After last year’s successful pilot launch of Slingshot, the Innovation Cluster program that supports 18-29 year old entrepreneurs to start and grow a business inside their incubator for four months is back. The seven chosen participants will enter the incubator on May 3 for an orientation and will be able to begin launching their business into success the same day, with a chance to win $1,000 for their work by the end of the program.
The chosen businesses provide solutions to a vast range of issues, which were all deemed high potential in the selection process. The innovative companies range from mobile networking apps, re-sellable clothing and optical solutions.
Between the ages of 18-29, the chosen entrepreneurs are:
Dylan Trepanier: Peterborough mobile eye exam clinic to reduce wait-time and be inclusive to customers.
Vismantas Kuznecovas: System to measure vibration of industrial machinery to provide maintenance solutions.
Lucas Graham: Building a mobile application to make networking events more efficient.
Alex Hopkins: Gambling platform for online video game currency.
Cole MacGregor: Reusable clothing that strives to promote gender-neutral fashion.
Rhode Thomas: Initiative to support Indigenous learners’ post secondary experience in Ontario
Raman Vauchetski: Building a platform to connect employers with potential employees.
“The Slingshot program showed such success from all participants last year, that over half of the startups applied to stay at the incubator past the end of the summer,” says Rosalea Terry, Marketing Manager and Senior Innovation Specialist. “This program shows to be a great opportunity for those who are just starting out in the business world and are learning how to adapt into being an entrepreneur.”
Throughout the summer program, each company will have a dedicated desk space within the incubator and access to all of its workshops, resources, innovation specialists and tools.
According to Forbes, incubated businesses have an 87% survival rate, and 84% go on to do business in their local regions.
Last year’s winner of the Slingshot program was Alex Gastle of Vetterview. Vetterview is a platform that connects social media influencers and micro-influencers directly with brands looking to leverage influencer marketing through paid collaborations.
Gastle was able to push his business forward throughout the summer, and proved in his pitch Vetterview would have exponential growth in the future due to partnerships that span as far as London, England, thus winning $1,000.
“Working in The Cube was a lot better than working from home,” says Gastle. “I was motivated to come in every day and enjoyed hearing about the success other incubated startups were having.”
At the end of the program, all participants also must pitch their business and the progress they’ve made throughout Slingshot to a panel of judges from various business backgrounds, to determine who wins the $1,000 grand prize.