On March 11th, 2016, fourth-year students from Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University hosted their annual Business Plan Expo. This year’s expo featured 27 new business ideas. These ideas ranged from interactive invitations, to a subscription-based cell phone decal service, to leveraging the untapped advertising surfaces of privately-owned vehicles, and using new technology (3D printing) to service a traditional process (letterpress printing). The Dean of the Faculty of Communication & Design, Charles Falzon, visited the expo and he was thoroughly impressed with the energy at the event.
Below are four of the 27 plans that impressed our distinguished guests by coupling creative ideas with high-quality execution.
SIM: Structure in Motion
Ray Liang, Carmine Tang, Anna Tang, Jennifer Huynh
SIM is a team of young entrepreneurs who create unique promotional materials for condominium developments by turning floor plans into augmented reality-enabled pieces. SIM’s goal is to create interaction between young urban professionals and condominium developers, enabling informed purchasing decisions. Their designs pique consumer interest by providing stunning 2D and 3D visuals of their future home. This creates top-of-mind positioning for their clients, which allows them to reach and engage their target market. Marketing metrics can also be implemented to track interested customers. The team had a slick booth at the event, including a working prototype.
The Nest Creative Studio
Leslie Choi, Julie Ni, Weller Dong, Phoebe Leung
The team at The Nest Creative Studio aims to provide a unique way for families to display and archive their children’s artwork by transforming their illustrations into large-scale wall decals. Their hope is that by incorporating a one-of-a-kind drawing into the home environment, creativity and expression can be encouraged. Their fun and simple process only requires a digital file or hardcopy of the drawing – they do the rest! The final decal product is safe and removable from any surface. Instead of putting valuable memories away in a box, stick them on the wall for everyone to enjoy! The team’s booth included full-sized prototypes of their products, as well as an interactive “decal wall”.
Fionni Tsang, Jim Phan, Kathy Leung, Sabihat Chowdhury
Collective’s service connects “clients” and “creatives” (photographers, graphic designers, print producers, and so on) using a mobile application and website to make impactful work in the creative sector. Their competitors’ websites devalue original work by allowing creatives to underbid each other to win jobs. They want to change this cutthroat method because as young professionals themselves, they understand the struggle of making a mark in the creative sector. Creatives set their own rates based on their talent and clients hire based on who they feel is best suited for their job. The team believes that this strategy is versatile enough to appeal to a wide variety of users, whether they are students, recent graduates, freelancers, or professionals. The team’s booth included an attention-grabbing sculptural piece that mimicked the design of their logo.
Tracy Laranjo, Vivek Patel, Elina Shafigullina, Kim Sipkens, Li-Anne Chang
Priinty is an on-the-go mobile printing solution for commuting students in the Greater Toronto Area. With the Priinty mobile application, users submit their document files over a Wi-Fi or data connection, input their print specifications, pay via credit card or PayPal, and then receive a unique confirmation code. Users can then find a Priinty kiosk nearest to their location, input their unique code, and receive their printed documents in seconds, providing a valuable service with a streamlined just-in-time process. The team’s booth included beautifully designed and printed marketing materials and signage.
All 27 teams engaged guests and enthusiastically articulated their ideas at the event. The exceptional cross-section of concepts shows huge potential for these 100+ students heading out into the graphic communications industry this spring. Innovation will take these students (and our industry) to great places.