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Team Cyperus wins Business 2257 competition

  • Communications
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  • Apr 7, 2021
Team Cyperus wins Business 2257 competition

Members of Team Cyperus: (top, l-r) Julia Sergi, Ashley Trent; (second row, l-r) Aidan VanBeek, Aymen Boujelben, Karina Arsenault; (bottom, l-r), Lara Tabbara, Gavin Gillespie.

Team Cyperus took home the first-place prize for their idea for a nut-free, dairy-free milk alternative beverage at the 2021 Business 2257 Feasibility Study Competition hosted by the Business Foundations department at Ivey and held virtually on March 18. Team members included Karina Arsenault, Aymen Boujelben, Gavin Gillespie, Julia Sergi, Lara Tabbara, Ashley Trent, and Aidan VanBeek. The students were awarded the Robert G. Siskind Entrepreneurial Award, which was announced by Robert G. Siskind himself, and will each also receive a plaque and a monetary award.

Business 2257 is a Western second-year business course designed to teach students decision-making skills. One of the course assignments challenges students to create a new venture and outline the details in a written report and an oral presentation. The Feasibility Study Competition is a portion of the course’s curriculum and is an extraordinary opportunity for students to forge business development skills through applying academic knowledge to real-life experience.

Winning idea

Cyperus is a Toronto wholesaler, distributing Tiger Nut Beverage to cafés and health grocers. Tiger Nut Beverage is Cyperus’ take on a traditional Spanish beverage. It is a nut-free, dairy-free milk alternative that is low in sugar and calories and provides many health benefits. The product can be consumed on its own or used in a variety of recipes. Tiger nut beverages are not yet well-known in the Canadian marketplace. Due to the growing consumption of dairy alternatives and minimal competition from Canadian tiger nut beverage producers, Cyperus will penetrate an untapped market and become the first dominant tiger nut beverage brand in the country.

Three finalists were selected from 228 teams and competed in front of a panel of judges after a preliminary and semi-final round. In addition to Cyperus, the two other finalist teams included:

  • Atmosphere Acoustics – Kelly Chong, Logan Kieller, Ali Malik, Roshan Puniya, Shankari Sivanathan, Anjana Somasundaram, Max Wang; and,
  • R3purpose – Maya Batey, Jan Paul Bonus, Phoebe McAdam, Camellia Naderi, Hannah Ng, Katerina Petrou, Claire Strong, Mia Watkins.

Thank you to the judges

The judging panel included:

  • Rob Bremner, HBA ’12, Manager, Corporate Strategy, Electronic Arts;
  • Nicole Haggerty, HBA ’89, PhD ’04, Associate Professor, Information Systems, Ivey Business School; and,
  • Shan Kuang, HBA ’15, Vice President of Investment Development, Turn/River Capital.