Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:19

Swift Current native and MHC student, has big plans

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(Image left to right) Ryan Dorton, JMH & Co; Grayden Cowan, Badlands Boards; Dana McMahon, OCD Adventures, Shelby LeBel, Meddeci Inc; Jon Sookocheff, Entrepreneur Development Centre. (Image left to right) Ryan Dorton, JMH & Co; Grayden Cowan, Badlands Boards; Dana McMahon, OCD Adventures, Shelby LeBel, Meddeci Inc; Jon Sookocheff, Entrepreneur Development Centre. Photo contributed

Shelby LeBel felt like she was on a popular television show a while ago.

As part of the Summer Company Program for Medicine Hat College students, but funded by the JMH&Co., LeBel and other college students had to make presentations which would enable them to qualify for start-up funding.
LeBel and her Meddeci Inc. company was successful and she qualified for $10,000 from the JMH&Co. fund. An official celebration amongst the students (including LeBel), staff and JMH&Co. representatives was made at a breakfast  April 14 at the college.

Her company is to produce a learning tool which will enable students to detect ascities or an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity caused by heart or liver issues. This would be done by using her product which looks like a simple bag. However, it would accessorize the simulation mannequin. When engaged, the bag expands like a realistic wave of fluid. It’s placed just underneath the inner walls of the mannequin’s abdomen after pressure is applied.
This would help nursing students learn a new and different aspect of health care.
She had 15 minutes to talk about her business plan, target market and of course explains her product and why it is important. She followed that up with a question and answer session. While she was feeling pretty good after her talk about her product, she was a little rattled prior to it.
“I never done anything like that,” says LeBel bluntly who adds she knew only two of the people listening to her presentation. “It was like a mini Dragon’s Den. It was a little nerve-wracking ... promoting yourself was a little different. You’re master of your own business and trying to sell yourself in front of strangers. It’s personal.”
It was nerve-wracking for LeBel to stand in front of eight or nine people to describe a business idea with the pressure knowing there was major grant money at stake. Those people were going to ask some difficult questions that if she didn’t know the answers to, she would effect getting a healthy kickstart to her career.
LeBel is working towards earning her Bachelor of Nursing through the college’s integrated nursing program with the University of Calgary. She was a graduate of the Swift Current Composite High School in 2012.
She says her idea was generated from a surgical-based class she had taken. The instructor was discussing something and the idea clicked in LeBel’s head.
She would work on development when she had some time and power through.
“I have a one-track mind. Doing it wasn’t hard, just time-consuming,” explains Lebel. “I’m very passionate towards my company. No one sees you doing the behind-the-scenes stuff or all of the extra hours.”
LeBel wants to put the money into going to a trade show to further market her device.
In the meantime, her spring practicum is in Fernie.
LeBel is grateful for the opportunity to pursue something which could be a great teaching tool for those medical-related programs.
She admits this one is working out better than the first idea she had when she was at the college.
“My idea was a bed for the elderly, you know one for the carehomes and it butterflies,” she explains.
She came up with the idea only to find out later it already existed.
LeBel says college officials have allowed her to come up with the idea and her self-motivation has helped convince her about getting into medical-related product lines.
“I didn’t really know I was interested in that side of it,” she says, and adds the business/entrepreneur-side has been mixing well with her interests in nursing.

Read 1913 times Last modified on Wednesday, 22 April 2015 15:49
Ryan Dahlman

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