The University of Winnipeg



Marketing student takes first place at North Forge’s Ramp Up Weekend

A group of people hold a poster-sized cheque and prize belt. Some are sitting, some standing.

Gino Pursina (left) holds the prize cheque with the winning team at North Forge’s Ramp Up Weekend.

Gino Pursina, a third year marketing student in the Faculty of Business and Economics, was part of the winning team at North Forge’s Ramp Up Weekend, securing a prize of $10,000. Pursina was the only UWinnipeg student who participated in this event. He intends to invest his share of the funds “into my business idea to help foster its growth and development.”

As North Forge describes it, Ramp Up Weekend pulls together developers, designers, makers, and entrepreneurs to build a minimum viable product from a new idea in 50+ hours, with the opportunity to pitch the product to win $10,000. The event is about building deeper connections among the start-up community –  learning and taking the first steps toward entrepreneurship in Manitoba.

Pursina was up to the challenge. “A goal of mine this year was to push myself to take on tough challenges. When I caught wind of North Forge’s Ramp Up Weekend and its intense competition, I knew I couldn’t pass up the chance to compete.”

His team’s product focused on helping communication between med-tech companies and patients and physicians. He drew heavily upon his classroom experience, creating sample pro forma and cash flow statements, preparing effective slide deck presentations, understanding financial feasibility, and, from his entrepreneurship class, how to tell and sell a really good story.

Pursina recommends competing in Ramp Up Weekend to his fellow Faculty of Business and Economics students. The competition not only sharpens critical thinking skills in the pursuit of generating viable business ideas, it also sharpens soft skills such as working with people with different expertise.

“Being part of the winning team was exhilarating,” said Pursina. “Entering this competition supplied me with an invaluable set of experiences, but it also gave me the opportunity to showcase my skills in front of many looking for new talent, ideas, and students with drive. Through Ramp Up I learned that as long as there is value being added, there will always be people eager to listen and provide opportunities no matter how strange the business idea may be.”


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