ORA Scents creator named Enactus Student Entrepreneur Provincial Champion
Simon Fraser University student Kevin Cruz, creator of ORA Scents, is Enactus Canada’s BC 2015 Student Entrepreneur Provincial Champion. Cruz, of Surrey, will showcase his business at the organization’s regional exposition in Calgary on March 13.
ORA Scents is a mobile device company touting what Cruz calls the world’s first app-enabled scent diffuser, allowing users to create and control scents in real time. “In the home lighting and sound system sectors, people can control their environments,” notes Cruz, a fourth-year student in SFU’s Beedie School of Business, with concentrations in entrepreneurship & innovation and marketing. “ORA uniquely offers this same ability using scent, the sense most closely tied to a person’s mood.
“The idea came to me as I saw an opportunity to experiment with fragrances in a new way,” he explains. “I noticed that the emerging trend of smart technology has given rise to new home devices like app-enabled light bulbs, thermostats, and sound systems; devices that appeal to the senses of sight and sound. However no one in the market is doing what ORA Scents is doing with the sense of smell.”
Cruz, a graduate of Surrey’s Holy Cross High School, has received significant help along the way from SFU’s Venture Connection program, which provides support for student ventures from initial idea to business validation. Cruz is one of over 3,000 students to benefit from its wide range of resources and among the more than 300 student venture teams to further gain from its development services. The program is supported by Coast Capital Savings.
“Kevin has created something truly unique with ORA,” said Enactus Canada president Nicole Almond. “This entrepreneurial spirit is what built this country and we want to encourage and celebrate this in young leaders across Canada.”
Cruz will compete against three other Western Canada student provincial champions for the regional title and the chance to move on to the 2015 Enactus Canada National Exposition in Toronto May 11-13. The national champion will receive a $10,000 cash prize and take home the John Dobson Cup. The John Dobson Foundation sponsors the competition.
Enactus SFU will also be sending a trio of student teams to the regional competition to participate in the following:
- Scotiabank EcoLiving Green Challenge (coaches Hannah Lee, Laetitia Lim, presenters Sarah Kwan, Milly Tsui and designer Marilyn Yeo)
- TD Entrepreneurship Challenge (coach Irina Gushchina, presenters Ricky Au, Pheby Yeung and designer Mary Ngo)
- Capital One Financial Education Challenge (coaches Vameesha Patel and Leslie Chow, presenters Jenny Chen, Laura Chu, and designer Rhythm Tang)
As Canada's engaged university, SFU is defined by its dynamic integration of innovative education, cutting-edge research and far-reaching community engagement. SFU was founded almost 50 years ago with a mission to be a different kind of university—to bring an interdisciplinary approach to learning, embrace bold initiatives, and engage with communities near and far. Today, SFU is a leader amongst Canada's comprehensive research universities and is ranked one of the top universities in the world under 50 years of age. With campuses in British Columbia's three largest cities—Vancouver, Surrey and Burnaby—SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 30,000 students, and boasts more than 130,000 alumni in 130 countries around the world.
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