AMS eHub, or Entrepreneurship Hub, is an AMS service few students know about, but it's focusing on greater expansion while helping students turn their ideas into notable projects.
With other entrepreneurship resources present on campus, including the university’s entrepreneurship@ubc, eHub has been able to differentiate itself through its accessibility, especially for undergraduate students.
“All the services of the AMS strive to be as low-barrier as possible. We are trying to make them as accessible as we can for students,” said AMS Student Services Manager, Ian Stone.
The service offers a variety of resources, including an incubator to help students refine start-up ideas, one-on-one appointments and a pitch competition partnership with RBC.
According to the AMS eHub coordinator, Tahir Adatia, eHub focuses on validating all ideas and being a hub for students who have little to no business experience to come to for advice.
“eHub encourages students to help each other, and complement each other’s weaknesses and strengths,” said Adatia. “Each student can bring knowledge and expertise to the table.”
Starting up students
One of eHub’s biggest contributors to their mission of helping student entrepreneurs comes through its partnership with RBC.
The RBC Get Seeded program is a pitch competition, where 15 teams compete for $500. Each team has 90 seconds to pitch their idea, which is voted on by other students, with eight winning teams at the end.
“The 500 dollars goes a long away, maybe not in terms of finances, but morale,” said Adatia.
RBC Get Seeded has helped foster ideas that have taken shape at UBC. The MugShare program, which has been implemented at multiple cafés on campus, was created by winners of RBC Get Seeded who wanted to create a project that would reduce single-use plastic waste at UBC.
Get Thrifty, a pop-up thrift store at UBC, also won the $500 prize. They offer a place for students to buy and donate clothes to provide more environmentally sustainable clothing options.
Many of the ideas that win RBC Get Seeded are close to home. “A lot of ideas that students have are localized. They are about UBC because these are the problems they see in their lived experience. So we can see the change happen at UBC,” said Adatia.
eHub is also seeing a variety of students from across all faculties access the service.
“We really want to stray from, 'it's only commerce and engineering students that have the gift of entrepreneurship,' because that’s not true at all. We see a lot of passion from all faculties,” commented Adatia.
Looking towards the future, eHub has been collecting data to improve their service and make sure it's heading in the directions students need it to be.
“[What's] great about using the data is we get to make sure we are doing our job and not withholding the service from anybody,” said Adatia.