Brett Wilson, entrepreneur and Dragon's Den dragon, wowed a crowd of 600 SAIT business students at a speaking event in November. The Calgary venture capitalist didn't mince words when he talked about his personal struggles including his bout with cancer. He urged students to work hard, market themselves and stressed the importance of family life, philanthropy and giving back to the community.
He threw down a challenge by announcing a donation of up to $10,000 to SAIT's I.G. Lewis Student Emergency Fund if the audience would match that amount within two weeks. "I nearly dropped out of university because I was broke, said Wilson. "I wouldn't have graduated without an emergency loan."
Supporters rose to the challenge pledging $26,003 for a total of $36,003 raised.
Students responded immediately by making donations using their smart phones. Contributions poured in from faculty, staff and others. Students in the SAIT calling program took to the phones and our alumni answered.
The I.G. Lewis Student Emergency Fund provides assistance to students who experience a financial crisis that threatens the successful completion of their academic program.
Brett Wilson, Calgary entrepreneur and philanthropist, inspires students and staff in SAIT's Irene Lewis Atrium.