Saturday, 12 May 2012

Students win agriculture scholarships

By Scott Larson, The StarPhoenix
Ten Grade 12 students received the 2012 Saskatchewan Agriculture Student Scholarship. These students from across Saskatchewan will be awarded $1,000 each toward their agriculture-related post-secondary courses.
Students were asked to write a 750-word essay or produce a three-minute video essay on one of two topics: The future of information and technological needs of agriculture producers or to dispel one or more common myths about agriculture.
"By choosing a career in agriculture, these students are committed to the future growth of the industry and the province," Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud said in a news release.
The scholarship winners are: Jessa Hughes, Eston; Andrew Wolff, Liberty; Lauren Reynolds, Saskatoon; Sarah Wist, Central Butte; Bradley Tomtene, Birch Hills; Riley Scott, Nipawin; Brianna Zoerb, Delisle; Taryn Heidecker, Middle Lake; Larissa St. Onge, Martensville; Tim Fiss, Qu'Appelle.
Finalists in the Tech Venture Challenge were announced this week in Saskatoon.
The panel of judges looked at 29 applications for the most innovative technology-based business ideas with the team who believes they can make it happen.
"These programs give you the opportunity to create something, and the confidence to take the leap. They force you to be bold, take risks, and work like you've never worked before," said finalist Jacqueline Cook of TRIUMF Mobile Rewards.
Over the next three months, the finalists will be mentored and guided through the stages of business creation. One will win the grand prize: Office space at Innovation Place, services from Deloitte, and $50,000 from the Industry Liaison Office to get their new venture off the ground. But the value of participating in the Tech Venture Challenge extends well beyond the prize.
"It was a diverse pool of intriguing, commercially viable technology ideas from the applicants," says Rob Hendry, one of the competition judges, "We wish we could have recommended more than 10 - they would all benefit from the business advisory support being offered."
The Tech Venture Challenge finalists are:
1. iCaregiver - Jenny Basran, Valerie Wellens; A mobile application to help caregivers manage and monitor their loved ones even when they are not able to be there in person.
2. Student Assessment Systems - Kalyani Premkumar, Neil Cowie; A technology that allows multiple-centred, multiple-station student assessment using multiple examiners for clinical examinations in all medical fields of study.
3. Done40 - David Robinson, Hongxing Geng, Tasnuva Ireen; Backend technology for a website for sharing events and building unique calendars, populated based on users' interests.
4. TRIUMF Mobile Rewards - Jacqueline Cook, Ethan Baron, Paul Lee, Freddy Chen; A secure mobile platform that allows retailers to offer customer reward or loyalty programs in one consolidated system.
5. INS Innovations - Josh Simpkins, Carla Simpkins, Mike Simpkins Sr. & Jr., Raquel Wenarchuk; A technology to maximize internal combustion efficiency.
6. Willow Biofuels - Kurt Woytiuk, Regan Gerspacher, Bill Campbell, Ryan Hangs; Develop and manufacture specialty equipment to pelletize coppice willow and offer turnkey solutions for establishing willow plantations on marginal land.
7. Mobile Information Security System - Trevor Paschke, Adam Knox, Paul Dhaliwal; Provides password security solutions for businesses using mobile device applications.
8. Farmlead - Lyndon Lisitza; Connects farm land owners and renters through an online auction website.
9. Audio Effects Box - Randy Day, Andrew Miller, Gordon Anderson; An audio effects box that mounts directly onto a guitar, replacing an array of single-purpose components or synthesizers.
10. Indie Ink (digital publishing) - Jeff Smith, Suzanne Paschall, Rob Macguire; Develop a way to maximize rich media content for graphical content, audio and video elements in e-books.
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