Montreal nightlife tours wins competition

Commerce Entrepreneurship and Management Association (CEMA), the link between the Montreal business community and the John Molson School of Business (JMSB), held its Second Annual Business Plan Competition last Thursday evening at Concordia.
The competition consisted of five groups, all with radically different business ideas, who were chosen to compete in the event by recommendation of their professors.
The teams were competing for the chance to represent the JMSB at future business plan competitions and for cash prizes. First place contestants were awarded $1,000. Second placed received $700 and third place got $500.
Elaine Shim, president of CEMA acknowledged the figures are not exactly staggering. “It’s a really small sum of money in terms of starting a business, but it’s something to help out a little bit.”
Nonetheless, before the competition started, she expressed hope that deserving teams would win the money. “Some of these plans are just plans with no further ambition. For those who win, I hope there is a further ambition there.”
A team of four judges, made up of university professors and business professionals, chose Angelo D’Ambra and Maria Cristina Pace as the winning team. The two created Montreal Nitelife Tours, a tour operator that sells Montreal vacation packages, consisting of transportation, accommodations and nightlife entertainment.
Along with ambition, the team displayed professionalism and a very feasible business plan that has already been put into play. “We have signed contracts with three hotels and Coach Canada,” said Pace during the team’s presentation. “They have given us extremely large volume discounts.”
The team said they spent around 400 hours making up the business plan and finding sponsors. Needless to say, they have immediate plans for the much-needed money. “We’re going to apply it towards the web site. The web site and the logo came up to a little over $1,500,” Pace said.
Innoventr Consulting, a business specializing in “taking ideas and turning them into business ventures” won second place. Mike Owen, Dana Al Haddad and Ralph Brair came up with the plan. While, an on-line service designed for the specific needs of Concordia students, placed third. Mark-AndrŽ Khouzam, Dana Tarabishi and Antonio Fuoco developed the plan.
Other business proposals included a delivery service of grocery and pharmaceutical products and a teddy-bear-stuffing factory.
Shim was pleased with Thursday’s event and hopes the competition will consistently grow each year. “My personal goal is in five years time to make it at least a regional competition, then eventually a national competition.”


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