Making a million in 10 months

What would you do with $500? Five teams in Kamloops have taken on a very lofty goal—turning $500 into a million in just over 10 months.

Called the Race to a Million, the contest will see four business teams and a student team come up with innovative financial strategies to earn a million by July 1, 2011.

The contest is organized by Peter Cameron-Inglis and Dean Pierson, co-founders of Canada’s Mastermind Development Corporation (CMDC).

Each team must plan and execute a business strategy and make a profit in three-week cycles. If that’s not enough to keep them on their toes, the rules also demand that business strategies cannot be duplicated. This means teams must keep generating new ideas until their July 1, 2011 deadline.

With the time restriction, plans “need to be fast. They’re gonna need to be very, very strategic,” said Matthew Muzzillo, member of Team TRU. Muzzillo feels his team, composed mostly of M BA students, can contribute fresh, innovative ideas that’s crucial to their success.

“Our team doesn’t think inside the box because we’ve never been given a box to think inside of,” he said.

Team Matrix is aiming high.

“We’ve got some awesome ideas,” said team member John Woolner. “We’ll know better at the end of June (2011), but we’re aiming for two million so if we fall a little short, we’re still good.”

As the clock ticks, the teams’ adventures will be covered weekly through a blog and other social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Buzz and YouTube.

“One of our goals with the Race to a Million is to do something that other reality shows haven’t been able to accomplish to any successful degree, and that’s interaction with the audience,” said Pierson. “Probably the most interaction you would see today is from a show like American Idol where fans of the show can text in their votes—that’s about as interactive as it gets.”

People are encouraged to send moneymaking tips to their favourite teams for a chance to win apparel or an all-expense paid trip for two to Kamloops.

“We’re already seeing a lot of significant response,” said Cameron-Inglis. Within the first week, they’ve already had online visitors from 24 different countries plus subscriptions and comments on their Facebook and YouTube pages.

The contest is also a unique opportunity to give back to the community. Each team is supporting a charity of their choice. The charity will receive the equivalent of a team member’s share in the winnings matched per dollar amount by CMDC.

B.C. Children’s Hospital is the charity of choice for Team Matrix. This is especially meaningful for Woolner: “My two daughters were born there,” he said.

Don’t expect your typical reality TV fare, though. While conflicts and cattiness are staples in reality shows, the goal of Race to a Million is to show these teams can reach their goal through cooperation and teamwork. Their slogan “Nice people can finish first” says it all.

“We believe that you can be fun and profitable while at the same time being socially conscious,” said Cameron-Inglis. “The reason we used this phrase is simply because we want people conducting themselves in business that would leave the world better than we found it.”

Pierson agrees. “Sure (treachery and backstabbing) works, but at the end of the day, wouldn’t it be nice if you can have a clear conscience and still be successful and have people like you?”

Cheer for your favourite team, get free business techniques & share your own moneymaking tips at

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