UT (University of Toronto) Chinese‘s EXCITE2014 Entrepreneurship Conference is all set for Saturday. The conference brings together successful startup and business executives to speak to a crowd of students and young professionals.
Started in 2009, the EXCITE Conference’s mission is to “build the best platform for students and young professionals to connect with and learn from world-class entrepreneurs, industry experts and investors.”
Participants don’t have to be part of UTChinese, nor do they even have to be a student. It’s open to any students from other universities or any young professionals. Among the speakers this year will be Scott Welch, cofounder of Edsby, Karl Martin, cofounder of Bionym, Krista Scaldwell, VP of Coca-Cola and Joseph Orozco, executive director of The Hatchery.
Past speakers include Michael Budman (cofounder of Roots), Tim Penner (former president of Procter & Gamble Canada), Michael Zahra (president of Staples Advantage Canada, and former president of Yahoo! Canada).
UTChinese’s corporate relations rep Jeffrey Huang said participants will benefit from small group environment, and will be able to chat with speakers. He also said this year the conference is expecting about 100 more participants than last year, and the hope is to grow even bigger for next year.
“Every year we want to have a bigger influence,” he said. “If our event is really successful we can aim for a bigger space and bigger conference next year.”
This year its all happening at the J.J.R. Macleod Auditorium at the University of Toronto from 8 AM to 5 PM.
Perhaps the most exciting facet of the conference will be the Case Competition, with the grand prize bring a paid summer internship, working for the iDAPT business development function. Huang said the competition revolves around creating a business plan towards promoting hand sanitizer use and public health awareness.
There will also be an abundance of Coca-Cola available to all participants. Huang told us that Coca-Cola ended up donating about 2,000-3,000 bottles of cola to the conference, which literally filled up one of the UTChinese members’ apartment.