E-commerce interest on the rise

What is idea-based, looking for students of various disciplines and striving to fit the demands of an Internet-based business trend? The answer is Queen’s University Independent Venture for Entrepreneurial Research (QUIVER) and they’re on the lookout for interested students.

QUIVER is the first registered e-commerce business based at Queen’s. Developed by alumnus Matt Segal, ArtSci ’00, and his partner, a commerce graduate whose name cannot be disclosed due to a contract agreement, QUIVER strives to bring together students of all backgrounds and disciplines to form miniature think-tanks for starting successful Internet businesses. According to the group in this digital age it is essential for students to have the opportunity to be aware of and experience the rapidly changing business world that will be their workplace.

“Our main objectives are to give something back to Queen’s, and to offer business opportunities to Queen’s students to allow them to bring their business ideas to fruition,” Segal said.

The duo started the campus group in January 2000. After an e-business conference, held by the Queen’s Association of Collegiate Entrepreneurs (ACE), at which students had the opportunity to learn about QUIVER, three groups of students interested in e-business formed.

Although only one group still remains today, it has been successful in its undertakings, one of which includes the development of Wet Patrol, www.wetpatrol.com, a site geared towards lifeguards that includes job links and tips. According to QUIVER’s Financial Manager Ameet Wadhwani, ArtSci ’02, its purpose is to create a network that links lifeguards from around the world.

Wadhwani is positive about the experience in business that QUIVER offers to students. He explains that two advantages of being part of QUIVER include the opportunity to try out business ideas without having to pay huge amounts of money, and the chance that this role could develop into a future career. In the eyes of Wadhwani, Queen’s students make a good investment by becoming involved with QUIVER.

Students have expressed support for this on-campus e-business venture.

“It’s great for students to have this opportunity. I’m sure there are lots of people in the Queen’s community who would love to get involved in e-commerce, but don’t know how to get started. Now that there’s an infrastructure readily available, it’s easy to get going,” commented Kate Hopwood, ArtSci ’04.

Segal explained how the development of QUIVER was intended to address an unxploited area in the Internet market.

“We decided to form this organization in order to fill the voids in the Canadian Internet space,” said Segal, who works as a strategic consultant as well as a source of the brainpower behind QUIVER.

“There are possibilities that we will get some money back from QUIVER eventually, but we [the alumni] are in it to encourage students... to give them the opportunities we didn’t have,” said Segal.

He stressed that QUIVER is concentrating on recruiting students with a wide range of academic backgrounds, so that the breeding ground of ideas will have a variety of input and thus potential growth and success. There is also the possibility of further branches and associated groups materializing.

Five Queen’s alumni are the financial supporters and mentors behind QUIVER. The team itself is composed of five to six students who perform the jobs of financial manager, marketing and advertising executive, engineer of web pages, and several runners to help with additional tasks. According to Segal, the team is encouraged to come up with a multitude of ideas and choose one that works for them, and then develop it into a website. He plans to visit Queen’s in the near future to speak with students interested in joining QUIVER.

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