour- helps you save your food, and savour it too. We are on a venture to achieve a world without food waste by making sustainable living effortless.