Mahmoud Salama, a current student in the Master of Business, Entrepreneurship and Technology (MBET) program, attended the Greater Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards Gala on Thursday, February 20th, 2014 with several other representatives from the Conrad Centre. Mahmoud has reflected on his experience attending the awards gala.
Three factors motivated me to apply to the MBET program, and finally pursue my dream of starting my own business: family support, a passion for innovation, and an interest in improving the efficiency of the use of natural resources. I was able to see how these three motivating factors are represented in the Kitchener-Waterloo community when I recently attended the Business Excellence Awards.
The Business Excellence Awards are a way for the community to recognize and congratulate fellow outstanding businesses and individuals who are making an exceptional contribution to the Kitchener-Waterloo community.
Three Business Excellence Award-winners in particular caught my attention for representing the factors that drew me to pursue entrepreneurship education at the University of Waterloo:
The Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award, sponsored by the Conrad Centre, was won by Mike McCauley, a Mechatronics Engineering graduate of the University of Waterloo, and the co-founder of Buffer Box. Mike emphasized that support from his family has been a major factor in his entrepreneurial success.
The Accelerator Centre won the Innovation Award and is a great example of an organization that supports innovative entrepreneurs and acts as an incubator to help them become exceptional future business leaders. Luckily for Conrad students, the Accelerator Center is in the same building as us and we have had great opportunities to collaborate with the Centre as students in the MBET program.
The Environment and Sustainability Award was won by Great Canadian Holidays and Coaches due to the company's commitment to reducing their ecological footprint. The company has implemented environmentally-friendly motor coaches and has installed solar panels to provide electricity for their building. I think the company has been proactive in reducing its impact on the environment and as someone who is pursuing a business in green technology, I was particularly impressed by the efforts put forth by this local company.
Being able to attend these awards with fellow MBET students, faculty, and staff was a great experience, and one of the many perks of the program. In particular, the value attributed to seeking and appreciating family support, innovation programs for entrepreneurs, and "going green" really resonated with me and my pursuit of entrepreneurship.
Mahmoud is currently working on commercialising a new clean, low cost water treatment process that can reduce agricultural water usage by more than 50 percent by combining nano and green technologies.
Mahmoud holds a Bachelor of Business Administration and has nine years of corporate business experience in finance, reporting and budgeting.
Mahmoud will be in Winnipeg, Manitoba March 14th and 15th competing in the Stu Clark Investment competition
with fellow MBET student Zeshan Khan, on behalf of their practicum project team, meetmehalal.com.