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Slaight New Venture Competition (NVC)

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What is NVC?

Do you want to spend your summer working on your startup? Are you a Ted Rogers School's student looking for some seed funding to help your business? If you answered yes to both of those questions then apply to the 19th annual Slaight New Venture Competition. The competition awards innovative businesses two prizes of $25,000 startup seed money; one female and one male.

Top 3 Female-Led Ventures

Bear Workwear

Bear Workwear promotes the emergence of women in blue collar work. As a clothing brand designed for women who work in skilled trades, our clothes are made with an understanding that women have different sizing needs and style preferences that vary from traditional industry standards. With those variations in mind we address the gap in the market that leaves so many women buying ill-fitting clothing by offering a solution that provides function, durability, and comfort, all while delivering exceptional aesthetic appeal. Our line allows women to feel empowered, facilitates freedom of self-expression, and maintains the highest standard of professionalism. As female prominence and participation in trades increases, so does the need for workwear and equipment designed for women.

Travel Buddy

TravelBuddy is a web app that allows travellers to collaboratively plan an itinerary. TravelBuddy was created after our very own team members spent time travelling last year, and realized how disconnected travel planning is. There are little-to-no resources that allow for collaboration and ideation, which can make travel intimidating for beginners. TravelBuddy’s goal is to empower individuals to have heightened confidence when planning trips and feel inspired to travel more due to the simplified process.

Surf Beni

We make everything from clothing, jewelry, art and home decor. Our inspirations come from sun loving, adventure seeking and positive words. Surf Beni saw the need for a new retail concept and jumped at the chance to get behind a 1962 self converted trailer that allows us to travel all over Toronto in the busiest areas of the city. You will see us getting involved with pop-ups, private events and shopping parties. Surf Beni is all about bringing you fashion and good finds that you can't find anywhere else and with each product we sell we hope to add a little good into the world.

Top 3 Male-Led Ventures

Fravi Sauce

Fravi Sauce is a unique condiment that was originally created in 2018 by Fravash Chothia who was dissatisfied with the available sauces on the market for his favorite finger food dishes like burgers and fries. He wanted a sauce that combined the best elements of existing sauces and ingredients in the world, and combined the best parts of them, and added a twist. After gaining popularity among friends and family, he teamed up with his twin brother and close friend to help deliver the product to the broader public and incorporated the business in January 2023.

Our mission is to make Fravi the condiment of choice in every household. This spicy mayo bottle is sold in 470ml bottles for $10 each, we are looking to invest in our product aesthetic and increase revenue moving forward.


Viable Ads is a fast-growing player in the new and expanding digital out-of-home advertising industry. The company has an established network of over 110 mobile food couriers and boasts an impressive suite of advertising tools and high-value data analytics. Viable’s flagship product – the V-Bag – is the centerpiece of its unique and innovative advertising solutions. The V-Bag allows advertisers to dynamically display their advertisements all throughout the city. Data gathered from the V-Bag flows downstream to Viable’s interactive client dashboard – V-Dash – which calculates and displays key metrics, such as impressions, audience demographics, and campaign performance rates.


COIN is a Canadian clothing and lifestyle brand established in Toronto in November 2019. The brand aims to appeal to youth culture while changing the standard of how clothes are made with environmentally conscious, domestic manufacturing. The company makes clothing and accessories with designs inspired by its Canadian roots.

Rules of New Venture Competition

  • The presenter must be a full-time Ted Rogers School of Management student
  • Ted Rogers School of Management student must have equity in the business (equal or majority shareholder*)
  • The Slaight New venture competition allows six students the opportunity to pitch for two prizes of $25,000 seed money; awarded to one female and one male presenter.
  • Both options are open to non-binary/intersex
  • Both options are open to everyone who identifies as a woman; identifies as a man and everyone who identifies as trans+ or non-binary

*exception can be made based on a review

NVC Judges

As an Entrepreneur in Residence at General Catalyst Partners, Rob Gierkink focuses on investing in early stage technology companies.

Prior to founding DataLogix, Rob co-founded three of the world’s largest cross-merchant loyalty programs. He was most recently CEO of Loyalty Management Group (LMG), the company that operates the United Kingdom’slargest loyalty program, Nectar, with over 50% of UK households participating. Under Rob’s leadership, the company grew from start-up to over $400 million in revenues in under six years. LMG was sold to Group Aeroplan in December 2007 in a $750 million cash transaction. He also co-founded the largest loyalty programs in Canada (Air Miles Reward Program) and the Netherlands (Air Miles Program), which today have 70% and 50% of households participating in their respective countries. He has keynoted the DMA’s annual conference, and served as a guest lecturer at Harvard Business School and London Business School.

Rob is a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University, earning a Bachelor of Business Management and Harvard Business School, where he received an M.B.A.

Robert Gierkink
Robert Gierkink
Michelle McBane
Braden Handley

In the seven years since co-founding temporary tattoo company Inkbox with his brother, Braden Handley (Entrepreneurship ‘12) has appeared on CBC’s Dragons Den, and was included in Forbes 30 under 30. Under the Handley brothers’ leadership, Inbox has grown to over 150 employees and generated US$27 million in net sales in 2021. Their signature two-week lasting tattoos have been on hit shows, including Stranger Things and FX’s The Bear. To top it off, Bic closed a deal to purchase Inkbox, for US$65 million earlier this year, starting a new chapter in their success story.

Inkbox is a top alumni company of the Fashion Zone. One of the Toronto Metropolitan University’s (formally Ryerson University) ten incubator Zones, the Fashion Zone services startups at the intersection of fashion and technology.

Noura Sakkijha is thinking outside the jewelry box. The Jordan-born Ted Rogers MBA grad is taking jewelry digital with Mejuri, a direct-to-consumer startup that offers everyday fine jewelry at affordable prices.

While at TMU, Noura won $25,000 in the Slaight Business Plan Competition for her vision for Mejuri. After graduating, she developed and launched her business in the DMZ, Canada’s leading startup incubator, where she received resources, mentorship and industry connections to fuel her passion.

With three generations of jewelry experience in Jordan, Noura leveraged her family connections with manufacturers to produce quality, hand-finished pieces that serve a gap in the market – between expensive classic jewelry and disposable costume jewelry. By doing so, Noura has carved a precious niche in a highly competitive industry.

Noura Sakkijha
Noura Sakkijha

What is Enactus?

Enactus is Canada’s largest experiential learning platform that helps students unleash their entrepreneurial spirit and develop their talent and perspective essential to leadership in our ever-changing world. We rally the ideas, energy, and passion of student leaders who see business as a way to address social issues.

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Contact us

Sean Wise

Associate Professor, Entrepreneurship

Shivam Gulati

Project Manager SMU (opens in new window) 

Kareem Hamid

President, Enactus TMU (opens in new window)