Former Olympic luge athlete Jeff Christie pitched an idea for a brewery focused on genuine lagers at the second annual Global Summit of Leaders

RRU hosts future leaders at second annual summit

The leaders of tomorrow get advice from established entrepreneurs

You have a great idea for a business, you’ve got the knowhow to run it and you’re eager to get started.

But what do you need to do to make it happen?

That question was addressed at the second annual Global Summit of Leaders, held last Wednesday (Aug. 22) at Royal Roads University (RRU).

The summit brings together 100 CEOs, private equity investors and business leaders from five countries to teach young entrepreneurs.

Dean Lindal, League Financial Partners vice president of global business development, is an RRU commerce alumni and organizer of the event. The summit is a great opportunity for the business leaders of tomorrow to meet successful veterans and glean vital information off of them, he said. “It’s important to have mentors,” Lindal said. “People who are 15 or 20 years older than you, that have kind of been there, done that, and they can share experiences and words of wisdom.”

Among the many successful businesspeople that worked with students to educate and inspire were Jon Swartz, a technology reporter for USA Today, and Lori Stewart, who helped build eBay Canada.

One fun part of the summit was a Dragon’s Den style pitch session.

Five groups of RRU students and recent grads were given the opportunity to bring their business ideas to the pros to get advice and potentially make some important connections.

Among those pitching was ex-Olympic luge athlete Jeff Christie. A resident of Calgary, Christie is a recent RRU commerce grad and a two-time Olympian, having competed in both the Turin and Vancouver games. Knowing that his career as an athlete has an endpoint, Christie has turned to his second love: beer.

Christie pitched an idea for a microbrewery that would focus on producing a real lager, something not often found in Canada. He explained that ales and lagers have different yeasts and different brewing processes, but most lagers available here are actually made using an ale brewing process, which affects quality.

“I spent a lot of time travelling through Germany on sports teams … and kind of fell in love with the beer there,” Christie said. “I just thought it would be a great idea to pitch it.”

Michael Munro and Miles Garvey are on the verge of graduating and are hoping to launch their business idea, Career Ever After.

The concept is to build a job search website, inspired by dating websites, that focuses as much on culture and values – of both employer and employee – as it does on qualifications.

“If that little purple monster from Monster.com and eHarmony had a love child, that’s us,” Munro said.

The young entrepreneurs expressed similar sentiments as Lindal as they talked about what they need to take the next step in developing their business.

“I think we just need commitment and maybe possible mentorship to get us through to the next phase,” said Garvey.

“Passion,” Munro said, is the key to success. “If you see something that fascinates you or that you can obsess over and be passionate about, that’s what’s going to drive any idea forward.”

These young entrepreneurs are the real key to the future of the economy, Lindal said.

The League VP said statistics show 80 per cent of all new job creation is generated by companies less than five years old.

“People are in the mindset that it’s going to be the big companies,” he said. “But it’s wrong. Unless you’re cultivating that underlying entrepreneurial economy I think communities are going to be in trouble.”

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

 

Just Posted

Oak Bay Sgt. struggles through emotional testimony in double murder trial

Andrew Berry is charged with second-degree murder in deaths of daughters Chloe (6) and Aubrey (4)

City of Victoria offers free childminding during council meetings

Beginning on May 9, children age six months and older can be dropped off at City Hall

Car fire backs up traffic southbound on Highway 1

View Royal Fire Rescue douses fire, no injuries reported

Cool Aid Society saves affordable apartment from uncertain future

Preserving affordable housing in Victoria part of organization’s mission

Royal Roads University to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the sinking of HMCS Athabaskan

Ceremony on April 29 to mark the largest loss of life in the Royal Canadian Navy

VIDEO: Killer whales hunt for seals in Vancouver harbour

Bigg’s killer whales feed on marine mammals like seals, sea lions, dolphins and even other whales

Wanted by Crime Stoppers

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Do you think the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be rebuilt?

Images of one of the word’s most iconic landmarks were seared into… Continue reading

Island-born Snowbirds pilot enjoying homecoming in skies over Comox

Logan Reid once stood clinging onto the fence outside the Comox Air… Continue reading

Attack on student in Courtenay ‘way more than bullying’, says mom

A Comox Valley mother said “it was way more than bullying” at… Continue reading

Vancouver man, 19, charged in human trafficking case involving teen girl

The 16-year-old girl was reported missing and later discovered in Vancouver

Amber alert issued for 5-year-old Ontario boy

Ethan Montes is believed to be in the company of his mother, 47-year-old Juliet Mohammed

Blaine, Wash. inn owner, charged with smuggling people into B.C., granted bail

Robert Joseph Boule ordered to turn away anyone indicating a plan to enter Canada illegally

Most Read