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September 2022 Newsletter – Navigate

September 2022 Newsletter

Upcoming events and opportunitiesEntrepreneur Spotlight –Abdul-Latif Alhassan with AbbaTek Group Inc. and JEAM Consult Inc.
Calling all mentors!

How to connect with us!


On Monday, September 26, join Navigate Small Business, Memorial’s Research Innovation Office (previously known as the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office), and the Ocean Startup Project in Gros Morne for the Western Newfoundland and Labrador edition of Ocean Startup Activator.

This event is designed to help prospective and early-stage entrepreneurs, students, researchers and innovators explore and pursue business ideas in Canada’s Blue Economy. 
The Ocean Activator event will kick off with a breakfast networking session, followed by keynote speeches highlighting opportunities in the Blue Economy featuring (both TBC) Kendra MacDonald, CEO at Canada’s Ocean SuperCluster and Eric Siegel, Executive in Residence at the Ocean Startup Project’s and Chief Innovation Officer at Ocean Frontier Institute. Participants will also learn more about various resources available for business development supports regionally and nationally.
This event will take place in Norris Point.
For more information contact Allison Rowe at allisonr@grenfell.mun.ca.

Fall Student Orientation Fairs 2022
Welcome students! Both new and returning students are invited to check out the Navigate booth at the following upcoming student orientation fairs! Come chat with us to learn more about our startup programs, events, and opportunities to volunteer, and find out whether entrepreneurship might be the ideal career path for you!

What? The Grenfell Campus Resource Fair

Grenfell Campus has so many great services available to assist students with success in their academic and social lives.

Additionally, we have supportive banking organizations and labor market groups to help with financial concerns. Drop by the AS Atrium and find out more. Complete the booth passport for this event and be entered to win some fantastic prizes like a Nintendo switch, gift cards, swag, and more!

When? September 6 from 10am to 1pm
Where? Grenfell Campus Arts and Science Atrium

For new and returning Grenfell students

What? Get Involved Grenfell

This annual event brings together on-campus and off-campus organizations to showcase volunteer, employment and recreational opportunities for students. Check out opportunities to get involved on campus and in your community!

When? September 14 from 10am to 1pm
Where? Grenfell Campus Arts and Science Atrium

For new and returning Grenfell students

What? CNA Community Connections Fair

Come connect with the CNA community to learn about the many opportunities available for students!

When? September 21 from 11:30am-1:30pm
Where? CNA Corner Brook Campus Atrium

For new and returning CNA students

The Insight Business Consulting Program matches start-up companies with full-time MBA students to assist with projects. The program will provide companies with creative solutions, new insights, knowledge, and resources. Students will gain real-world experience and industry connections.
This program is free for start-up companies, and MBA students will receive a $4,500/semester fellowship. Applications for the fall semester are due September 19, 2022 at 3 pm.. Do you want to hear from your peers how they have benefited from this program? Read this article from our previous participants.
For more information and to apply, please check out the Research Innovation Office’s website or email rio@mun.ca.

Become a change maker!

Memorial University is pleased to be a partner in Experience Ventures for the 2022/2023 academic year, powered by the Hunter Hub for Entrepreneurial Thinking at the University of Calgary.

Experience Ventures creates paid entrepreneurial thinking placements for students with innovative companies in Canada, providing students with the opportunity to make an impact alongside real-world innovators.

To find out more about Experience Ventures, and how you can apply, check the Experience Ventures page. Also, check out this additional info. The applications’ deadline for Fall 2022 opportunities is October 11, 2022.

If you have any questions, contact Enaya AbdElGaber, Experience Ventures Program Coordinator, at amahmoudfahm@mun.ca

Are you an under-represented businesswoman in NL?
NLOWE is excited to announce TWO ways for you to explore and build your own business this fall and winter.
Both programs are for women from under-represented groups in Newfoundland and Labrador who are in the early stages of starting and growing their businesses. REGISTER

Guide to the Good wants your business to thrive!“Let’s Get Digital” is a FREE online class for local companies from Guide to the Good.  We’re the ones behind www.guidetothegood.ca, and we promote local companies, and help local companies promote themselves! Register NOW for this fun, friendly session that makes DIGITAL Do-ABLE. https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/383416869177 We show you where to start – or your next step – in this Let’s Get Digital MasterClass.  Digital Marketing helps your business show up, and helps you reach your customers!Let’s Get Digital  lets you get to know about SEO, platforms, your brand, and more!Space is Limited!  Register Now.

Ocean Startup Challenge Opens
The bluetech competition will award $750K to early-stage companies.

