Budding innovators and entrepreneurs at the University of Victoria (UVic) received $1-million from Coast Capital Savings on Friday.
The funding goes toward the the university’s innovation centre – the Coast Capital Savings Innovation Centre (CCSIC) – which provides students with guidance, hands-on experience and the financial skills to develop business ideas into concepts ready to pitch to investors.
UVic president Jamie Cassels explained that the “game-changing investment” from Coast Capital Savings will help the university provide students with unique learning experiences and prepare them to participate in B.C.’s economy.
Since the CCSIC was relaunched in 2016, it has helped more than 500 students from various faculties launch 70 startup companies.
Juan Orrego, 22, is a UVic Gustavson School of Business graduate who started his company with the guidance of the CCSIC. Orrego co-founded Cuboh which assists restaurants with online ordering, payments and delivery. He credits the UVic innovation centre for helping him make his idea a reality.
“The innovation centre opens so many doors,” said the young CEO. “They pushed me to dream big and then helped me —every step of the way.”
Orrego’s company now has a staff of more than 10 people and he was one of BCBusiness magazine’s 30 Under 30 in 2019.
Calvin MacInnes, president and CEO of Coast Capital Savings, explained that assisting young people is part of the credit union’s community leadership goals. He explained that the ongoing support for the CCSIC is a conscious contribution to the future.
“These young people are the business leaders of tomorrow, the fuel for our country’s economy and the innovation that bolsters the change makers of tomorrow.”