Emily Peat: The Option in Entrepreneurship and reflections from Conrad lecturer Wayne Chang

Emily Peat and Wayne ChangEmily Peat, 4th Year Civil Engineering student will be graduating this May 2015 with the Faculty of Engineering’s first-ever Option in Entrepreneurship, Venture Creation stream.

I have had the great privilege of teaching this young entrepreneur for Conrad’s course - Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology BET 300: Foundations of Venture Creation in 2012, and over the past 2 and half years seen her build tremendous entrepreneurial “muscles”. Emily founded her startup, Ecoplace Organics for her Enterprise Co-op (ECo-op) work term that year, and last year 2014 was approached for merger & acquisition (M & A) opportunity. Today, she is a full business partner at Eat Green Organics in London, Ontario, and brings her authentic brand of local organic produce delivery from certified organic agriculture with highly engaged customers of young families making sustainable lifestyle choices.

Emily has grown her company with passion, and her entrepreneurial adventures have been filled with many ups and downs – creating, building and operating her own startup business meant making difficult decisions every day because of significant resource constraints. She has been featured in The Globe and Mail, and competed at numerous pitch and business plan competitions including the campus-wide Velocity Fund Finals in 2014, won the province-wide Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) Social Enterprise Student Competition in 2013, was one of 4 finalists out of 48 at the National Business Technology Conference (NBTC) in 2013, and won Canada-wide the Nicol National Entrepreneurial Award in 2013. 

She understands her business model, and it aligns with her core values for local and sustainable economies. Emily gives back generously at Conrad and to the community of young entrepreneurs as Mentor Advisor for many startups in ECo-op and BET 300, running workshops for Ignition Week ECo-op, and is an invited speaker for BET 300 classes on many school terms. She has also worked with me in identifying opportunities for many young entrepreneurs on various aspects of engineering problem-solving and intellectual property assessment.

Earlier this school term, at the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer Ceremony, otherwise known as the Iron Ring Ceremony of Canada for Engineers, it was an honour to be invited by Emily to act as Warden and give her the Iron Ring. At this ceremony, the graduating engineer takes the obligation "with the simple end of directing newly qualified Canadian engineers toward a consciousness of their profession and its social significance…"

As I sat at this Ceremony and reflected on all of her accomplishments and the meaning of the obligation going forward, it was energizing to know that Emily Peat, BASc., class of 2015 is a true exemplar of uWaterloo’s entrepreneurial spirit and a role model for the Faculty of Engineering’s Option in Entrepreneurship program.

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Wayne Chang is a Lecturer and the Enterprise Co-op Coordinator at the Conrad Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology Centre, Faculty of Engineering. 

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