Healthier Chocolate Milk Takes Top Prize at Nicol Competition


Nicol competition judges and student winners are, from left: Lloyd Longfield, Mike Lanteigne, Erin Skimson, Frank McAuley, Eric Martin and Doug MacMillan. Not pictured, Aneta Rybak of the winning team.

When the College of Management and Economics hosted the fourth annual Nicol Venture Creation Competition on March 2, the winning team pitched zero-sodium, sugar-reduced chocolate milk and earned $5,000 in prize money.

Talking to an audience of Guelph Centennial Collegiate high school students, members of the University community, family and friends, Guelph students Mike Lanteigne, Eric Martin and Aneta Rybak said their product could provide a healthier alternative to current chocolate milk offerings in schools.

The $2,000 second prize went to Kristin Etter, Bled Celhyka and Brent Johns for a commercial composting initiative that would divert local restaurant food waste from landfills. Amy Nodwell, Krista Verberne and Laura Chapman earned the $1,000 third prize for their plan to develop a bacteria-identifying sponge.

The student teams were asked to design and present business plans for innovative products and services based on the University’s historical strengths in food, environment and life sciences. The prize money which was provided by the Wesley and Mary Nicol Charitable Foundation, and the Guelph teams hope they will be selected to proceed to the National Nicol Award Competition March 28 and 29 in Ottawa.

Judges for the U of G event were Doug MacMillan, president of MacMillan Marketing Group; Erin Skimson, director of U of G’s Business Development; Lloyd Longfield, president of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce; and Frank McAuley, regional vice-president for RBC.

For more information about the Wes Nicol Entrepreneurial Awards, visit