Dean's Changemaker Challenge (ASCX200 & ASCX300)

Interested in making changes? Take the Dean’s Changemaker Challenge to start your own venture and turn your ideas into reality. You have a chance to win up to $50,000 in seed funding!

Dean Barbara Crow challenges you to make changes. The Dean’s Changemaker Challenge is a new hands-on learning opportunity for you and other undergraduate students from across the Faculty to collaborate to make meaningful changes that will improve the environment and experience here in Arts and Science.

These two courses – offered for the first time in the fall and winter of 2020, are designed to help you make changes by learning to start and launch entrepreneurial ventures. You will learn to identify real-world challenges and opportunities, work collaboratively to develop solutions, and use startup business strategies to establish ventures to make change happen.

To support your success in the Challenge, as well as your career development, we have arranged for you to be mentored by Arts and Science alumni who are successful entrepreneurs today.  These experts will support your group as you prepare to showcase your venture and compete for investment at the Dean’s Changemaker Challenge pitch competition and, together, they comprise an invaluable network for your future career.   

The skills you’ll learn through the Dean’s Changemaker Challenge will serve you beyond your experience here at Queen’s. You’ll gain in-demand skills including leadership, project management, and entrepreneurship.

FAS is making changes. We started by launching our first ever Strategic Plan last fall and the Dean’s Changemaker Challenges is one of the initiatives outlined in our plan. Now it’s your turn to help us implement it and other initiatives to support our strategic priorities of enriching the student experience, transforming our spaces, and supporting our People.

You will learn to apply startup business principles, concepts and frameworks to real-world situations. In addition, you will evaluate how disruptive and incremental innovations bring about changes in the market through new business models, technologies, and paradigms. Concepts will be taught through identification and discussions of real-world opportunities and problems.   

Through the first two weeks of the course, you will get to know your classmates, learn and adapt to different working styles, and develop the interpersonal communication skills needed in a successful business partnership. In the 3rd week, students will be sorted into groups based on your interests and aspirations.

As a final stage in the course, teams will pitch their ventures at the Dean’s Innovation Challenge, a competitive event where a panel of alumni judges will award seed funding of up to $50,000 to the best venture(s).

Successful completion of this course will provide subsequent admission to ASCX 300.

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The course is dedicated to the implementation of a solution to a pre-identified problem. The topics will be immediately relevant to launching your venture, such as entrepreneurial project management, capitalizing a venture, and organizational governance. Working in the same ASCX 200 team, where you developed your first Minimum Viable Product (MVP), you will then craft your proposed solution into a prototype and final pitch.  

By the end of the course, you and your team can expect to have begun the implementation of a solution to a real-world problem.

Space is limited to 50 students, so be sure to load this into your shopping cart and enrol as soon as possible!

 

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Randy Ahuja
ArtSci'90
Global Senior Executive
Bloom Energy

Randy Ahuja is a global C-level leader with 25+ years’ of experience with a passion for restructuring traditional global organizations eager to successfully compete in industries facing technology disruption.  He has conducted business worldwide leading to a unique global perspective and ability to successfully manage complex international operations and multi-cultural alliance relationships.

Currently, Randy is at Bloom Energy Corporation which is a Silicon Valley based clean energy company aimed at providing reliable, distributed energy through specialized fuel cell technology.  He serves as CEO of Bloom SK Fuel Cell based in Seoul and President of Bloom Energy Japan based in Tokyo. Prior to Bloom, Randy spent 20 years in the automotive industry with diverse roles at Nissan, General Motors and Ford.  He was Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Nissan’s Global Electric Vehicle Battery Business and General Manager for the Global Corporate Strategy Group serving the Nissan CEO and Executive Committee headquartered in Japan.   At General Motors, Randy held a variety of assignments in New York and Detroit including strategic alliances, overseas finance, distressed supplier management and product development.  He started his automotive career in Canada working in Labor Relations at a Ford Motor Company vehicle assembly plant.

Randy earned an MBA from Columbia University, a Master of Industrial Relations from the University of Toronto, and a Bachelor of Science Honours degree from Queen's University.

Bruce Keith
ArtSci'91
Senior Investment Adisor, Climate Finance, Latin America and the Caribbean
International Finance Corporation

“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” ― Mahatma Gandhi

My mission is in designing and executing comprehensive and proactive international business and economic development strategies designed to promote financial sustainability and independence. My talents lie in creating business investment and acquisition strategies that cascade for international implementation, in addition to aligning execution with commercial integration strategies for unique markets and regions. I possess multi-industry and multi-country leadership, operations and transaction execution experience in both start-up and established corporate environments.

Resourceful and creative, I recognize opportunities and build new enterprises that produce strong bottom lines, while enacting positive social and environmental impact. I have found that nothing satisfies me more than leading by serving, as I am a believer in “doing well by doing good” by succeeding in impacting (not just bottom line) and achieving buy-in from team members to achieve a common goal.

Lauren Long
ArtSci'13
Senior Software Engineer & Technical Lead
Google San Francisco

Lauren is a Senior Software Engineer and Technical Lead at Google San Francisco. Prior to joining Google, Lauren co-founded the storage-on-demand startup Boxit, and was the first Product Manager at wearable tech company Nymi. Lauren has spoken at conferences on 4 continents about entrepreneurship and technology. In her spare time, she enjoys salsa dancing, rock climbing, and writing.

Lauren graduated from Queen's University in 2013 with a degree in Biomedical Computing, and won the Medal in Computing for highest GPA. During her time at Queen's, she was Undergraduate Student Trustee and sat on the Campus Development and Planning Committee. After graduation, she was selected to participate in the third cohort of The Next 36 - Canada's premier entrepreneurship program. As a proud ArtSci grad who is passionate about education and entrepreneurship, Lauren is very excited to mentor the Dean's Changemaker Challenge.

Scott Reynolds
ArtSci'92
Co-Founder & CEO
TangoTrade

Scott is an accomplished payments industry executive and entrepreneur. He has led the creation and launch of a range of innovative payment products for startups and F500 companies.

As a founder, Scott has created two fintech (financial technology) startups, with a successful exit to global payments leader Payoneer. He has also managed teams launching innovative products at major industry players PayPal and MasterCard.  Scott is a respected thought leader and frequent industry speaker, having spoken at events such as the PYMNTS Innovation Forum, B2B Online Annual Conference, and NamesCon Global.  

Scott lives in Silicon Valley with his artist wife and teenage twins (twice the trouble!). He considers himself a bit of a weekend warrior, playing ice hockey, going mountain biking, and playing tennis whenever he can find the time. He grew up in Toronto (eh!) and received his BA (Honours) from Queen's University in Kingston Ontario and his MBA from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

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