What's your awesome idea, Fanshawe?

If you had $1,000 to change Fanshawe, how would you use it? Would you buy a trampoline so students could bounce their stress away between classes? Would you spend it on care packages to give out during exam periods? Would you “make it rain” in Forwell Hall?

Spend some time refining your plan, because the Fanshawe Student Union, Lawrence Kinlin School of Business and the Alumni Association have come together to create Awesome Fanshawe Students, an event where $1,000 is awarded to one student to make his or her awesome idea a reality.

If this concept sounds familiar, that's because it's based on Awesome London, a monthly event where 10 trustees give $100 each to fund an idea that will change the London community.

John Young, operations manager of the Fanshawe Student Union, loved the idea of Awesome London and thought it would be something positive to bring to our campus. “It's an opportunity for students to finance their awesome idea. We've partnered with the Alumni Association and the Lawrence Kinlin School of Business, who are very familiar with the Awesome London concept, and we want to bring it to Fanshawe to see if it'll work.”

While Fanshawe and the Student Union already engage with students through initiatives like Biz Inc. and Student Research and Innovation Day, Young said the Awesome concept is brand new to the school. “This is a unique take on it.”

Mary Pierce, chair of the Lawrence Kinlin School of Business, is an Awesome London trustee and is “delighted” to be involved with bringing Awesome to Fanshawe. “The Business school focuses on entrepreneurship and innovation, and so [Awesome Fanshawe Students] just seemed like a really nice fit to the kinds of things we teach.”

Submit your awesome idea to fsu.ca/awesome before October 31. Students who pitch the top four ideas will be notified by November 6. Each student must prepare a six-minute pitch to present to an audience that includes trustees from the student body, Fanshawe alumni and representatives from the Lawrence Kinlin School of Business at The Out Back Shack on November 12 at 8 p.m. All are welcome to attend.

Fanshawe Student Union President Adam Gourlay is one of the organizers of Awesome Fanshawe Students. He said that a winning idea is “something that is unique, innovative and creative — something that right now I can't even imagine. It'd be great to see something that blows me out of the water.”

As an Awesome London trustee, Pierce has seen quite a few awesome ideas that never get off the ground. “A lot of proposals you see, the idea is really cool, but the person has no real thought on how they would actually do this. There's not a lot of point in giving money to something that the person doesn't really have a good chance of seeing it through and actually making it happen.”

She added that the winning idea must be inventive yet practical. “It needs to be something that's giving back to the college and the community in some way. I think there has to be some kind of core purpose of the project. It has to be creative, but it also has to have some level of practicality and executibility.”

Awesome Fanshawe Students is open to all full-time students on any Fanshawe campus. Go to fsu.ca/awesome to submit your idea before October 30. Mark your calendars — pitch night takes place on November 12 at 8 p.m. in The Out Back Shack.