BCIT student entrepreneurs offer free campus grocery shuttle service

BCIT School of Energy students Amanzhan Duisek and Mike Chen along with School of Business + Media student Rakhymzhan Duisek developed an innovative idea to transport students to grocery stores.

Amanzhan, Mike, and Rakhymzhan are no strangers to winning innovative entrepreneurial challenges. Their first creative idea was a food selection app called Tatti Foods, which they won second place in the 2021 BCIT Student Innovation Challenge.

The team then went on to win the Nourishing Innovation: Campus Nutrition and Food Security Contest, a cross-institutional collaboration between BCIT, SFU, VIU, and UNBC. This contest was created to engage student stakeholders to develop innovative solutions to address food security needs on campus.

Combining their funds from both contests, the students redefined their innovation to pilot a no-cost grocery shuttle bus service for BCIT Housing residents.

Funds from winnings and from the McConnell Foundation helped pay for this service for this three-month pilot project.

Their free shuttle bus service provides a direct, fast, safe, and reliable mode of transportation for students to grocery stores like Superstore, Walmart, and T&T in the Burnaby area. The Food shuttle service was launched on Saturday, January 15, 2022, and runs every Saturday at 1 pm.  Their first shuttle was a great success, with 14 students using this door-to-door shuttle.

First shuttle service leaving BCIT Housing on January 15, 2022 with 14 students

They are hoping the pilot project will lead to a full-time start-up in Fall 2022. With additional funding (currently seeking), they can provide the students with a discounted price for the opportunity to use the service all year.

“Easy access to nutritious, high-quality foods helps BCIT students thrive. Many housing residents are new to Vancouver and do not have access to a car, having the accessibility to get on a bus on campus and go directly to the grocery store is very helpful,” said Amanzhan Duisek. “Students not only save time to focus more on their studies but they also have the opportunity to meet fellow campus residents and make friends.”

“Post-secondary students face many challenges during their time in academia and a shift in food governance to include them as stakeholders in their food needs is necessary,” said Hong Sy, Research Analyst, BCIT Natural Health and Foods Products Research Group (NRG).  “Amanzhan, Michael, and Rakhymzhan have developed an innovative idea to allow barrier-free, no-cost access to food markets. Students have time to choose foods from a variety of grocers that can support both their nutritional and cultural needs. I applaud the time they have taken to ensure this project is a success.”

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The BCIT Student Innovation Challenge is an annual contest aimed at providing support and funding to BCIT students who have “bright ideas”. The goal of the Challenge is to create an inclusive space for innovation, encouraging students to turn their bright ideas into prototypes, business plans, or commercial products.

Learn more about the BCIT Student Innovation Challenge.






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