Steve’s foray into the world of business development started with a light bulb moment.

Steve Buzinski Fourth-year Bachelor of Management Student
(CLASS OF 2011), Okanagan Campus

Although Steve Buzinski doesn’t believe entrepreneurship is a light-bulb moment, his foray into the world of business development certainly started with one. The Bachelor of Management student at UBC’s Okanagan Campus got an e-mail from a friend in his fourth year at UBC urging him to apply for The Next 36: Canada’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative, an elite business program that aims to launch the careers of the country’s most promising and innovative students. The former National-level speed skater and musician knew in a flash what an opportunity it was, applied, and was one of four UBC students accepted. “They saw potential in me,” he says. “I didn’t know what I wanted to do yet, but I have lots of entrepreneurial tendencies, and entrepreneurial opportunities are all around us.”

As Buzinski moved to Toronto for the program, he found himself going out for a lot of dinners by himself. That experience became the kernel of his business idea. His Next 36 group developed an application called Foodstr, a sort of supper club that facilitates group dinners. “It encouraged six to 12 random people to come have a meal at a trendy restaurant,” Buzinski says. “They get to try different dishes and meet a network of different people.”

His team operated the business for awhile, but quickly discovered it was difficult to turn a profit. “We had a 33 percent profit margin but even that was not enough in terms of revenue. Then my partners went back to school and it was tough to do on my own.” Buzinski has since paused Foodstr in order to gain more experience in the business world with a job at an advertising agency. “UBC taught me how to think and learn. Next 36 built on top of that and put on a more specific business filter. But I still have a lot to learn from the real world. I’m excited to learn as much as I can and, when I’m knowledgeable enough, to start another business.”

Entrepreneurial excellence at UBC
UBC has fostered many entrepreneurial achievements, including successful business pitches in Silicon Valley, an international entrepreneurship competition win, and the development of ventures that are beneficial and valuable to society. Much of these efforts are now coordinated through the new entrepreneurship@UBC program.

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