UBC MEL MHLP - Guest Speaker 2021 - Amar Singh

On May 26th, Amar Singh, a 2017 MEL in Integrated Water Management Alumnus and CEO of Elevated Signals, met with the MEL cohort to discuss resources beneficial for entrepreneurship progression and development.

During Singh’s studies at UBC, he reflected to the students upon the valuable resources available at UBC that helped him on his entrepreneurial journey.

Prior to Singh latest leadership position at Elevated Signals, Singh spent 10 years in infrastructure project delivery, having managed high-profile university, corporate, and government projects valued from $5 million to $50 million. During this time Singh also worked in collaboration with several research facilities that included the Biotron Experimental Climate Change Research Centre, the extraterrestrial Autonomous Robotic Greenhouse, and the Cairns Bioscience Research Complex’s containment level 3 lab.

As part of this Singh became passionate about controlled environment agriculture, as it pertains to sustainable food supply. As well as, to the production of molecules with the ability to benefit health and society. Singh holds various degrees in environmental science, water engineering, and business from the University of Toronto, Western University, and the University of British Columbia.

Through the discussion, Singh presented the entrepreneurship path, such as utilizing UBC and MEL programs and learning in The Robert H. Lee Graduate School business courses, that he pursued when he was at UBC. Followed by the steps he took to form and grow Elevated Signals from this.

Singh noted that when considering entrepreneurship, UBC has many resources for students, including entrepreneurship@UBC, Creative Destruction Lab, and Hatch incubator.

Singh encouraged MEL students to utilize those resources, as they enable students to employ the MEL technical and business components to engage in entrepreneurial endeavours. He spoke about the positive experience he had with entrepreneurship@UBC, a venture creation group designed to support and build UBC innovation.

In addition to the UBC programs and initiatives that were available, Singh also indicated that Tamara Etmannski, Former Academic Director, was both the reason that he was involved with entrepreneurship@UBC, and he also cited her as a valuable source of information for himself and other students.

Singh expanded on the new skills and areas of strength that he developed while studying in the MEL master’s degree. Being in the program helped Singh to refine his presentations skills, which he was able to apply to various presentations necessary to grow his company.

Presentations to potential stakeholders, investors, and faculty needed to convey essential information and strategy so Elevated Signals could thrive. From the MEL curriculum, two courses that Singh identified as being directly helpful to his entrepreneurial journey were the leadership courses of Strategy and Innovation and Business Acumen for Technical Leaders.

These courses helped to better equip Singh to start Elevated Signals, as the courses focused on strategy and management and practical application of essential technical and business skills, enabling entrepreneurship.

Finally, Singh encouraged MEL students to continue reading and learning as they develop their careers. He recommended the following books that found particularly useful and interesting within his own entrepreneurship journey. These included:

  • The Hard Thing about Hard Things – B. Horowitz
  • Crossing the Chasm – G. Moore
  • Good to Great – J. Collins
  • Venture Deals – B. Feld & J. Mendelson
  • Who – G. Smart & R. Street

Singh concluded the discussion by highlighting that entrepreneurship can and will go down a path of uncertainty.

So, it is important that MEL students effectively network, utilize all available resources at UBC, and apply the knowledge they learn from the MEL master’s degree to build the best opportunities for future success.

The MEL cohort received valuable insight into the entrepreneurship journey of an MEL graduate. Singh demonstrated the effectiveness of the MEL programs and the extensive technical and business resources available at UBC.

As an MEL graduate, Singh was able to connect with the current student cohort and provided viable insights as an entrepreneur.

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