The winners of the Slaight Business Plan Competition are happy

Photo courtesy Enactus Ryerson

A good idea pays

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By Jacob Dube

An online tool that connects students with different skills, created by two Ryerson students, is planned to launch on Blackboard on Sept. 18.

Each spring, the Slaight Business Plan Competition hosted by Enactus Ryerson chooses two entrepreneur teams — one female-led team and one male-led team — and awards them $25,000 to grow their venture.

Kaylie Greaves and Allison Rhodes, digital media masters students and creators of Kahoots, were one of the two winning business teams.

Kahootshq.com is a website that connects students with specific skills needed to contribute to a project.

“The idea for Kahoots came about in our capstone class for entrepreneurship last year,” Greaves said. “Students in the class had strong ideas for businesses but lacked necessary skills to get them started. There were students looking for programmers, artists, designers and film editors. We knew there were students on campus who had these skills but we didn’t know how to get in touch with them. We started designing the project-sharing platform and quickly realized that if Ryerson students were having this issue, the same was probably true for students everywhere.”

Sean Wise, assistant professor of entrepreneurship and strategy mentored Greaves and Rhodes during their startup.

“Kahoots gave a great pitch but what set them apart is the fact that they found a problem that students need to solve,” Wise said.

Brian Lesser, Ryerson’s director of computing and communications services and his team helped build the website in its early stages.

“Students always have a problem linking up with each other. It would be great if they had a marketplace to find the talents they’re looking for,” Lesser said.

After winning the competition, the founders began working on Kahoots in the Digital Media Zone.

“The majority of the prize money will be going towards the cost of developing the site. Once we get it to a stage we’re happy with, we’ll be looking to shift our focus to a mobile application,” Greaves said.

“Throughout our experience in university, we’ve had the most fun and learned more from the projects we’ve elected to work on as opposed to those that were academic requirements,” she said. “So much value can come from extracurricular projects. If we can help bring students together, build experience and build something their excited about, we’ve done our job.”

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