Applications have opened for the third Ocean Startup Challenge, which will offer idea- and early-stage bluetech startups up to $40,000 each, as well as specialized training, mentorship, networking, and events. Organized by the Ocean Startup Project, the Ocean Startup Challenge is a program that provides funding and mentorship to early-stage oceantech startups. Each year, it awards development capital to dozens of emerging companies with the goal of building out the pipeline of Canadian bluetech companies. This year, it will award a total of $750,000. “In just a few short years, we have seen the Canadian ocean startup ecosystem blossom, and that’s thanks to a country that is awakening to the incredible opportunities that exist for innovation in the blue economy,” said Ocean Startup Project Director Don Grant in a statement. “We want to continue building on the success we have seen from past Challenge winners by creating more new ocean startups and empowering founders to explore and pursue unique ocean tech solutions that will make a significant impact in Canada and around the world.” The Ocean Startup Challenge began in 2020 and helps turn entrepreneurial ideas or technology into viable businesses.Organizers said that since 2020, more than $1.4 million in funding has been provided to 43 teams through the first two cohorts of the Startup Challenge.The upcoming program, which is open to pre-revenue companies with no institutional investment so far, will run until March 2023.You can apply here. The deadline to apply is Sept. 1.In the past two years, the Ocean Startup Challenge has supported 43 startups with more than $1.6 million in funds. These companies now employ more than 70 people and have raised about $8.5 million in equity investment.



This month, Navigate caught up with Grenfell student and entrepreneur extraordinaire, Abdul-Latif Alhassan, to hear about his entrepreneurial journey as a student building not one, but two start-ups supporting environmental policy innovation. The first, AbbaTek Group Inc., is a social enterprise registered in Newfoundland and Labrador supporting companies with environmental data, tools, and processes with a focus on aquatic ecosystems and microplastics. The second, JEAM Consult Inc. (JCI), aims to provide environmental policy consulting support for the public and private sector for the development of agile sustainable cities and communities.
Navigate: Tell us about yourself and about the start-ups you are building.
AA: My name is Abdul-Latif Alhassan. I am a PhD Candidate in Transdisciplinary Sustainability at the School of Science and the Environment, Grenfell Campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland. I am a 2019 Mandela Washington Fellow, a 2020 African Leaders of Tomorrow (ALT) Scholar and have over a decade of experience in the Nonprofit sector, leadership, and research.
Currently, I am a Co-founder of the AbbaTek Group Inc. (a cleantech startup incorporated in Newfoundland and Labrador, www.abbatekgroup.com) and JCI (a policy innovation Startup). AbbaTek is a bit more advanced on the journey as compared to JCI so far, and we are currently working on a full-suite platform for microplastics characterization and analysis. Microplastics (plastics less than 5mm) is one of the emergent contaminants of concern as it has been found to be in all sorts of places with various impacts on the environment, ecosystems, humans, and other species. But there are still a lot of unknowns about them and the identification and analysis processes for microplastics are fraught with several challenges. That is what our current product, MPConnect is aimed at addressing.
Navigate: What enticed you to become an entrepreneur?
AA: Finding solutions to problems in society or satisfying a need has always been something that excites me, and I love throwing myself up to the challenge. Being an entrepreneur gives you the opportunity to solve problems, learn and be your own boss.
Navigate: How have your studies in Transdisciplinary Sustainability helped/influenced you as an entrepreneur?
AA: My studies in Transdisciplinary Sustainability have given me breath and in-depth knowledge, skills, and attitudes to look at problems differently. I can look at issues beyond single disciplinary perspectives, synthesize diverse ways of knowing and solving problems, and engage other stakeholders (within and outside academia, in industry, government and civil society) who ordinarily might not have been involved and/or engaged in the solving of problems. This has influenced me as an entrepreneur as I am not boxed in by disciplinary boundaries, but issues/problem based in my approach. I am also able to bring on board others, work through and be comfortable with complexity, uncertainty and diversity of options, views, perspectives, and possibilities.
Navigate: What is your future vision for your businesses?
AA: I envision AbbaTek and JCI being the number one and preferred go-to conglomerate of companies of choice for environmental data, policy innovation and decision-support needs of our clientele, and I see a future where policies are agile, and all environmental data is comprehensive, accessible, easy to understand, comparative and actionable for all stakeholders to reach real global sustainability. But in the short-term, I (together with my colleagues) hope to get these businesses off the ground in the province and contributing positively to the economy and growth of NL.
Navigate: What advice do you have for students thinking about pursuing entrepreneurship as a career?
AA: Number one, please always ask for guidance – there are tons of opportunities, resources, people and programs for students interested in entrepreneurship at Memorial. Navigate, MCE, CSE (Centre for Social Enterprise), ETP (Entrepreneurship Training Program), Genesis, etc. are all awesome avenues for you to learn and put your ideas to the test. Secondly, there is joy in being an entrepreneur despite the numerous challenges and setbacks you might encounter as a start-up. You learn incredibly along the journey, meet amazing people, and build relationships that would add value to your life, personally and professionally. So, I would urge you to give it a try, do not be afraid, and know that you are not alone, there are amazing people to guide you along the way. Navigate is recruiting mentors!

Eligibility Criteria and Expectations:Looking for mentors with 5+ years entrepreneurship experience or 10+ years corporate experience in a pivotal roleAvailable to work with an entrepreneur mentee for a minimum of 4 hours per monthWilling to work with a mentee to set goals and expectations in addition to providing knowledge, advice, networking connections, etc.Agree to provide feedback and updates to Navigate Manager on the progress of the mentee and goals and targets attainedFor more information, contact Allison Rowe at allison@grenfell.mun.ca to become a mentor with Navigate.

Navigate Small Business
Navigate Small Business