Young Calgary entrepreneur finalist in national competition
CALGARY -- A Calgary business student is up for a $10,000 prize thanks to his pitch to bring climbing to the home office.
The Student Entrepreneur National Competition had 300 young men and women nominated for the chance to win its $10,000 grand prize. It's the only national competition to focus solely on full-time Canadian post-secondary student entrepreneurs.
Finalist Logan Grasby is a 24-year-old Mount Royal University student who just wrote his final business exam a few weeks ago.
In the spring of 2020 Grasby started his own business called Quest Climbing.
"I thought of a way to make a climbing wall that could be any size," said Grasby. "Because in homes it's going to be very dependent on what space you have available so that's where the modular home climbing wall came from."
He's been climbing since he was 14 and is now an instructor and coach to young people learning the sport.
"I realized how much of an impact it (climbing) can have on kids' lives," said Grasby. "So I wanted to see if there was a way as an entrepreneur that I could improve that impact and bring climbing to the home."
Grasby is one of 12 finalists in the competition hosted by Enactus Canada. It's a national charity dedicated to inspiring the next generation of young leaders.
"We're really about supporting entrepreneurial spirit," said Nicole Almond, Enactus Canada president. "We know that small business is at the core of the Canadian economy and what we're trying to do is recognize, reward and motivate those students who are really doing it while in school."
The 12 finalists represent a variety of backgrounds, all with a drive to start their own business.
"We've got some neat tech startups, some food businesses, some recreational businesses like Logan," said Almond. "Just really some neat stuff across the country and I'm really excited to see their presentations to the judges next week."
On May 12 the finalists will pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges through the virtual Enactus Canada National Exposition. Almond says students face different challenges that are unique to them.
"A normal entrepreneur, a grown up entrepreneur who's doing this as their full time job doesn't understand that well I'm trying to deal with customer issues but I also have an exam tomorrow morning or a paper due Friday or a class at 8 a.m.," said Almond.
"That's for sure!" said Grasby. "I don't know if I'd actually recommend it after going through it."
Grasby won $25,000 last year through the Launch Pad Award hosted by the Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University that helped him get his business started.
"There are so many opportunities that I think most students don't know about," said Grasby. "But once you're tapped into that network you start to realize that there are so many opportunities for funding and advice and mentorship, I think it's definitely under utilized."
Grasby is always thinking ahead for his business and has some training equipment and monitoring in mind for adults. He says winning the $10,000 grand prize would help.