Business boot camp gives an edge to 12 of KFL&A’s newest companies

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Twelve aspiring entrepreneurs now have an edge in the competitive business landscape, after completing Kingston Economic Development (EcDev)’s Starter Company Plus.

According to a release from Kingston EcDev, the participants of the 2023 Spring Starter Company Plus program, made possible through funding from the Government of Ontario, recently concluded a week-long business bootcamp. This training reportedly covered essential topics such as market research, digital marketing, small business financing and hiring practices, and has equipped these entrepreneurs with valuable training and financial support to launch and/or expand their business ventures. 

“This program is a fantastic way for entrepreneurs to help realize their dreams of owning their own business. Whether they’re just starting out or starting something new, the guidance, mentorship and grants that Starter Company Plus provides really sets participants along the right path to realize success,” said Rob Tamblyn, Business Development Manager – Small & Medium Enterprises, Kingston Economic Development. 

The Starter Company Plus program provides successful applicants with personalized coaching and business training tailored to their specific needs, Kingston EcDev noted. In addition, participants have the opportunity to pitch their business plans to a panel of esteemed community judges for a chance to receive microgrants of up to $5,000. This year, Kingston EcDev will provide a total of $70,000 in microgrants to support the growth of local businesses, according to the release. 

“The program is very beneficial! It covers many aspects of conducting a business and I learned many things, from the lease contracts to market research, marketing, understanding financial terminologies, digital sales, and legalities,” said Anjlik Jaghlassian, owner of NourishCo Health Inc. and 2023 Starter Company Plus participant. “I highly recommend the program to everyone with an idea to launch a small business. You will get all kinds of support according to your needs, financially, mentors, advisors, experts, lawyers, accountants and much more. The team at Kingston Economic Development are doing a lot to help each entrepreneur succeed.” 

The 2023 Spring Starter Company Plus program cohort comprises a diverse group of entrepreneurs who are poised to make a significant impact in various industries. Their passion, determination, and innovative ideas are a testament to the remarkable potential that exists within the Kingston business community. 

The 12 local entrepreneurs and their ventures are:

  • Cody Calligraphy by Cody McCallum — A purveyor of fine stationery, writing tools, and calligraphy education. Under this brand, Cody serves clients who have a deep desire for a return to tangible, beautiful ephemera. 
  • Expresume by Ethan Fung — Expresume is equipping the next generation of the workforce with articulation skills. Their solution helps job seekers land more interviews by quickly customizing resumes to align with job descriptions. 
  • The Beaver Moose Hat by Jamie Buenahora — A brand that is revolutionizing the way Canadians between 18 to 34 years old snack. They developed a line of products that combine the delicious tropical flavours of South America with the sweetness of Canada’s iconic Maple Syrup. 
  • Roberts Fishing Charters by Jordan Roberts — South Frontenac’s newest chartered fishing and angling lessons experience. Jordan’s business is built on his years of experience and his passion to teach people young and old the love of angling. 
  • Pedal Works Café by Martha Williams — An inclusive space for cyclists, yoga enthusiasts, artists, musicians and community members. They offer 33 spin classes a week as well as yoga, stretch and strength classes that are open to all ages and abilities. 
  • Scarlett & Rosie Floral Co. by Nicole Potter — Scarlett & Rosie Floral Co offers flowers, plants, and gifts for all occasions. Other services they offer include repotting of plants as well as educational workshops given by local artists sharing their talents and creations.    
  • Digital Visibility by Reza Kashi — A one-stop consulting agency that specializes in helping small and medium-sized businesses (SME’s) adopt and implement digital transformation strategies using cutting-edge technologies to improve client’s online presence and increase their sales. 
  • Grains and Goods by Roland Jensch — At Grains & Goods Farmstead & Bakery, they handmake artisanal bread and baked goods using old-school methods and mostly organic ingredients. They also grow organic Red Fife wheat and rye and mill fresh stoneground flours. 
  • NourishCo Health Inc. by Anjlik Jaghlassian — A health food store owned by Anjlik Jaghlassian, Certified Nutritional Practitioner CNP with a medical background. She has a passion for natural health and believes that the nutritional approach is supported with supplements and a healthy lifestyle. 
  • Lilac & Spruce by Denise Oomen — Offering a delightful array of honey-inspired jewelry and beauty apothecaries designed for nature enthusiasts and farmhouse aficionados alike. They carefully craft their goods to reflect their commitment to cruelty-free and sustainable practices. 
  • Hyperborea Spa by Chris Gray — Hyperborea is a family-owned business nestled in the woods of Sharbot Lake. Operating as a hospitality business. Utilizing natural resources, they would be hands on in the bathhouse experience.  
  • Melanie Marcotte Fitness and Wellness by Melanie Marcotte — Currently offering women-only strength training classes in Harrowsmith. These classes create a sense of community among the women to learn how to implement strength training in a safe environment. 

Kingston Economic Development Corporation said it is committed to fostering a supportive environment for entrepreneurs and small businesses in the region. The Starter Company Plus program serves as a catalyst for economic growth, enabling individuals to transform their innovative ideas into successful enterprises, the organization stated. 

Applications for the 2023 Fall Starter Company Plus cohort will be open between September 4 and October 4, 2023. To learn more visit investkingston.ca/startercompanyplus 

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