Concentration: Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Marketing
Beedie School of Business undergraduate student Kevin Cruz has always had a nose for entrepreneurship – and as his first venture gets set to hit the market, customers will see that he has taken this phrase at its literal meaning.
Kevin is the co-founder, CEO, and Product Manager of ORA Scents, a mobile tech company that has produced the world’s first real time app-enabled scent diffuser. The product allows users to create and control scents according to their own preference.
“Our company is offering the world’s first app-enabled scent diffuser, enabling users to create and control scent in real time,” explains Kevin. “Using a mobile application users control how much essential oils are mixed in the device, thereby creating their own fragrance according to their preference. By late 2015 it will be ready for beta testing and we intend to launch a Kickstarter campaign later this year to manufacture its complete version.”
Prior to launch, the venture has already brought Kevin success, earning him the title of 2015 Student Entrepreneur Provincial Champion for British Columbia. The competition celebrates the commitment, determination and achievements of full time Canadian university or college students who are simultaneously operating their own businesses.
His participation in SFU’s entrepreneurship incubator Venture Connection also allowed him to showcase his venture in the Coast Capital Savings Venture Prize Competition, where he narrowly missed out on a podium place after making it to the final.
A lifelong entrepreneurial streak spurred Kevin to study at the Beedie School of Business, where his passion has been nurtured through his studies and a number of extra-curricular activities.
He has since utilized a number of the entrepreneurship initiatives available to Beedie students to further develop his entrepreneurship skillset. As well as SFU Venture Connection, he has participated in the tech entrepreneurship@sfu program and Enactus SFU’s Jumpstart initiative, an eight-week venture accelerator program.
Despite focusing on entrepreneurship, Kevin has still made time to take in some of the other opportunities available through the Beedie School. He has represented Beedie at the Alberta Energy Challenge case competition – after preparing in the Beedie Case Competition Training program – and participated in Enactus’ AXIS Consulting, a project benefiting non-profit organizations, where he helped improve the operations of Surrey Urban Mission Society.
“Having always wanted to be an entrepreneur, Enactus was one of the first organizations that plunged me into an environment where I could fulfill my ambitions,” he says. “I only directly participated in Enactus during my second year at Beedie, but participating in their Jumpstart program was when it really hit me – I met a lot of key contacts and mentors, and learned a lot about what it takes to be an entrepreneur.”
Kevin’s remarkable achievements have not gone unnoticed: in 2014 he was one of six Beedie students to be selected for Surrey’s Top 25 Under 25 Awards, recognizing him as a young role model for the Surrey business community.
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