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Student Success Stories

Didier Ramazani

“After I completed my undergrad in Economics, I had a few business ideas that I was working on; however, I knew almost nothing about launching a startup or entrepreneurship. The MMIE program at Smith will teach you everything you need to know to be successful, either in launching your venture (entrepreneur) or in your current workplace (intrapreneur). The program helped me launch my startup Verxil, where I am currently working full-time as the founder and CEO, with 15 employees. So far, we have raised more than $100k; if it was not for Smith’s MMIE, I am certain that my entrepreneurship journey would not be where it is today. Not only that, the program connected me with classmates from different backgrounds whom continue to support me today. Everything about the program is worth it. My own father (a lawyer) is applying after he saw how much I gained from it.”

Didier Ramazani, MMIE
Founder | CEO
Sophia Contreras Stone

“Conducting primary research was by far my most memorable experience. I was able to work with a large financial institution, made a bigger discovery than I had anticipated, and it ultimately led to a patent with a new lens to look at the business I was building. It cannot get much better than that. For future students: go into the program with an open heart ready to learn no matter what you think you know. Take every opportunity at your disposal and maximize it. The advantage of the Smith brand opens up so many doors, use them. Take everything you can while giving it your all, and the program will give back a hundredfold. For the students with an idea, dedicate the program to that idea without being married to the outcome. Focus on learning and building the strongest foundation possible, and you will come out of the program with a viable business idea. I took every opportunity to focus on the business in front of me, every assignment possible, and with that, by the end of the program, I had a viable business roadmap to execute on.”

Sophia G Contreras Stone, MMIE
Founder | CEO
Indie Tech
Norman Musengimana

“MMIE was the only program offering me the opportunity to understand who I am, learn about Canadian culture, and an opportunity to learn while repositioning my professional career in the social innovation space. Basically, a clear pathway to either becoming a social entrepreneur or a corporate innovator in one program, in a 12-month period.”

Norman Musengimana, MMIE
Business Development Manager | Start-Ups & Entrepreneurship
Kingston Development Corporation
Susan Kates

“I was looking for a Master's program with a strong emphasis on Innovation and Entrepreneurship along with a practical component. I was impressed by the philosophy of the program; I knew immediately that this was meant to be. The fact that I could work on a business idea and test it without compromising on academics was something that attracted me. Don't get stuck on one idea, so many other ideas will come organically. Be open, be free, be ready to explore. You will grow as a person in this program; it is remarkable how confidence builds with every project, every team. The program is transformational. There is really nothing else like it. It is magical.”

Susan Kates, MMIE
Full-time Faculty Professor | Program Coordinator Entrepreneurial Enterprise Business Management
Humber College
Vitalis Omambia

“What stood out for me was the hands-on experiential learning opportunity I got while I was enrolled in the MMIE program. An example is when we were all required to participate in a pitch to help organizations that had real problems and needed solutions that they could adopt to reach their target customers. I am very competitive and participating in such opportunities with my classmates equipped me with the necessary skills to run a start-up company.”

Vitalis Omambia, MMIE
Director | Technology and Product Management
Wayfound Mental Health Group Inc.
Ruvimbo Chimutsa

“My goal in entering the program was to grow and scale The Grace & Nelly Project (G&N), a not-for-profit organization working to empower women and girls in rural communities in Zimbabwe. I entered the program to find the How to my Why. I knew what I wanted but was not quite sure how to do it. After completing the MMIE program, I put into practice everything that I learned during the year I was at Smith, and it has been an amazing roller coaster ride. Within a year, we have managed to make more progress than I had ever imagined. We launched the pilot for Healthier Happier Periods, a menstrual product brand that will one day enable us to be fully self-sufficient, while keeping girls in school and providing women in Zimbabwe with employment. We still have a lot to do, and I am learning more every day, but with the support I have received from the MMIE crew, Smith and those connected to it, it has been much easier than when G&N started in 2016.”

Ruvimbo Chimutsa, MMIE
Senior Associate Counsel
Canadian Centre for Child Protection Inc.
Zaur Akhundov

“Any student entering the program should utilize all opportunities that the program gives you; participate in various projects, competitions, and case studies. My most memorable experiences were the times spent with groupmates in different competitions, initiatives and projects, such as the challenges that we were trying to solve at the Miele Case Competition, the UN World Challenge Project, and the RIIPEN Project when we were aiding fellow alumni with Market research for their startup. The time collaborating with groupmates and other Smith alum is the most valuable.”

Zaur Akhundov, MMIE
Senior Consultant | Lead Agile Coach
Hakeem Subair

“My desire to be knowledgeable in the field of entrepreneurship led me to Smith. My outstanding team members and I started 1 Million Teachers here, so, not only did I get a degree and knowledge that enhanced my expertise in the area of entrepreneurship, I also benefited from the Smith and Queen’s University ecosystem. My most memorable experience was the Aha! moment that led to the birth of 1 Million Teachers during a routine conversation with professor Tina Dacin, while I was pursuing a Certificate in Social Impact in combination with my MMIE degree.”

Hakeem Subair, MMIE
Co-founder | CEO
1 Million Teachers
Sean Huang

“If you ever considered starting out your own business or want to pick up the fundamentals to grow a successful startup then this is the program for you. The company presentations and group assignments really offer a lot of depth in terms of getting yourself familiar with what it is like to work in a team, since starting a company is mostly not a solo gig!”

Sean Huang, MMIE
Co-founder | Head of Business Development