May 06, 2008 16:13 ET

British Columbia Institute of Technology: Entrepreneurial Students Compete for ACE Prize

Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) present business ideas to leading CEOs at national ACE competition

BURNABY, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 6, 2008) - A group of British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT) students will be in Toronto next week to show off their entrepreneurial prowess in front of their peers, as well as some of Canada's top CEOs.

A number of students from across the Institute participate in SIFE - Students in Free Enterprise - a non-profit student organization with the goal of strengthening the larger community by teaching business skills and ethics to aspiring entrepreneurs. In the past, BCIT's SIFE group has helped artists and musicians, guided a mobile spa business, and aided aspiring business people from the Downtown Eastside.

SIFE is a program delivered by ACE - Advancing Canadian Entrepreneurship - a national charitable organization that creates partnerships between business and higher education, helping prepare university and college students to make a meaningful contribution towards society, as entrepreneurs and business leaders.

"While we develop our skills, our goal is to help others develop their businesses and embrace their own entrepreneurial spirit," says Jordan Rogers of BCIT's SIFE group. "We realize that an important part of doing business is giving back to the community."

This year, the SIFE group will be presenting its business plan for the Spring Living Fair, an event held in March 2008. A day-long trade show held at the Main Street Heritage Hall in Vancouver, this event showcased small businesses from around Vancouver. All of the exhibitors had a "green" theme, as the Spring Living Fair's tagline was to create "sustainable living towards smaller footprints."

"We wanted to show these entrepreneurs, and the public, that there is profit in green products, and that it is possible to produce items that are green, at a low cost," says Rogers. The first-year students who helped with the inaugural event this year will carry it forward next year, hoping to create an annual event.

The group will present its project at the annual ACE Canada competition in Toronto, May 13-15. Through rounds of live presentations, students communicate their community-focused projects and/or their entrepreneurial ventures to panels of top executives who judge and determine champions of four competitions, including the Students In Free Enterprise (SIFE) Competition.

BCIT students presenting in the SIFE competition are: Julie Medilek of West Vancouver, Angus Liao of Taipei, Neil Gibbings of Comox, Kemp Edmonds of Vancouver, and Laura Chow of Ladner.

For more information about SIFE and ACE Canada, visit: acecanada.ca or sife.org.

EDITORIAL NOTES: Interviews in advance of the group's departure on May 11 are available by contacting Jordan Rogers of SIFE at 778-839-9518, or Allison Markin of BCIT Media Relations at 604-432-8773.

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