Glendon Campus
York University
2275 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario
Canada M4N 3M6
Glendon Business Plan Olympiads 2009 Boost Student Entrepreneurship


An award ceremony honouring the winners of the 2009 Glendon Business Plan Olympiads took place on May 22nd on the Glendon campus. This second annual event is the initiative of Glendon Business Economics (BUEC) Professor Robert Despatie, aimed at providing real-life experience to students aspiring to a future in business.

Participants were invited to submit a detailed business plan for a project of their choice, including goals and objectives, a marketing and an operating plan, and a detailed financial plan supporting their vision.

A 3-member jury comprised of Alan Redway, partner in the law firm of Redway and Butler; Glendon alumnus Thomas Guillot, former president of the Glendon Entrepreneurial Club and currently working in the accounting field; and Denise Picard, partner in a financial consulting firm, reviewed the 7 plans which were submitted. The judges chose the 3 best proposals which were then given a very thorough and careful analysis.

Left: Roberto Molina receives first prize

“Most of the proposals were very interesting, but some were too optimistic or elaborate for the scope of a start-up project”, said Mme Picard. “We, the judges, wanted to ensure that those who received an award had a real chance of putting their proposals into practice.”

The first prize was awarded to 2nd-year Glendon BUEC student Roberto Molina for his plan of officially launching his digital music company, Sound District Entertainment. Molina and his business partner have been creating computer-generated soundtracks of urban music, which they want to market to companies to use as background music for various products, such as videos and commercials.

The first prize is a cheque for $1,000, plus 1 hour of legal consultation with Alan Redway for setting up their business, as well as 1 hour of financial consultation with a member of Groupe Financier Banque Nationale’s staff.

The second prize of $500 was awarded to a proposal under the name Wines’ R’ Us, developed by three 4th-year Glendon BUEC students Jonathan Lebon, Erica Erskine and Mayer Elharar. Their plan is to conduct market surveys for wineries, focusing on topics such as tasting, pricing and comparing samples. Their approach is to sample two groups – connoisseurs vs. the public at large. They would then tally the gathered information and present a formal report to participating wineries.

The third prize of $250 was awarded to a thematic evening project with the title Glendon Arabian Nights. 4th – year BUEC students Maggie Youssef and Manewa Kamgueu Kamga presented their proposal and had already lined up a number of prospective performers, but the event did not take place as a result of York University’s extensive strike.

L-r: Professor Robert Despatie, Roberto Molina and Principal Kenneth McRoberts at the awards ceremony

1st-prize winner Molina expressed his delight at receiving such a valuable award, which will enable him and his partner to make Sound District Entertainment a reality. “I have been creating music ever since I was given a beat-machine when I was thirteen”, said Molina. He had received a musical education as he was growing up and can play the piano and the drums. In addition to his business courses, Molina is currently taking music courses at the Keele campus. “Glendon’s business economics courses are practical, applicable and provide a great combination of hands-on subjects such as accounting and more theoretical courses, such as economics”, said Molina. His future goal is to pursue an MBA either at the Schulich School of Business on the Keele campus, or at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Business.

Attending judge Denise Picard praised Molina’s submission as being well-organized, detailed, goal oriented, with a clear mandate and well-developed ideas. “This project’s financial statement was very professional and very realistic”, added Picard. “When Roberto [Molina] made his presentation to us, we were impressed with his communications and presentation skills. There is no doubt that he has a good chance of being successful in business.”

“Participating in the Business Plan Olympiads has been a great experience”, said Molina. “My goal was not just to win, but to do my best and to benefit from this wonderful opportunity.”

Professor Despatie expressed his thanks, on behalf of the BUEC program and Glendon as a whole, to Groupe Financier Banque Nationale for its continued financial support of the awards and their participation in evaluating the submissions. “The Business Plan Olympiads are a very useful experience for our students”, he added, “for guiding them in the ways of the business world. In the future, I would like to include students from any other specializations which are compatible with the Business Economics program at Glendon. No matter what their future plans, everyone can learn and benefit from this experience.”

Article by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny

Published on May 26, 2009