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Student entrepreneurs, the support we need exists in Niagara! - innovate niagara

Student entrepreneurs, the support we need exists in Niagara!

Apr23

I hope that our story can stand as a testament to all student entrepreneurs that with hard work and taking advantage of the resources we have available to us, that we definitely have the ability to build a startup and solve some problems!

WRITTEN BY: ETHAN FOY

LifePoints is the app that lets users earn rewards for all their healthy lifestyle decisions! Today, users earn points for the amount of time they spend at any fitness facility. These points can then be used to purchase rewards from health-oriented businesses. We are working on developing the ability to reward users for many more healthy lifestyle decisions such as hiking, biking and taking public transit.

The vision I have for LifePoints is to foster a world in which everyone is inspired to achieve the best possible version of themselves. Whether that be regarding their personal wellbeing, their fitness, their environmental consciousness, or all three of these!

A lot of people want to get in better shape and play their role in protecting our environment, but the good choice is hardly ever the easy choice, and that is what we aim to help with. We hope to motivate people to take the time to make the good, but hard decision for a reward.

LifePoints was conceived in November of 2016. Since then I have been taking advantage of all resources available to us student entrepreneurs in the Niagara Region. I have maintained a relationship over the past couple years with BioLinc, Innovate Niagara and the Niagara Falls Small Business Enterprise Centre (SBEC) and this has definitely played a crucial role in our success over the past year and a half. Having mentorship and guidance at your disposal is essential to startup success, especially when you are coming from a nonbusiness-related background.

These resources have helped me receive the Deborah E. Rosati Entrepreneurship Award, which awards up to two students per year with $10,000 to work on their business over the summer, and win the Monster Pitch competition, which is the largest pitch event Brock University organizes. We have also been able to be a part of the Starter Company Plus program run by the SBEC, which has given us tremendous mentorship support and the ability for us to pitch for grant money.

Over the last couple of months we have been able to hire a co-op student due to the conjoined support of the Brock University Innovation and Commercialization department and the Student Work-Integration Learning Program (SWILP), a federal government reimbursement program. This has led to us having our iOS app released onto the App Store and our Android app nearing completion.

I hope that our story can stand as a testament to all student entrepreneurs that with hard work and taking advantage of the resources we have available to us, that we definitely have the ability to build a startup and solve some problems! 

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Ethan Foy is in the final year of his neuroscience program at Brock University. He is also the founder of LifePoints, an experience-driven reward application that he and his team have been building over the past year.

This article originally appeared in The Business Link Niagara.