Kingston area students launching businesses thanks to Summer Company

Ten area students are launching their own businesses through the Summer Company Program. Top row (L to R): Sam King, Tyler Kraus, Roman Mironov, Owen McDowell, and Mason Rice. Bottom row: Ryleigh Hillier, Josh Bowry, Eric Colonna, Jasmine Woboditsch, and Nicolas Inscho. Photos via Kingston EcDev website.

Ten students from the Kingston area have made their way into the Summer Company Program, which will provide their businesses with a $3,000 grant funded by the Ontario government. 

Since its inception, the Summer Company program has been instrumental in helping young individuals aged 15 to 29 start and run their own businesses, providing them with valuable business training and financial support, according to a release from Kingston Economic Development (EcDev), who facilitate the program. Out of the $3,000 grant amount, up to $1,500 is designated for the startup cost, and the remaining funds will be awarded upon successful completion of the program. 

“Supporting students on their entrepreneurial journey is an incredible experience, witnessing their passion transform into businesses, as they continue to explore if entrepreneurship is a potential future career option. With a team of highly successful coaches guiding them this year, we are empowering these young minds to build their dreams. From mastering the art of lure-making to bridging gaps in sports training, from making fashion inclusive to capturing moments through a lens, they are filling gaps in the Kingston business market,” stated Norman Musengimana, Business Development Manager for Start-Ups & Entrepreneurship at Kingston Economic Development.

According to the release, this year’s cohort of Summer Company participants have already begun demonstrating their entrepreneurial spirit and dedication throughout the week-long business bootcamp hosted by Business Coach, Claire Bouvier. The student entrepreneurs have each been matched with a business mentor to help guide them as they start and grow their businesses over the course of the summer. The students are currently in the process of refining their business’ respective products or services and serving their first customers, Kingston EcDev noted.

“During the business bootcamp, I had the privilege to connect with young entrepreneurs and learn about their unique businesses,” said Mason Rice, Founder of Rice Photography and 2023 Summer Company participant. “Interacting with them was valuable, as it broadened my perspective and allowed room for future collaboration. Additionally, I gained practical sales skills and marketing strategies that I plan on implementing soon. I am excited to apply what I’ve learned and take my photography business to the next level!”

Kingston EcDev provided the following details on this year’s participants and their ventures: 

Sam King – KingLine Lures

Sam King is more than just a 10th grader. He’s an emerging entrepreneur, the mastermind behind KingLine Lures, turning a fascination for fishing into a flourishing business venture. In this enterprise, Sam isn’t merely creating a product; he’s weaving a story, bringing to life the art and intricacy of lure-making.

Eric Colonna – Pick 6 Athletics

Eric Colonna, a seasoned defensive back, and a Commerce student at Queen’s University, is leveraging his knowledge of football to bring a unique business model to the Kingston community through Pick 6 Athletics. This specialized training program for football players aged 8-19 zeros in on speed and defensive back skills, bridging the gap between need and availability in the Kingston area.

Owen McDowell – World Outta Luck

Owen McDowell, a Queen’s University psychology student, is making strides in the fashion industry with an innovative and inclusive approach. Driven by his aspiration to make a difference and attain financial stability, Owen founded ‘World Outta Luck’, aiming to make adaptive clothing and compression wear accessible to all communities.

Jasmine Woboditsch – JW Boutique

Jasmine Woboditsch, a talented college student based in Kingston, has transformed her love for macramé and decor into a creative business called JW Boutique. Specializing in handmade bohemian decor, JW Boutique breathes a fresh aesthetic into thrift store finds, crafting distinct macramé items such as hanging shelves, lanterns, and light fixtures.

Josh Bowry – Red Bridge Camping

Nestled between the serene towns of Tweed and Madoc, Red Bridge Camping offers a unique and affordable outdoor experience. The venture is the brainchild of high school senior Josh Bowry, aimed at couples and young families seeking a taste of rural Ontario’s tranquil beauty.

Nicolas Inscho – KingDetailing

High school graduation is an important milestone for any student, but for Nicolas Inscho, it marks the start of an entrepreneurial journey. His upcoming venture, KingDetailing, turns his passion for automobiles into a practical business. The spark for this idea came from his stepdad’s experience with luxury cars and advice from a family friend.

Ryleigh Hillier – The Draconic Crow

The stationery market is about to witness a distinct addition. The Draconic Crow, a unique venture spearheaded by final-year high school student Ryleigh Hillier, caters to those seeking an extraordinary touch to their everyday items. Drawing from their passion for art and design, Ryleigh plans to bring personalized stationery to life.

Mason Rice – Rice Photography

Emerging on the photography scene is Mason Rice, a Grade 12 student who’s turned his hobby into a bustling business venture amidst his schoolwork. With plans to continue his academic pursuits in engineering at Queen’s University next year, he is determined to carry his camera, entrepreneurial enthusiasm, and textbooks along.

Tyler Kraus – Oracle of Suffering

Tyler Kraus, a 17-year-old Sydenham High School student, is not just a musician; he’s a one-man band. Through his music project, Oracle of Suffering, he is revolutionizing the extreme music genre by drawing on his favourite aspects of the music that inspires him.

Roman Mironov – 199 Media

Roman Mironov, a determined third-year commerce student at Queen’s University, the company is carving out a niche for itself. By expertly navigating platforms such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, Roman makes digital advertising more approachable for local businesses.

For more information about the Summer Company program and the achievements of the student entrepreneurs, and to register for the Summer Company Showcase taking place on August 16 at Fractal Workspace, visit investkingston.ca/summercompany.

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