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Online summit helps northern B.C. youth become entrepreneurs

Summit connects youth around the province to brainstorm local innovation
Student works on technology project at iCubed summit. (File photo)

The iCubed annual youth innovation summit for northern B.C. is happening online March 3.

The summit helps expose northern B.C. youth to innovative businesses and to help to grow their entrepreneurship ideas. The event went online for the first time last year attracting nearly 1,000 students across the province.

Sagar Saxena, the Director of YELL Canada North is organizing the event in Prince George. In a Feb. 8 news release, Saxena said hosting the event virtually because of the pandemic also means being able to include more students.

“We are asking the students to think bigger, so we began to as well and opened up the event to any high school students in the province,” Saxena said.

“We were so excited to see our small northern B.C. event attract students from the Okanagan and even attendance from the Northwest Territories.”

READ MORE: SD#91 iCubed tech and entrepreneurship youth summit a first for Northern B.C.

The summit brings together speakers from around B.C. to share stories about their entrepreneurial journey and lessons learned and introduces students to different career paths. This year, the event features speakers on topics like environmental sustainability, impact investing and cryptocurrency.

Nicole Abley, who teaches at Westside Academy said her students thought the online version of the iCubed Summit was excellent last year. She said many came out of the summit with new enthusiasm for entrepreneurship — because they realized that successful and thriving businesses can be started anywhere by anyone.

“Often students in the north think they have to move to a larger centre like Edmonton or Vancouver for career opportunities,” Abley said.

“But the iCubed Summit provided speakers that showed them they can start dynamic and exciting businesses right here in Prince George.”

However, being online for an all-day virtual event isn’t as easy as it may sound. With COVID-19 impacting everyone for an entire year, engaging students virtually presented new challenges. So the summit reformatted with short sessions that changed quickly and includes interactive hands-on activities to keep the students engaged throughout the day.

Northern B.C. schools that sign up also receive a pizza lunch. The event is set up as a virtual “viewing party” style event, which means that teachers need to sign up their students as an entire class watching together.

Once the teacher signs up, they will receive the activity and a gift box with things to keep the students engaged throughout the day. To find out more about the event you can visit

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