Media & Press

Life is about harnessing our uncommon energy

1 May, 2013

Bruce M. Gao

Life is about harnessing our uncommon energy, the passion that gives us the ambition to tackle big ideas and create new things. My uncommon energy is different from yours. It pulsates in a specific rhythm and glows in a characteristic hue. At the University of Calgary, students gather together to mix their uncommon energies, creating new colors and rhythms that result in a myriad of powerful projects.

Green is the color of environmental sustainability. At the TD Green Youth Gathering, I met high school students passionate about changing the world. I had the opportunity to speak about a startup I cofounded, SimplySolar (, which lets people use their phones to align solar panels for 40% more energy. I was able to infuse them with my uncommon energy, inspiring them to make their ideas into realities. In turn, they gave me their unwavering attention and boundless enthusiasm while working through the activities that I prepared for them.

Red is the color of determination and leadership. At the University of Calgary Leadership Exchange, I learned how to be a leader by serving others. I volunteered to help the event run smoothly, registering participants and facilitating introductions to amazing speakers such as Mayor Naheed Nenshi. I even had the opportunity to tell MTV star Jessi Cruickshank about SimplySolar in front of a crowd of 400 people!

Blue is the color of innovation. I am currently working with Matt Privman, a Schulich Entrepreneurial Scholar, on developing an exciting idea called Appy. Appy is a browser-based platform that makes web application development easy and accessible for all. Our beta includes visual programming, a “plasmid” marketplace, fully handled backend and social programming. I am absolutely humbled and awed by the extraordinary talent that we have on our team. These people include Ali Vira, the founder of the world’s largest esports magazine and genius software developers from the University of Waterloo. I want to give you the opportunity to be a part of the Appy beta and help make our idea real. Please visit, enter your email address and the code ‘schulichleader’ to try it out for your self!

These are some of the uncommon energies that I have discovered by collaborating with other like-minded people in my second semester. I hope that you enjoyed my blog post and I am excited for everything to come.