DeGroote MBA Association
Another DeGroote Student Success - Ahmed Taha
By Bryan Herechuk
Feb 29 2008, 16:42
Dear DeGroote Community,
I am delighted to share another DeGroote student success with you.
On Friday February 8th, McMaster ran the Nicol Entrepreneurship Challenge. This is a business
pitch competition for McMaster University students to realize their entrepreneurial dreams. There
were approximately 25 groups that participated in this competition, where each had to submit a
one page summary of their idea one week before the pitch. The day of the pitch, they had to
present a 4 minute ‘elevator pitch’ to a panel of 4 judges. Only 9 groups out of 25 moved on to the
final round, where each of the 9 groups gave the same 4 minute elevator pitch (with minor
adjustments where necessary) to a panel of 8 judges. The top 3 winners were announced shortly
Two DeGroote MBA students participated in the competition, Ahmed Taha and Ashlie Beatie, and
both made it to the final round. Well done, Ahmed and Ashlie!
Ahmed won the competition with his pitch on a lab instrument that catalyzes and automates food
testing! Food testing is legally required by regulators such as the Canadian Food Inspection
Agency (CFIA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Therefore, food companies spend
large sums of money hiring highly skilled and expensive lab technicians to analyze the
composition of their food products. Furthermore, the analysis is time consuming, contaminated
with human error and extremely redundant. The lab instrument Ahmed and his team are
commercializing significantly reduces the labor costs associated with food analysis as well as
improving accuracy and increasing throughput.
Now Ahmed and his team will go on to compete at the regional competition - Launchpad.
Launchpad will be held in Waterloo on April 4, 2008. The prize is $50K and the presentations will
be 15 minutes long followed by a 10 minute Q & A session. Pleas