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Paul and Tom Kinnear Business Plan Competition held at QSB

Ian MacDonald and David Phillips

Commerce student team ‘Campus Connect’ took home top honours and the $5,000 prize at the second annual Paul and Tom Kinnear Business Plan Competition held in February at QSB. Campus Connect, founded by Comm’09 students David Phillips and Ian MacDonald, is a student marketing solution that brings together student sampling, online interaction and market research to propel clients’ brands forward faster. The team also came second in the Queen’s Entrepreneurs Competition, winning $6,000 and the opportunity to pitch their idea on an upcoming episode of the hit CBC TV show Dragon’s Den.

The Kinnear brothers both graduated from the Commerce program, Paul in 1963 and Tom in 1966. Tom established the award in 2008 to create an undergraduate Business Plan competition that would provide a cash prize to support the start-up or ongoing operations of a student-run business. Tom is a member of the QSB Advisory Board, was awarded a Queen’s honorary degree (LLD) in 2002, and is currently Director of the Samuel Zell & Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at the University of Michigan, where he founded the Wolverine Venture Fund – the inspiration for QSB’s own Tricolour Venture Fund (see story on page 14).

“Each year QSB Commerce students are invited to submit their business plans to be judged in a preliminary round. The final four present their plans to a panel of judges that selects the team that is most committed to pursuing the business,” explains Kelley Packalen, competition organizer and QSB Assistant Professor of Strategy and Organization.

This year’s judging panel included William White, BA’75, MBA’80, Director, W. White & Associates, Ltd.; Lisanne Hill, BCom’80, President, Contor Industries Ltd.; and Elspeth Murray, BSc’85, MBA’87, CIBC Faculty Fellow in Entrepreneurship and Director of Queen’s Centre for Business Venturing.